Photo courtesy of Position Sports/Jon Lopez/Nike
By David Cordova
This spring and summer, the PSA Cardinals had a really great crew of players that led them into the Peach Jam for another year of postseason basketball in the Nike EYBL. If there’s a couple of things that one of their players has or exemplifies, it’s discipline, grit and toughness.
Anthony “A.J.” Hoggard, Jr. has all of those and more. He is a guard that never backs down from a challenge, but rather embraces it and takes it on. At the present time, the 6-foot-4 point guard is rated at No. 49 in the Class of 2020 by ESPN.
A native of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, which is also the hometown of former NBA player Richard “Rip” Hamilton, Hoggard is one of those players that is driven to succeed and has the killer instinct on the court.
At the NBPA Top 100 Camp last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, he gave in a great performance in front of NBA scouts and high-major Division I college coaches from around the nation. When asked about things that he was developing on, he replied, “I’ve been working on everything, getting better, quicker, faster, stronger, consistent jump shot, all the intangibles.”
Hoggard first started out playing high school basketball at Archbishop Carroll High School in Wayne, Pennsylvania, which plays in the ultra-competitive Philadelphia Catholic League, which is arguably one of the finest high school leagues in the country. As a sophomore, he averaged 15.6 points per game for the Patriots.
As a junior, he transferred to Huntington Prep, a big-time prep powerhouse in Huntington, West Virginia, where he had a successful season playing a national schedule.
On the AAU circuit with the PSA Cardinals, he flourished even more, as he averaged 15.2 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. When asked about joining the Bronx, New York-based program, he replied, “The experience of playing with PSA is great, I love being there, I hate not being with my guys during the weekend, I miss it a lot when I’m gone, so it’s a great, fun experience being with my guys every weekend in every battle.”
When asked how important having the ball in his hands will be when he goes to college, he replied, “Having the ball, kind of is my style of play, so that will be a big feature in me picking my school.”
On what offense and style of play means to him as far as his school choice, he replied, “A lot, a lot. It depends on how the team uses their guards and how I feel about the system, so I look at it a lot. I play with ball-dominant guards on my AAU team, so we all distribute and do what we’ve got to do to get a team win, it’s just about winning right now with me.”
At the present time, he has offers from at least 15 schools, amongst them are schools such as Ole Miss, Rhode Island, Providence, Seton Hall, Rutgers, UConn, VCU and Wake Forest to name a few.
Now that the Nike EYBL season has concluded, Hoggard can be seen at Nike’s NY vs. NY tournament playing for Team Lincoln Park. And he has also has two more things to do before he hits a college campus: finish off his senior year on a strong note at Huntington Prep and help them win a national championship and also decide on his college choice.
Where he will go to college won’t be known for the next few months, but wherever he goes he will make an impact with his ability to be a floor general, beginning 16 months from now. However, time will tell what we will see from A.J. Hoggard.