A two-handed dunk that went viral furthered the college recruitment process in more than one sport for Coppell junior Anthony Black.
Black drove around a Waxahachie defender during a second-round Class 6A playoff game in February and rose for a dunk that subsequently made the highlight page of dfw.insidehighschoolsports.tv. That play drew such huge interest that a poll for highlight of the week was created on its Twitter page.
“(The defender) kind of fell backwards,” Black said. “I remember it kind of gave us some momentum.”
Those type of dunks run in the family.
Black’s father, Terry, made the national TV highlight reels after he dunked on Kansas guard and future NBA first-round draft pick Kirk Hinrich during Baylor’s 85-77 upset of the sixth-ranked Jayhawks on Feb. 8, 2001. The 6-foot-5 senior forward scored 20 points and added six rebounds and four steals — a performance that helped cement
Terry’s place in the Baylor Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. He also met his wife, Jennifer, a former soccer player for the Lady Bears, while attending Baylor.
“I know Anthony gets the same question asked all the time, ‘Did your dad play at Baylor?’” Terry said. “(Anthony) knows that. For him, his biggest motivation is to step out of my shadow. He is the type of athlete who will be 10 times better than me. He is a lot more committed than what I was. He’s done an exceptional job of creating his own name.”
Anthony was born in the United States but moved to Germany two weeks later. Terry was playing basketball professionally in Europe and his family lived in Oldenburg. Anthony spoke German before English. His dad’s playing style reminded him of a certain former Dallas Mavericks small forward.
“We would watch the Mavs and he always would think that I was Michael Finley when I was out there,” Terry said.
Anthony is working hard to be the next Michael Finley.
In Black’s freshman season, head coach Clint Schnell told Star Local Media in February that he was not quite physically ready yet for the varsity game as young freshman and that there was not a ton he could do heading into the campaign that would get him prepared in that regard.
But what he also told him was to be mentally tough and to play his style of the game. Be you, and that is just what they did to help a strong Coppell team to an outright district title. Black was a second-team all-District 6-6A honoree after putting up 10.5 points, team highs in rebounds (5.4) and steals (2.3) in addition to his 3.3 assists.
“No. 1, I think he has to be a gifted athlete, which I think he is,” Schnell told Star Local Media. “He’s blessed with that, but at the same time he’s willing to work and he puts in the time for both sports. He even does track as his third sport. He’s a high jumper in track, so he embraces the grind of working to be better in all those and he doesn’t settle for just, ‘I’m a good athlete.’”
Black is on an AAU team, 3D Empire, with Ryan Agarwal, also a junior at Coppell. Agarwal, an all-district first-team selection as a sophomore, received his first Division 1 offer on June 8 from Rice.
“He’s one of my best friends,” Anthony said of Agarwal. “He’s like a brother to me.”
Black received his first Division I offer in basketball from North Texas, but college football programs are also taking notice. Kansas presented him with his first football offer one month after the conclusion of the 2019 season. UNT, Arkansas, Houston, Iowa State, Illinois State, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati and Hawaii have also extended offers to Black.
"I never really expected it, but it's a testament to all of the hard work that I've put it in,” Black said. “It's nice to see everything start to pay off."
Black gave football a try in the ninth grade and he has liked it so much that he has not only been promoted from the freshman team to varsity in one season, but also has become Coppell’s go-to receiver on fade routes.
Teams began to start double-covering Black during the Cowboys’ fourth game of the season against Irving MacArthur and near the end of the year he turned in a 228-yard, two-touchdown performance against Flower Mound.
“That was the game (versus Flower Mound) when it all clicked,” he said. “I wanted to be the guy that they can get the ball to.”
The three-star recruit by Rivals.com led all Coppell wide-outs in 2019 in receiving yards with 859 on just 47 receptions to go along with nine touchdowns, earning a spot on the 6-6A all-district first team.
"A lot of (college football coaches) say they saw the dunk (versus Waxahachie) and saw the athleticism in basketball and how it can translate to football,” Black said.
Flower Mound Marcus found out firsthand just how difficult it is to cover Black is in the red zone.
“We were on the 2- or 3-yard line, and I made a one-handed catch,” he said. “(The defender) was holding my arm. I was falling down. But, I got my right foot down in the end zone, dragged my left foot for the touchdown.”
Those circus-like catches haven’t come as a surprise to Coppell wide receivers coach Lincoln Hanke.
"He's a special kid,” Hanke said of Black. “I've been coaching for seven years and this is will be my third year at the high school level. You don't run across too many kids with his mindset. He just comes every day ready to work. I think the thing that I've seen with him that's different than a lot of other people is that when he's on the field he's not allowing other things to affect him."
Yet, for all of the success that Black had as a sophomore, he remains grounded and humble. He wants to continue to get better. Route running is one area that he strives to work on this summer. He wants to model his game after Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
"I like the way that he runs his routes. He's crisp and gets out of his breaks quick and he's elusive,” Black said. “I want to prove that I can run good routes, because last year, I ‘out-athleted’ everybody. This year, I want to show that I'm versatile. I want to show that I can run good routes."
Having been through the recruiting process themselves, Terry and Jennifer have been equally as impressed with the maturity that their 16-year-old son has displayed.
"Anthony is one of those kids who is super humble in what he is doing,” Terry said. “Me, him and mom talk about it before we put anything on social media. We’ll be there for him because he’ll receive a ton of offers for both college sports."
Anthony said he isn’t ready to commit. He is taking his time. He will carefully review all of his offers before making his decision.
Until it comes time for him to sign his name on the dotted line, Anthony remains focused on bettering himself in both basketball and football.
“I think by the time it's all said and done, he could be one of the best to ever play at Coppell,” Hanke said. “I think he'll have a litany of offers if everything plays well out the way it does, and I'm pretty sure that it will.”