The following article appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on March 6, 2010, and was written by Ken McMillan.
WEST POINT, N.Y. — Erin Anthony says some days are tougher than others with such a young Army basketball team, but that hasn't stopped her from playing her best.
"I want to be the best player I can be," said the standout from Allentown, Pa.
Anthony realizes her junior season is bound to come to a close soon enough, and she will have just one more season to compete before accepting her commission as an officer and heading into the Army.
"Especially someplace like here at West Point, when you know it's only going to last four years and I won't get to play basketball much more ... it's important for me to make the most of it," she said.
Anthony has shouldered the burden of leading a team with no seniors and 11 first- or second-year players. With that came the constant double- and triple-team defensive efforts schemed to stop Army's most potent offensive threat. Still, Anthony was Army's most consistent performer in an 11-17 campaign, becoming the only Patriot League player to average double digits in scoring (16.2 points) and rebounding (10.4 boards). On top of that, Anthony repeated as the league's top scholar-athlete award winner.
"I think she has had a phenomenal year for the Army team," said Lehigh coach Sue Troyan. "She plays so tough offensively and defensively. She rebounds and blocks shots. She is a great student, a great basketball player and a great person. She is one of those student-athletes who represents what the Patriot League is all about."
Anthony is two points shy of becoming the 15th Army player and sixth junior to reach 1,000 career points — she should reach that in Saturday's noon quarterfinal playoff at Holy Cross. She ranks second in career blocks (133) and seventh in rebounds (710).
In the past two years, Army has graduated two of its second- and third-leading scorers of all-time: Cara Enright and Alex McGuire, remnants from the 2006 Patriot League championship team. The departure of four seniors left the Black Knights with no seniors this season and a whole lot of inexperience.
"Erin Anthony has been an incredible, consistent performer for us this year, some nights clearly putting the team on her shoulder to carry them," said Army coach Dave Magarity,
Anthony, a second-team all-star as a sophomore, was a natural choice for captain, and with her selection came added responsibilities which she embraced — it helped curb her temper, too, she says.
"Most nights I am the one who has to set the tone on the court," she said. "Some nights it takes more from me to stay composed, but they look to me to calm them down."
The younger players have taken notice.
"She has been everything on the court and off the court," said freshman Molly Yardley. "She is a leader-by-example player. You will get everything she has to offer. I think she goes beyond just saying things."
The 6-foot-2 Anthony is Army's tallest player. She accepts she is not the fastest or strongest or most athletic player in the league, but Anthony does an exceptional job of reading what a defense is doing and finding a way to beat it. She has developed a nifty hook shot in the lane.
Anthony believes it will be a different story next year with more experience and an influx of talent.
"I think it's been a rough year but a lot of these younger girls have grown a lot," she said. "I see it every day, the little breakthroughs they have. We will be able to do so many more things next year."