»Joshua Stephenson, Guest Writer

Senior forward Anthony Campbell stepped on to the campus of APSU for the first time at the age of seventeen on a recruiting visit. Since then he has had his share of ups and downs.

The way he bounced back from the low points is what people will remember most about him.

“It felt like a great fit, the Dunn Center is a great place to play. It was home,” Campbell said, thinking back to that recruiting visit five years before. That visit started a career for the senior forward that will forever be remembered by Governors faithful.

“It started at a young age,” Campbell said when asked about where his love for basketball came from. “My dad played division two ball in Missouri and he would take me to the gym and we would shoot. My dad is a mentor and someone I look up to.”

Even though the game of basketball ran in his family, it took a while for Campbell to realize his potential.

“I never made a really good travel AAU team until sophomore year of high school,” Campbell said, “but then I started growing into my body and college coaches started noticing me.”

Campbell’s courtship with APSU did not take long; his father used some connections to have Coach Loos come watch him play, and the coach liked what he saw.
“Coach actually watched me in one AAU game and offered me a scholarship,” Campbell said.

Campbell felt at home at APSU and established a connection with Coach Dave Loos that would last through his entire career. Campbell was an immediate contributor in his freshman season, averaging 7.8 points per game and playing in every game that year. In his sophomore season, Campbell came into his own as he started every game and was second on the team in scoring and rebounding, but his next two seasons were cut short by major knee injuries.
Campbell’s injuries also hurt the Governors’ chances for making their mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.

“You know injuries. They happen,” Campbell said.

Even though he did not get to contribute on the court the way he wanted to these last two years he still feels like he made a connection with the APSU fans.

“It feels great to have a fan base like this behind you,” Campbell said, who was granted a fifth year of eligibility and will graduate in May with his master’s degree. “There are a lot of loyal fans, especially when I was healthy and I mean even now.”

The now that Campbell speaks of is the season the Governors are having on the court. Already eliminated for a spot in the OVC tournament, Campbell, who is averaging 14.6 points this season, played his final game against UT-Martin this past weekend.

“I want to go out of here with somebody remembering Anthony Campbell,” Campbell said, a member of the Govs 1,000 points club.
“It’s more about the person I want to leave here than the records. I wanted people to get to know the person, and I feel like they have.”

He talks about his plans to be a businessman and leave the game of basketball behind him, even though he doesn’t rule out a return in some fashion or another down the road.

“I always want to be around it,” Campbell said. “Hopefully, I’ll have a son that wants to play basketball and that will be a way I can get back into it.”

He said he is ready to walk away with no regrets. “I will always love the game and feel that I’m woven into the fabric of APSU.”