With most of the Nanhai Kung Fu Sports Club hype so far surrounding ABL veteran Justin Howard, Filipino-American Caelan Tiongson, and rising star local Guo Kai, it’s easy to overlook Anthony Tucker amidst all of the excitement.
Tucker isn’t physically imposing like Justin Howard, listed at only 6’4″, nor is his style of play flashy or explosive.
Don’t let that fool you and expect to see Tucker being the one leading the charge for the Kung Fu Sports Club in their debut ABL season.
“Anthony Tucker is a unique player and he’s our offensive motor,” comments Lukas Peng, General Manager of the team. “I won’t help other teams scout [him] and they will find out for themselves pretty quickly of what type of player Anthony is.”
“Anthony is our key player, just as important as Justin [Howard], and having both makes it much easier on all of us to bring success to the team this year.”
While Peng held back the details of his prized gem, Tucker himself was less shy about describing his style of play.
“My game is pretty simple,” Tucker says. “I like to handle the ball and make plays off the pick and roll. I pride myself on having shot over 40% from three during my entire basketball career, so I’m just trying to be efficient and getting other people involved.”
“My favorite player of all time and someone who I try to emulate is Gilbert Arenas. James Harden and CJ McCollum are two guys in the league right now that I really like to watch and take stuff from.”
Tucker’s game has always revolved around scoring and efficiently doing so. The Minnesota native was a top-level sniper from long distance ever since playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes before transferring to Minnesota State – Moorhead in his final collegiate season.
Shooting is one thing Tucker has done exceptionally well in his professional career which has led to him playing in Finland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary and Turkey over the past four years. The Nanhai Kung Fu Sports Club are expecting nothing less of that from their star guard.
After a long stretch in Europe, this will be Tucker’s first time playing for a team in Asia. There are cultural adjustments he has had to make, but the anticipation for the start of the season has him fired up to bring success to the team.
“The city [of Nanhai] has been great. I spend a lot of time between Foshan and Guangzhou and the Chinese culture has definitely taken a lot of getting used to as far as food and language.”
“I’m excited to play in the ABL. My teammate, Justin Howard, seems to be a legend in the league and he has given me a lot of insight about the league and the other teams so that has been extremely helpful. We have a great coaching staff as well, so we expect to have a great season.”
In their build up towards the season, Tucker mentions that the team has beaten several significant opponents during their preseason preparations, building up the confidence for the newcomers.
“I’m just excited for the season to start,” Tucker says “It sounds like this is going to be one of the most competitive seasons in league history and that teams are expecting to put their best foot forward so I think there will be a lot of exciting games. I just look forward to competing night in and night out.”
“Fans can expect to see me and my teammates play hard but also having fun. We have an exciting team with guys that want to win but also enjoy playing with one another. I think Justin and I will be a good duo that can provide some excitement as well.”
Tucker might still be an unknown commodity among ABL fans but expect that to change soon when he takes the court for the Nanhai. Tucker and Co. will play their first game on November 17 against the Singapore Slingers at Nanhai Gymnasium.