Nov. 1, 2001
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Anthony Richardson felt a huge weight lifted off of his shoulders in September. That’s when the freshman got the call that the NCAA had granted him full eligibility to play for the Seminoles this season after he had enrolled as a partial qualifier.
“Coach Stephen Giles gave me the news, and I was very excited,” said Richardson. “I was very relieved, not having to wait to find out if I was going to play. I felt so much better about going about my days.”
Richardson has wanted to play for Florida State since receiving a questionnaire from Coach Robinson when he was the 10th grade, and the loyalty the coaching staff showed during his academic struggles was definitely a deciding factor in Richardson choosing the Seminoles over rivals Maryland, Clemson, Wake Forest, North Carolina State, and East Carolina.
“They worked with me and motivated me. They let me know someone else believed in me, besides myself, that I could make it to college and play.”
Not that there is any doubt that Richardson deserves it. Averaging 18.0 points, nine rebounds, and three assists as a high school senior, “Ant” led his Leesville Road Pride team to the 4-A North Carolina State Championships.
“It’s still hard to talk about that game,” Richardson explained. “We worked really hard to get there, and we lost to a real good team. It doesn’t make you too mad when you lose to a team that good.
“When I got in foul trouble at the beginning of the game, the whole game changed, and we never bounced back after that. It was just a tough loss, getting that close and then losing.”
Richardson actually feels that the event will be a life-altering experience, one that makes him play harder, as well as knowing how to take care of the situation the next time.
Although the game ended in defeat for the Pride, Richardson continued to revel in accomplishments. He was named first team All-State, first team All-Southern by the Orlando Sentinel, High Major Hoops Honorable Mention All-American, he played in the Capital Classic All-Star game, and was a member of the 2001 McDonald’s All American High School Team. He was also deemed one of the top 25 prospects in the nation. Prepstars recruiting analyst Brick Oettinger rated him as the nation’s Number 16 prospect, while Sporting News had him tabbed at Number 28.
“I’m thankful that I got the awards, and I’m not going to leave them in the past. But I look at it as though that was high school, and this is college, this is the ACC now. I’ve got different goals.”
Florida State is certainly ready for Richardson. At media day on Oct. 12, Head Coach Steve Robinson was very positive about the Raleigh native and thinks he will contribute to the success of the Seminole program.
Explained Robinson, “Our players like his game. They believe he is a pretty talented young man. I don’t want us to think that Anthony, by himself, is the savior for the Florida State basketball team. He can’t and won’t carry this basketball team by himself. If we are going to have success, it’s going to be because of the five guys on the floor and the ten guys on the bench. All of our players are going to play a role in the success of this team. Anthony is a talented player.”
Before the season began, Richardson noted the differences between high school and college, describing it as a different atmosphere he rather enjoys.
And in regards to basketball?
“In high school, you don’t have as many good players,” answered Richardson. “In college you’ve got to depend on your team a whole lot more, and practice is a whole lot different, more work, and longer.”
With competition just around the corner for the 2001-2002 Seminole team, Richardson wants to be a part of bringing it all together, and he is going to do what he can to win.
“Fans always have expectations, especially since I was a high school All-American. I’m just going out there to compete every night, and do whatever I can to make the team compete harder,” said Richardson.
“I know our fans want the basketball team to be good. They want the football team and basketball team to be good. I really want to be part of helping to make it better. If we all work together and are on the same page, it’s going to happen. If we work hard, it’s going to come.”
by Katie Colleen Hughes
Florida State Sports Information