The Next Carmelo Anthony, I call him, and I suppose some people these days might take that name as an insult of sorts. He doesn’t play defense, it might mean. He’s an overrated, not-terrifically-efficient player, it might mean. He forced a trade and has become a face of the NBA’s new Collusion Era, it might mean.
Or, when I discuss Austin Rivers, “The Next Carmelo Anthony” title means he can score the basketball however he wants to. Jab steps. Stepbacks. Crossovers. Pullups. Midrange. Three-point range. All the way to the hoop. Dunks. Tear drops. You get the feeling Austin Rivers was born to score a basketball.
Doc’s son (and I only call him Doc’s son because this is a Celtics blog — he’s making his own name, now) was named the Naismith High School Basketball Player of the Year yesterday, an honor bestowed on the top high school basketball player in the country. The 6’4, 189-pound senior is ESPN’s #1-rated recruit in his class, and will play for Duke next season.
Last summer, while many of his high school classmates hit the beach, Rivers won a gold medal for his country. Leading the United States to a 5-0 record in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship in San Antonio, Texas, Rivers set the USA U18 competition record for three-point field goal percentage (.600, 21-35 3pt FGs) and single-game records for points scored (35), three-pointers made (9) and three-pointers attempted (12). He is second in USA tournament history for points averaged (20.2) and fifth for points scored (101). Playing alongside heralded teammates like Kyrie Irving, Quincy Miller, LeBryan Nash, Rivers still stood out.
And Pops is proud. (Boston Globe)
“Being named the Naismith Player of the Year is a tremendous honor, especially considering only one person each year earns this prestigious award,” said Doc Rivers in a release. “As a parent, I am extremely proud of Austin and as a coach, I’m impressed with how hard he works each day on becoming a better player. Our family is full of pride that Austin is receiving such a remarkable accolade and will be noted with this amazing distinction in basketball history.”
Other players who have won the award include Dwight Howard, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Webber, Greg Oden, Kevin Love, and, umm, Donnell Harvey?