Anton Gill is still just a sophomore, but he's rapidly reaching the point where top-level prospects separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Over Memorial Day weekend Gill may have shot himself into that upper echelon with a single, long-range bomb.
Playing in the championship game of the famed 16-and-under bracket of the annual Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions (yes, after all the hullabaloo about scrambling to find enough courts to host the event, the Gibbons tournament did happen), Gill lifted his Garner Road AAU squad past the Long Island Lightning, 58-57, with the near-miraculous one-man move you see above.
First, Gill took the ball in the backcourt with just four seconds remaining and his team trailing by a basket. Unable to find any open teammates, the point guard raced up the court, moved just beyond the midcourt line and drilled a deep three for the win as the buzzer sounded.
"I just wanted to get the best look possible," Gill told the Charlotte Observer of his buzzer-beater. "I looked up, and I didn't see anybody and I was open. So I got to a good spot and I just let it go and it went in."
Perhaps more amazingly, the shot wasn't the first game-winning buzzer-beater Gill hit in that very gym in the past year. In the midst of the winter season, the precocious sophomore hit a game-winning three to help his Ravenscroft (N.C.) High team edge Middle Creek (N.C.) High, 59-57, on its home court.
That Gill has received a surge of interest after his Gibbons heroics may not come as a huge surprise, given the stature of the annual event. The rising junior tweeted on Thursday that he had received a scholarship offer from a major Big East team, later revealed to be Louisville, which joins N.C. State and Wake Forest as notable national programs with hopes of his eventual signature. He has also reportedly received significant interest from the likes of Texas, Georgetown, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.
In fact, his buzzer-beater might serve as the latest, best proof that sometimes it only takes one big weekend -- or even one very big, impressive game -- for a prep prospect to suddenly become a top-flight recruit.
Given Gill's genetic background -- his father, also named Anton Gill, starred at East Carolina and led the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament in 1993, the team's most recent appearance in the big dance.
Regardless of who lands him eventually, Gill makes it clear that he has no plans to stop taking big shots at the end of games, so long as the ball is in his hands.
"Yeah I guess I do have a knack for making clutch shots," Gill told ScoutsFocus' Joe Davis. "I don't really think about it, I just try to make something happen.
"I just try to make plays and help my team win. I think it makes me look good that I've made a couple, but I've also missed a few. I guess its just my teammates giving me confidence and putting me in the right position and they have confidence in me whether I miss it or make."