The sleeper tag that follows California big man Anthony Stover around will soon be shed. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound junior from Renaissance Academy in La Canada is looking to breakout nationally this month.
The big man put together a solid junior year where he helped lead his team to the state finals and averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocked shots a game.
His season caught the eye of the right people as he was rewarded with a chance opportunity to represent the United States last month at the Albert Schweitzer tournament in Germany.
Still jet-lagged from the 12-hour trip home, Stover said on Monday afternoon that he is ready for the spring period to begin.
"I learned a lot, mainly just learning how the European game is different than our game. It was the first time I've played with a 24 second shot clock and a trapezoid inside in the lane. The European rules were fun. Overall, it was a great experience," Stover said.
"It's going to help me a lot because they played really tough out there. There were few fouls called. Every time you'd go up for a dunk, someone was grabbing you by your waist and bringing you down. You had to learn how to play stronger. That's my goal this spring and summer, just to play harder and stronger. I have to play like I was playing out there with the mindset of no fouls are going to be called."
Stover will play with the Pump and Run program in the spring and summer. He hopes the exposure will help increase his profile and boost his recruitment even more.
"I'm looking to maybe expand some interest to more schools on the East Coast that just haven't had a chance to see me play," Stover said. "It will be nice to maybe add some new schools to my list for me to look at going into the fall of 2009. I want to make a big impression to as many schools as possible."
Stover said he has heard from Texas, Stanford, UCLA, Connecticut, Arizona State, Washington, Washington State, Boston College and Georgia Tech already.
Are there any schools standing out going into the spring period?
"One school is Stanford. I really like them. I took a tour up there and saw them play Washington State," he said. "UCLA, they are sparking a lot of interest. In the next week or so, I'm going to go over there and take a tour, see their classes and I'm really interested in them. Plus, they are the local school."
Stover said he has also visited Pacific, Santa Clara, Cal, San Diego and Arizona State unofficially.
"I'm thinking about making a decision in November after my official visits," Stover said.