COLLEGE PARK, Md. - It was a late Friday evening in the month of July and despite a busy and ambitious week rising sophomore Anthony Cowan sounded energized. Hours earlier he arrived back with his father, Anthony, Sr., after spending three days as a counselor at the Under Armour All-America camp in Philadelphia.
One of 20 collegiate men’s basketball players extended an invitation to join the camp as a counselor on the campus of Philadelphia University, Cowan shared his three-day experience at the camp and also provided an update of a productive summer which detailed college classes, workouts and countless hours of pickup basketball with teammates for the 19-year-old from Bowie, Md.
Cowan assumed a significant amount of responsibility during his freshman season at Maryland. He embraced both the expectations and challenges and, along with Melo Trimble, became one of the most dynamic backcourts in the nation. As the Terps’ point guard, Cowan led Maryland to its best start in school history (20-2) en route to punching its ticket to the NCAA appearance – the third consecutive postseason berth under Head Coach Mark Turgeon.
Cowan was one of three freshmen in Maryland’s starting lineup. Along with fellow rising sophomore forwards Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson, the talented trio brings unselfish play and a maturity that belies their age.
In a smoldering summer morning in Philadelphia – Cowan spent the third week of July in a familiar surrounding – a gym. He, along with his other fellow counselors, assisted in a basketball camp with 80 high school players. They were manning the scorer’s table with responsibilities that included being the official scorer, operating the shot clock and compiling statistical information. Workouts with his fellow counselors would follow and then competitive games of pickup basketball would occur in two sessions: one in the late afternoon and then another set of games after dinner at night.
“It was a great opportunity,” Cowan shared over the phone from his parent’s home in Bowie. “I really loved playing and competing against the top players from other schools.”
Cowan, who has never been one to lack confidence, burst on to the scene as a freshman after a decorated high school career at St. John’s College High School in which he was named the D.C. State Athletic Association Player of the Year and led his high school to a state title with 21 points in the championship game. Cowan quickly asserted himself in College Park, starting all 33 games as a freshman, averaging 10.3 points and a team-best 3.4 assists per game. His 123 assists marked the eighth-most in a single season in school history.
Cowan, however, has never been complacent and immediately began training throughout the spring and summer. Working with Kyle Tarp, the Terps’ director of basketball performance, Cowan has added approximately eight pounds of muscle to his frame and anticipates he will play at 175 pounds this fall.
“It was a priority for me to add muscle and get stronger in the offseason,” Cowan explained. “Driving to the basket is a big part of my game and I need to take the contact and finish effectively at the rim.”
The tireless work in the weight room led by Tarp and the competitive summer pickup games with teammates has certainly paid dividends.
Jeff Goodman, an ESPN college basketball reporter/analyst, tweeted out from the Under Armour camp: “Have I said how much I love watching Anthony Cowan?”
As for Cowan, he is far from satisfied and rarely sits still. When he was not honing his skills on the basketball court or in the weight room, you could usually find him in study hall. He had an ambitious summer academic schedule, taking three classes and declaring communications as his major.
Cowan is looking forward to the start of the season in November when he can share his assortment of pull-up and mid-range jumpers, floaters and explosive drives to the rim – all parts of an expanding game – with the XFINITY Center faithful.
For now, Cowan will spend one more week in College Park completing his academic requirements and his workouts with Tarp before heading home to Bowie for the month of August.
Asked about any vacation plans during his downtime away from campus this month and in typical fashion Cowan confidently said: “You can probably find me in the gym.”