Ahkee Anderson, the Newsday All-Long Island boys basketball selection from Greenport, is transferring to play his senior season for Center Moriches.
The 5-11 guard last season averaged 22.7 points and helped the Porters to the Long Island Class C title and advance to the state semifinals where it lost to Cooperstown in Binghamton. The Center Moriches team he joins was the Long Island Class B champion and also lost in the state semifinals.
“I’m really looking forward to this coming season because it’s my senior year and I want to go out with a bang,” Anderson told Newsday in a telephone interview. “I feel like I am going to be a good fit with my new team and I am looking forward to playing again for coach [Nick] Thomas.”
Anderson played summer league basketball after his freshman season for Long Island Elite, a club coached by Thomas. Crystal Anderson, Ahkee’s mother, said that her son really responded and grew that summer playing for Thomas and she is looking forward to having Ahkee play for him again.
Crystal Anderson said that she and her three children will relocate from Greenport to Center Moriches by Labor Day and that all of her kids will be enrolled in schools there. Anderson’s college recruiting profile is the central factor in the move, she said.
“It’s hard to get scouts and recruiters all the way out to Greenport. It’s hard to get scouts and recruiters to see the level of competition that Greenport plays,” Crystal Anderson said. “To be honest, I wanted to do this before his sophomore season. I saw that he could be great and wanted him where he would develop and be seen developing.”
The Andersons did not make the move at that time because Ahkee Anderson wanted the chance to win a state championship at Greenport with close friends and teammates Jaxan and Julian Swann. Last year was their senior season and so nothing was holding the Andersons back for the coming season.
“Playing at Center Moriches, there will be more attention,” Anderson said. “We’re going to play bigger schools and a harder schedule. More colleges will be paying attention and that will be good for recruiting.”
This summer Anderson has been playing for the upper-tier AAU travel team Crown Basketball and already he has seen an impact on his recruiting picture. He described it as “going from zero to five” with the number of colleges making inquiries more than doubling. Some of the colleges he and his mother said have shown interest are Brown, Columbia, Colgate, Weslyan, Williams and Connecticut College.
“When people see him they are interested and that’s what he’s gotten this summer with Crown and will get next season at Center Moriches,” Crystal Anderson said. “There was only a little bit of interest while he was playing at Greenport.”
Anderson is the second high-profile Long Island boys basketball player to transfer to Center Moriches in as many seasons. Micah Snowden transferred from Southold and became a Newsday all-Long Island selection last season. Crystal Anderson said she knew this move could be highly-scrutinized and that Thomas and Center Moriches could be accused of recruiting her son out of Greenport.
“I am already hearing what people think and the accusations,” she said. “I know the truth because I made this decision.”
She said she considered relocating the family to where Ahkee Anderson could play at Brentwood or Amityville and that a Catholic school or private school also were considerations.
“I wanted us to be in the best place for Ahkee to develop and been seen so he can play at the next level,” she said. “That’s how I decided.”