Incoming freshman Anthony Longpre wins international tournament with Team Canada
Fans got a taste of some of the best recruits in the college basketball scene in the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup this June.
Cam Reddish and Romeo Langford, ESPN’s third- and fifth-ranked recruits of the Class of 2018, led Team USA to a third-place finish alongside two other top-20 recruits of their class and two top-15 recruits of the 2017 class. Their only loss came to champion Canada on July 8. Canada finished the tournament 6-1, defeating Italy 79-60 in the championship game.
On the Canadian roster is Anthony Longpre, a 6’10” forward from L’Assomption, Quebec and an incoming freshman at Saint Joseph’s University. In 2014, he moved to Maryland with a host family to play high school ball at Glenelg Country School, where former Hawk star Isaiah Miles, ’16, played for three years.
“[Winning the championship] was just an awesome feeling,” Longpre said. “The game against Team USA was obviously the biggest game of the tournament for us. We took pride in our country and we beat them the whole game. [FIBA] was the highest level of basketball I could’ve played this summer and it was definitely a great experience.”
Phil Martelli, the men’s basketball head coach at St. Joe’s, recognizes the benefits of participating in the FIBA World Cup before joining the Hawks for his freshman season.
“Any chance they [the players] get to play internationally, I am fully supportive,” Martelli said. “With Anthony, it has been a goal of his to play for the national team in his age group. He had a wonderful experience that has lifted his confidence.”
Longpre was able to see the advantage of playing international ball prior to collegiate ball as well.
“[FIBA] really helped me a lot just to meet some new guys and get a team ready in a month,” Longpre said. “It taught me how to make it work with new teammates real fast. I think coming into college, I’m ready to meet new teammates and figure out how to play.”
While Longpre did not see a substantial amount of playing time being part of the championship team is a testament to his talent. In the seven minutes per game he did play, he averaged 2.5 rebounds, grabbing as many as eight in a single game against Mali. Prorated, that’s almost 11 rebounds in just 30 minutes of play.
“[Rebounding] is definitely important for me,” Longpre said. “I’m probably going to play power forward this year and I’m 6’10”, so it’s something I definitely want to work on and get better on it.”
Martelli is looking forward to the upcoming season with returning players and incoming freshmen, Longpre and Taylor Funk.
“Everyone will have to make an impact,” Martelli said. “They were recruited to be players as soon as they get here.”
Longpre is also excited to start his career on Hawk Hill this fall.
“I’m really excited,” Longpre said. “It’s a new level of basketball for me. Everything’s faster, everyone’s stronger, so I’ll definitely have to adapt, but I’m really excited for the next four years.”