February 23, 2020 – By NJP

Anthony Ngumah is one of the young and promising stars coming up through the ranks for Scotch Plains Fanwood. He was a Middle Hitter that received significant time at varsity as a sophomore for a Union County Championship team. He has size and athleticism and would fit right in for just about any high school teams starting line-up. Last season he was the top vote getter for the NJ.Com best sophomore award.

This winter, Anthony has matured playing club volleyball for Warren SixPack 17. His club team has had solid success and he gets the chance to play club with his current teammate Nathaniel StaRosa who is also a current junior. With just three returning varsity players, Anthony will be looked to for leadership and a young team come Spring. But as usual, SPF will reload with more than a dozen club team members vying for spots on the starting varsity roster.

Anthony certainly has the potential for a breakout season. With 83 kills and 45 blocks as a sophomore, he is certainly one of the leaders for the 2021 grad class. He will get ample opportunities to show off his stuff for the Raiders come season start. SPF can be a major contender in the North ll sectional by May when the team has some time to gel. We wish him well…

Here is our interview with Anthony…

Tell us a bit about yourself Anthony?

I currently attend school at the Academy for Information Technology at UCVTS, but I play volleyball for Scotch Plains Fanwood Highschool, and I will be graduating in 2021. 

How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?

My interest in volleyball started in 7th grade. My older sister Prima was in her freshman year of high school, and she had started playing volleyball for her school Union Catholic. This meant that me and my younger sister were always outside helping her practice. Going into high school my freshman year I decided that I wanted to play volleyball as well.

What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc… What’s your favorite position to play?

I am currently 6’4, and I have a standing vertical of 27 inches, and an approach vertical of 35 inches. I play middle blocker for both my club team Warren Sixpack, and my school team. While middle is my favorite position, I do enjoy going back row, as it gives me a chance to improve on my passing.

Which player last season was the toughest competitor that you faced and why?

For me the toughest player I’ve had to face would be my teammate Aaron LaPlaca. Everyday in practice we push ourselves to get better and improve.

How will your high school team do in the upcoming season? Do you have a lot of returning players? What will be the key to success?

I have high hopes for my high school team this upcoming season. We only have 3 returning players including myself. The other two Braedon Madeiros Cooke, and Nathaniel StaRosa, who are both putting in tremendous work in their club season in efforts to prepare for the school season. In addition, we have a few promising new players, one of whom will be a freshman Nick Schmidt, who currently plays for Warren Sixpack 16-1s team.

NJP considers you as one of the top players in the state. Do you plan on playing in College? (If so, which ones are you looking at?)

I’m not too sure whether or not I will play in college, although I am definitely keeping my options open. However, for me I want to focus more on my academics in college.

Starting from the left (me), my younger sister Diane-Jane, my older sister PrimaDoris, and my cousin Michael. My parents are Ijechi Ngumah (Mom) and Quintus Ngumah (Dad). 

Who is your favorite teammate and why?

Nathaniel StaRosa has been one of my closest friends since middle school. Not to mention, we have been playing on the same club and high school team for the past 3 years. Nate brings a whole different energy to the team, when everyone is down he’s always able to perk up and bring back up the team’s morale, and he is an incredible player as well. 

Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?

My high school coach Brock Hor really helped me develop into the player I am now. I think he really took a chance on me freshman year, he must have noticed the potential I had. Everyday I would practice with the varsity team and it pushed me to want to get as good as them. Coach Brock eventually gave me a varsity uniform and had me tag along with the varsity team for tournaments, and I remember him telling me that the best way to get better at something is by being thrown right into the fire.

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