April 30, 2016

Covington playing large

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Tony Covington

Tony Covington is a David seeking out Goliaths. The bigger they are, the harder they fall is his mindset as he seeks out challenges and backs down to no one even though standing just 5-foot-9.

Covington played his freshman and sophomore years at De La Salle before transferring to Mt. Eden in Hayward and sat out the 2015-16 season. He's a 2017 prospect looking to re-introduce himself this spring and summer as a member of the Bay Area Warriors (BAW).

So how has he performed?

After the recent Fifth Annual Nor Cal Spring Showcase, Doug Benton wrote: "While attention is paid to those already ranked, it is a fluid process and a couple of non-ranked players showed well. Bay Area Warriors 5-foot-9 point guard Tony Covington (Mt. Eden) is an attacking, old school point guard. He has good quickness, can pull up in the mid-range and sees the action develop on the move. He is a tough defender too. Fair or not, he will have to answer the concerns about small guards, but that shouldn’t deter some Division II’s and similar levels from recruiting him."

At a 2015 event, Covington earned this analysis: " Lightning quick drive-and-kick point guard. Attacks in transition, uses a variety of moves to break down defense and set up teammates, good passer. Needs to improve his outside shooting. Solid on-ball defender. Plays big!"

Count BAW Coach Randy Bessolo as impressed. "Tony has been terrific running the team from his point guard position. He gets penetration at will and then makes great decisions either getting to the rim or finding the open man. He has hit shots from perimeter too showing both a pull-up game and 3 point range. Tony is also tremendous on defense pressuring the ball with ball hawk instincts. He plays focused and in control."

Asked to describe his best basketball skills, Covington offered, "probably my dribbling, passing and defense. I'm undersized so I have to make up for that defensively. I'm also a vocal leader, it's part of my personality."

Covington has put in both time and effort in improving his ball handling and shot. "I've corrected some quirks in my shooting form and put up a lot of reps."

His style of play certainly would have translated well into other sports but it has always been basketball for him. "My Dad was worried I'd get hurt playing football." So Covington channeled his physicality and aggressiveness specifically to roundball.

He cites both his father -- "definitely my Dad" -- as well as Janou Rubin as hoops influences. Rubin played at James Logan High and then UCLA before heading overseas for a professional career. "I met Janou at a gym I used to go to and work out with him."

Sporting a 3.0 grade point average, Covington has taken the SAT but doesn't have his scores back as yet.

As for a major in college, "it will probably be law. I like to argue and I'm pretty good at it." Arizona State is his dream school but "I really have no preferences."

Whether it be at the D1 or DII levels, this is a young man you want on your side.