Freshman guard Anthony Beane Jr. decided to follow his father from Illinois State University to SIU and join a team that is focused on becoming a family.
Coach Barry Hinson said because players and coaches spend so much time together, a family environment is crucial to a successful program. Adding Beane Sr. and Jr. will give the freshman guard a literal father figure to turn to as he adjusts to life at SIU.
Beane Sr. describes Beane Jr. as a kid who always loved sports. He played quarterback in football until the sixth grade, but he said Beane Jr. always showed a love for basketball.
“We knew that was his favorite sport even when he was playing football. Right after football practice, he’d take his gear off and go to the backyard and start playing hoops,” Beane Sr. said.
Beane Jr. went to Normal Community High School in Normal while his dad was an assistant coach at Illinois State University under Tim Jankovich. During his high school career, Beane Jr. averaged 16 points and five rebounds per game and after his sophomore year of high school, his recruitment picked up and he gained the attention of schools like Iowa University, Boston College and University of Nebraska.
During Beane Jr.’s recruitment period, Beane Sr. was able to provide him with guidance as a father and with the knowledge of a college basketball coach. He stressed to Beane Jr. that bigger is not always better and to focus on finding the right fit when deciding where to attend school.
“You have to have talent, but you have to make sure you’re in the right situation,” Beane Sr. said. “For him, I think he was very knowledgeable when he went into the whole recruiting process.”
Even while growing up as the son of a Division I basketball coach, Beane Jr. said he never felt any extra pressure to play and excel in sports. Aside from individual workouts with Beane Jr. and his younger brother Darius Beane, Beane Sr. left the coaching of his sons to their AAU and grade school coaches.
“One of the things that I really tried to do with Anthony and my other son is when they’re playing little league and high school sports you try not to interfere, you want them to figure it out on there own,” Beane Sr. said. “You give them pointers every now and then … as a father, if you’re really on them hard at a young age, then you have to worry about burnout.”
Eventually, Beane Jr. signed his national letter of intent to attend Illinois State and join his father in November 2011. But, after Chris Lowery was fired March 2 and new coach Barry Hinson was hired three weeks later, Hinson began to search for assistant coaches to fill out his staff.
Hinson said he sees his team as a family, from the players to the coaches. When considering a coach for his staff, a visit with the whole family is necessary before a decision can be made. Hinson was already familiar with the Beane family and said their strong family values would fit right in at SIU.
“We were recruiting the father and the son at the same time … and the one thing that I found out through the process is that they’re such a strong family,” Hinson said. “I won’t hire staff until I meet the wife and the family … and I couldn’t be happier with my staff.”
After Jankovich left Illinois State to become the associate head coach at Southern Methodist University April 27, Beane Sr. accepted the final vacancy on Hinson’s staff May 19. Beane Jr. followed his father to SIU after he was released from his letter of intent and joined guard Jalen Pendleton as members of Hinson’s first recruiting class.
Along with being coached by his father, Beane Sr. said Beane Jr. chose SIU because of Hinson’s system and a chance to make an impact early on.
“You have to go somewhere where you have a chance to play right away, where they have a chance to win and have a coach that has the type of offense that allows you to do what you’re capable of,” Beane Sr. said.
Hinson said it is always a positive when recruiting players who are the kids of a coach. Their knowledge and feel for the game tends to be higher than other incoming freshmen, and they understand what basketball means to their families, he said.
Beane Jr. describes himself as a tough guard who works hard and will stay positive. He also said the guidance he’s received from his dad has helped him on and off the court.
“He tells me things I do good … to stay focused, and my weaknesses,” Beane Jr. said. “And a lot of stuff off the court can relate to on the court.”
Beane Jr. said he was somewhat familiar with coach Hinson upon committing to the Salukis, but he was well aware of the tradition of the basketball program at SIU. Beane Jr. said he is excited to begin his career as a Saluki with his dad as a coach.
“He got me to this point, so it could be amazing to see what I can do with him at college, it just depends on me working hard,” Beane Jr. said.