Interview With UCLA Center Anthony Stover
by Brett Pierce
Published on 10-13-2011 08:00 PM
Here is a Bruinsball.com exclusive interview with UCLA Sophomore Center, Anthony Stover.
How was your offseason?
Anthony Stover: One of the best I’ve had, ever. I really enjoyed it. I had a great time this summer and worked really hard.
What did you do to train?
Anthony Stover: I was doing a bit of everything. For weeks I was going back home and training with a guy I used to train with in 9th and 10th grade. His name is Nico, and he pretty much got me to UCLA and I got to go back to him and work out with him again. He always works on explosiveness and power and speed, so he just made everything go up. My vertical jump went up, my speed went up, and my strength went up. I love working out with him.
Last year you were known as a defensive specialist. Have you tried incorporating more of an offensive game or are you mostly working on your strengths as a defensive player?
Anthony Stover: Oh, definitely! I’ve spent a ton of time in the gym over the summer shooting and working on my jump hook and perfecting my moves, so I can get in the game and actually get a couple of buckets to go along with the blocks.
Did you play in the Say No League?
Anthony Stover: I played in the Say No League, but I only played one game. Then I went out to Las Vegas and trained at the Impact Facility for 4 weeks.
What are your individual and team goals for the upcoming season?
Anthony Stover: My goal, individually, is to be the leading shot blocker in the Pac-12, and hopefully in the country. I’m working towards that. And then also being the best defender I can be, as well as getting rebounds, getting a couple points, maybe 8-12 points a game. Whatever I can do offensively to help, I’m going to be able to do that.
I talked to Lazeric Jones recently, and he said he thinks you guys have a shot at the National Championship. Do you see that as a realistic goal?
Anthony Stover: Oh, I do definitely see it as a possible goal. I talked to my roommate, Reeves Nelson, I talk to him every single day, and we say we feel it. We feel it in our guts, we feel it in our hearts that this is the year. Even though we lost two great players that could have helped us out this year, I still think we have the team that can do it.
Who on the team has really improved since last season?
Anthony Stover: I’d have to say that Reeves has been working hard every single day. He just gets better every single day. Him, along with “Zeke” (Lazeric Jones). Both of them are in the gym every time I look up or every time I text them and ask where they are, they’re at the gym. They’re working. They worked hard the whole summer and they’re gonna do the most work for us this year, along with “Big Josh” (Josh Smith) who has been working his butt off to shed some pounds so he can get up and down the court.
There were concerns a few months ago that Josh wasn’t where he needed to be with his conditioning. Is that not a worry anymore?
Anthony Stover: Josh went home for a couple of weeks towards the end of the summer and he came back, he shed a lot of pounds and is looking a lot better. He is getting up and down the court and running with us. I’m really proud of Josh and he’s worked hard.