UNC’s Cole Anthony declares for NBA draft


WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 11: Cole Anthony #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after a play against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during their game at LJVM Coliseum Complex on February 11, 2020 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – University of North Carolina freshman guard Cole Anthony will enter the 2020 NBA Draft.

“Throughout my time at UNC I was humbled, challenged and always proud to be a Tar Heel,” says Anthony. “I want to thank Coach Williams and the entire coaching staff for giving me an opportunity of a lifetime and pushing me every day. Thank you Tar Heel Nation for embracing me with open arms from the moment I stepped on campus and sticking by us through a tough season. My teammates – my brothers – we were together in the trenches. You made me better every day and helped me grow as a basketball player and as a man.

“I am excited to announce the next step in my journey and declare for the 2020 NBA Draft. While no one truly knows what the next few months will look like, I’m ready for whatever God has in store.”

The New York City native earned third-team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman team honors after leading Carolina in scoring at 18.5 points per game, the second-highest scoring average ever by a Tar Heel freshman.

Anthony scored a season-high 34 points against Notre Dame and netted 20 or more points eight other times, leading UNC in scoring 13 times. He also led Carolina in plus/minus with a plus 55, made 49 threes in 22 games (2.2 per game) and averaged 5.7 rebounds, the highest average in at least 50 years by a Tar Heel point guard.

He earned ACC Freshman of the Week honors twice and was the ACC Player of the Week following his record-setting 34-point performance against the Irish, the most points ever by an ACC player in his collegiate debut. He later became the first Tar Heel to ever score 25 or more points and have seven assists in back-to-back games (at Syracuse and vs. Wake Forest) and had the second-most 25-point games ever by a UNC freshman.

“I truly enjoyed coaching Cole this year and it will be fun to watch him play in the NBA,” says UNC head coach Roy Williams. “It was unfortunate for Cole and our team that he missed those 11 games due to injury. He had some spectacular moments as a Tar Heel and showed the potential I feel will make him very successful in the NBA. He has our complete support going forward and I will be one of his biggest fans. It was a pleasure to coach him, and getting to know his family was fantastic, as well. He loves the game of basketball as much as any player I’ve ever coached and he will continue striving to be the absolute best player he can be. He will always be a Tar Heel.”

Anthony missed 11 games after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure to treat a partially torn meniscus in his right knee in mid-December.

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