Class of 2013 center BeeJay Anya made headlines recently for having one of the biggest wing spans in recorded history (7’9), but we may have found something even wider than that — how wide open his recruitment is.
“I’m completely wide open right now,” said Anya in a phone interview with National Recruiting Spotlight. “But the schools that are interested in me are Texas, Syracuse, UConn, Ohio State, St. John’s, Rutgers, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Kansas, U.C.L.A., Florida, Florida State and West Virginia.”
Anya also said he has no list at all and doesn’t even have a top ten, but he does have a very good feel of what he’s looking for in a school. “I’m looking for a school where I can make an impact immediately and where I can become better as a player,” says Anya. “I also want to go to a school that has a ‘home feeling’… a school where I feel like I’m at home at is big.”
One thing that will affect where Anya feels at home is who else is at the school he chooses. “[Class of 2012 small forward] Jerami Grant and [class of 2012 point guard] James Robinson, those two are like my really, really good friends,” says Anya on who he wants to play with in college. “I would feel more at home because I would already know somebody at the school and I would play with someone who’s from the same area as me. I would feel completely at home, I would have friends there.”
Anya was also very busy when coaches first had the opportunity to call class of 2013 prospects. “Duke called me, Ohio State, U.C.L.A., Kansas, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, UVA, Georgetown, Maryland, Marquette, Indiana, Boston College and I think there’s some more, Rutgers and Syracuse,” Anya recalled. “I was also at the NBPA Top 100 Camp so I was real busy.”
Anya also discussed the first school that called him and the impact [or lack thereof] that it has on him. “The first school to call me was Virginia Tech,” says Anya. “I don’t think it means anything, really. I just know that they’re interested in me so it doesn’t mean anything.”
However, one conversation did seem to standout to Anya. “I just remember the coolest school to talk to was Texas,” says Anya, “because we had a long conversation about the recruiting process and we talked about what I would love to see in a school.”
In addition to all of the coaches calling and recruiting Anya, a couple of other people are talking to Anya as well about their school of choice. Says Anya, “[Sophomore shooting guard] Victor Oladipo from Indiana, who went to my high school (DeMatha Catholic), he’s like my big brother. He’s trying to get me to come to Indiana.
“Victor is just saying how much Indiana wants me and how much they need me. He’s saying how much I would love it out there and that Indiana is a great place to live and that basketball is the number one sport there,” says Anya. “He also talked about how when I walk around people will always be looking out for me out there.”
However, it looks as though Georgetown head coach John Thompson III is pulling out his big guns to get this big-time recruit in Washington, D.C. “[Boston Celtics small forward] Jeff Green is talking to me about coming to Georgetown,” says Anya. “I was kind of shocked, but it was cool that he came up and talked to me. It was just really cool. [He] was telling me how good of a fit I would be at Georgetown, about how much he loved it at Georgetown and about how much better he got at Georgetown.”
Although, it looks as though the big man’s former high school teammate may be doing a better job of recruiting Anya than the NBA player and is doing such a good job Anya wants to visit Indiana. “He’s made his school sound really good, hopefully I get to take a visit out there one time,” says Anya. “He made Indiana sound like a good place. [But] Jeff Green did a pretty good job too, he kept telling me how much I would benefit going to Georgetown and how great the academics are.”
Even though Anya says he would like to visit Indiana, he doesn’t know when or where he would like to start taking his visits, but he has already taken a visit to U.C.L.A. when he was in Los Angeles for session three of the Nike EYBL. Says Anya, “It was a really good visit, my mom came with me. It was a great experience because the campus is beautiful and I like the weather too.”
Another thing that will affect Anya’s recruitment is the program’s style of play. “I’m more of a back-to-the-basket player, I like to power down low and rebound,” says Anya describing his style of play. “I love defense and I like blocking shots — I love blocking shots, that’s my favorite thing to do.”
However, he feels he can adjust to any system that any college plays. “I think I can fit into any kind of system because I think I can adjust well,” says Anya. “As of right now I’m really not sure [what system I want to play in] because I think I can fit into any kind of program, [but style of play] will impact [my decision].”
Another thing that will certainly impact Anya’s decision is the coaching carousel this off-season in college basketball. Says Anya, “I had a good relationship with the Maryland coaches but then [former head coach] Gary Williams left and I haven’t had the chance to talk to the new staff at Maryland.”
A lot of people have favorite schools growing up, so it’s only natural that Anya does too, but his list of favorite schools may be another thing longer than his enormous wing span. “Yeah, I always changed it up though when I was growing up,” Anya said laughing when recalling his favorite schools. “One year I liked UConn, the next year I liked Syracuse, then I liked Texas, then I liked Georgetown and it always changed.”
Every one of those schools that Anya mentioned are recruiting him as is his favorite school this past year. “This past year was Syracuse, but I don’t think it impacts anything because next year I’ll probably have a new favorite school,” Anya said laughing.
Among the schools who have offered him, Anya listed Virginia Tech, Texas, Indiana and Florida as the programs that have been in contact with him recently and says Maryland, Georgetown, U.C.L.A., Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Ohio State have offered him as well. As for a timetable on when he will narrow down his list or make his commitment, he says he will get to all of that stuff when he’s a senior.