Can you morph from a Thunderbird to a Bengal? The answer is yes if you happen to be Merritt College sophomore guard Anthony Knight. He is headed to Pocatello to attend Idaho State University (ISU) and play for Coach Bill Evans.
Out of El Camino High, Knight crossed the bay after his senior year to attend Merritt. So how did that work out for him?
Try 16.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game while shooting 51% overall, 49% from beyond the arc and 66% at the foul line as a sophomore.
Why Idaho State which is a member of the Big Sky Conference?
"They showed the most interest in me," Knight explained, adding that the Bengals were relative newcomers in his recruitment. Indications are he will be utilized as a combo guard.
And what will the folks in Pocatello be witnessing from him?
"My leadership on and off the court and setting the tone on defense. They also need players who can put the ball in the hoop and get to the rim." Knight averaged a team-leading 6.3 free throw attempts a contest for the Thunderbirds in 2013-14.
It looks like he will be redshirting and completing academic requirements this coming season. Bengal backcourters Tomas Sanchez and Andre Hatchett are graduating from ISU, meaning the second and third leading scorers on the team depart as well as the top two in assists -- so there will be a major need at guard.
Knight is looking at majoring in business -- "maybe accounting."
Asked what he see as changes in himself and his game since his time at El Caminto, Knight said, "I've matured and become more confident. In high school, I played out of position as a three."
When he arrived in the Oakland hills, he was positioned as a point and he then began working "trying to get it right. I've learned I'm good enough to play there."
What's fascinating is that Knight first tried football at the behest of his mother. "I was timid and small and the contact wasn't for me." So he began hitting open gyms, playing basketball for fun. Then a cousin, one on an AAU team, introduced him to competitive, organized hoops and "I kept developing my skills."
To the degree where he earned the opportunity to earn a paid-for college education.