This article was first posted in the 2017 issue of Hamptonia.
Transitioning from a public school of 3,000 students in Kingston, New York to a rural boarding school of 320 students in central New Hampshire was a big jump, but watching Anthony Gaines engage with the community any weekday in the dining hall, you would never know the choices he’s made to make his future a reality. Beloved by students, faculty, and especially the faculty children that traverse campus, during his three years on campus Anthony dedicated himself to his basketball career, his education, and to the New Hampton School community.
Former Head Men’s Varsity Basketball Coach Peter Hutchins ’01 initially introduced New Hampton School to Anthony. The School was not entirely unfamiliar, as Anthony played AAU basketball with then New Hampton student Tyler Lydon ’15, who was recently contracted to play for the Denver Nuggets. At home, Anthony played AAU tournaments on the weekend, where he was matched with other competitive players, but most of his time on the court was with his high school team and he knew he wasn’t being pushed to his full potential. When Coach Hutchins presented the possibility of playing with exceptionally talented teammates and finding balance and support in his academics, he knew he had to take a second look.
This fall Anthony matriculated at Northwestern University as a Wildcat, and joined former New Hampton School teammate AJ Turner ’15 on the court. In his three years as a Husky, Anthony worked hard to excel as an athlete and lead his teammates on and off the court. Looking back on his decision, Anthony knew he had to immerse himself in a higher level of play to pursue his dreams on the court, but he also found himself emerging with an intellectual capacity for the game that he didn’t expect. “My IQ and understanding for the game has grown a lot. I’ve learned how to be a leader.”
“Over his three years at New Hampton, Anthony proved to be an invaluable member of the Men’s Varsity A Basketball program through his leadership, team-first attitude and determination to be the best he could be,” says Coach Nick Whitmore. “Anthony is funny, confident and garners the respect of his teammates and classmates by being a servant leader. He will be the first to volunteer his time to help the greater school community and the first to extend his hand to a teammate that needs help. New Hampton wouldn’t have been the same without him.”
We have no doubt that Anthony will be back to visit Husky Nation, and share his future successes with the community. When asked what he will miss the most, his sentiments expand beyond the team that he was so committed to throughout his three years. “I was thinking about it the other day. Obviously, I am excited to go to college, but then I was just thinking about the people here, my connections and my relationships. And I’m going to miss it because it’s different from anywhere else I’ve ever been.”