Dante Anderson Invitational set for Jan. 5
Published: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
The 6th annual Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational will feature teams from South Florida, Jacksonville and North Central Florida that will be competing in the memorial that pays homage to arguably the most talented player to grace the basketball courts in Gainesville.
DANTE ANDERSON MEMORIAL
What: The Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational featuring high school basketball teams from around the state.
When: 2 p.m. Jan. 5.
Where: Eastside High School, 1201 SE 45th Terrace.
Information: Call 352-955-6704 or visit www.floridaprospects.com.
The invitational will begin at 2 p.m. Jan. 5 at Eastside High School at 1201 SE 45th Terrace. Tickets will cost $8, and admission will cover all games. Re-entry will be allowed at no cost.
The highlight of the invitational will be the last game of the night, which will feature Eastside against Miami Norland. The invitational will also feature Gainesville, Hawthorne, Jacksonville Terry Parker, Lake Wales, Leesburg, South Miami, The Rock and Williston high schools.
The most notable player competing in the invitational will be The Rock's 6'11" senior center Joel Embiid, who recently committed to the University of Kansas.
Anderson, 16, died in a car crash on May 19, 2007 on SW 13th Street in Gainesville.
Anderson was the state's consensus No. 1 boys basketball prospect in the class of 2008. He led the Rams to its only state championship in basketball when he was named MVP of the 2006 Class 5A state basketball championship tournament in Lakeland.
Eastside coach Pop Williams said Anderson was being recruited by Florida State University, Georgia Tech University, University of Miami, University of Missouri, University of Florida and many others.
Anderson's mother, Sheila Baker-Bell, normally speaks at the invitational about the importance of children doing the right things. She said it is very important to her to keep the legacy of her son alive because he worked hard to reach his goals.
"All of the things that Dante accomplished in the short time he lived speaks volumes to how far he traveled on his journey to reach his goals," said Baker-Bell in a phone interview last Friday as she watched her daughter, Janta Bell, a senior on the P.K. Yonge basketball team, play in Tallahassee.
Baker-Bell said the memorial game is important to her entire family and the community. She said the invitational also serves to remind young people about how far they can go if they work hard to reach their goals. She said Dante would have this advice for children and teens.
"He would tell them to ask themselves everyday if they were doing what they need to do to be the best they can be," she said. "He would tell them to be responsible, obedient and to strive for success."