BY Corey Picard
Sacred Heart University (SHU) junior E.J. Anosike scored his 1,000th career point on Feb. 15 in the men’s basketball team’s 80-72 win at Long Island University (LIU). In the game, Anosike also grabbed 22 rebounds, setting a SHU Division I program record.
Anosike has increased his point, rebound, assist and steal averages in each of his three seasons at SHU. He credited this continuous improvement to his mentality.
“I just keep working and trying to get better every day,” said Anosike. “I try to be the best version of myself every day. I just try to be better than I was yesterday.”
Head coach Anthony Latina credits Anosike’s elite work ethic as a reason for his successes.
“When you work like he does, you don’t ever want to put a limit on how good you can be,” said Latina.
Since Anosike became team captain, Latina believes his work ethic has extended to the rest of the team. He is thankful that Anosike is there to help create a team culture of hard work and commitment.
“There are plenty of teams where your best player isn’t your hardest worker, but it always works much better when your best player is your hardest worker,” said Latina.
Anosike’s career game did not go unnoticed by the team.
“Most people take great joy in seeing his success because they know it’s not given, it’s earned,” said Latina. “I would say everyone was very happy for him and proud of him. As a coach, I’m proud of him because that came with a lot of time, effort, commitment, and sacrifice.”
Anosike’s sacrifice has been a major source of his success. He has increased his cardio, changed his diet, and adjusted his sleep schedule in order to maximize his potential.
“It’s things of that nature, that most college kids aren’t willing to sacrifice. He does it without hesitation,” said Latina.
When he learned he had reached 1,000 career points, Anosike was surprised. He did not expect to reach this feat so quickly.
As for his rebounding in the LIU game, Anosike was not focused on individual accomplishments.
“I just felt like every possession was a game of its own,” said Anosike. “As long as you’re scoring and winning the game, that’s all that really matters.”
He was not aware of the record-breaking performance. He simply wanted to win the game.
“It was a big game for us, a must-win,” said Anosike. “It was whatever it took to win.”
He was surprised and happy to find out he was now a part of the SHU record books. He believes it shows a lot about the player he drives to be.
When he found out he broke the record, he had to tell his brother. Anosike’s brother, O.D. Anosike, led the NCAA in rebounds per game in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons while playing for Siena College.
“He always makes fun of me for being the worst rebounder in the family,” said Anosike.
Anosike is currently averaging 11.3 rebounds per game. ESPN reported that this average places him eighth in the NCAA, and first among guards.
“He deserves all the success that he’s getting,” said Latina. “Hopefully the best is yet to come, for him and for the team.”
The men’s basketball team wraps up their regular season play this week with home games against St. Francis (NY), on Feb. 27, and LIU, on Feb. 29.