CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s Anthony Davis is a freshman phenom at Kentucky. He’ll be on college basketball’s biggest stage at this weekend’s Final Four, and it’s an incredible story for a South Side kid who was unknown from an unheard of school before an unbelievable growth spurt.
CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke puts it all in “perspectives.”
Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, arguably the best player in college basketball right now, developed his skills at an unlikely place – at a tiny charter school in Chicago called Perspectives, so naturally it took a while for colleges to find him.
Perspectives Head Coach Cortez Hale knew he was going to be a start his junior season.
“When he was 6-foot-7, I said he had the potential to be one of the good ones, one of the great ones, but then he grew to 6-foot-10 and I said he’s going to be a great one,” says Hale.
“Our school is small so no one came to scout this school. It’s Perspectives and people were like – what kind of school is that? He did what he had to do to get our school recognized,” adds Anthony’s former high school teammate, Manuel Whitfield.
Now, the small school with 370 students from 6th to 12th grade, is proud that one of its own has made it to the Final Four.
“He’s so humble and such a team player when you watch him. He’s a great role model for our young kids,” says Dr. Angela Brooks-Rallins, Perspective Charter principal.
“He has set the bar so high. We have kids with discipline problems that say – I need to change this to be like Anthony. I want to go here, I can do this. I know I can because he did and he went to the same school, so why can’t I do it?” adds former Anthony classmate Rodney Brown.
What’s amazing about Anthony’s success is that Perspectives doesn’t have a strong emphasis on athletics. In fact, the school doesn’t even have a gym or a basketball court, so every day they have to get bused down the road to a nearby gym.
“It was extremely tough, sometimes buses come late and we’re late to practice, but you have to (car) pool and push through,” says Whitfield.
“We are so proud of him. He’s well-deserved and worked hard for it and he did what he was supposed to do to be where’s at right now,” says Hale.
Coach Cortez Hale is going to New Orleans to see Anthony at the Final Four, when Kentucky takes on Louisville Saturday.
What’s incredible is that Anthony grew 7 inches before his junior season and sprouted to 6-foot-10 inches tall and is likely going to be the number one pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, if he decides to leave school early.