Even though Anthony Joo is a college student, he’s getting a chance this winter to partake in one final high school activity.
Joo attended Edmonds-Woodway High School during his freshman and sophomore years and was a member of the Warriors’ basketball program. He withdrew from Edmonds-Woodway at the end of his sophomore year after being accepted to the University of Washington Academy, an early-admission program that allows high school-aged students to enroll as freshmen at UW.
He didn’t want to give up basketball, though. Joo, who lives near Lynnwood High School, joined the Royals program last year, playing on the junior varsity. He’s on the varsity squad this season, thriving in his role as Lynnwood’s starting point guard.
“He won’t wow you with his numbers, but he’s got a steady hand, and he takes care of the basketball,” Royals coach Bobby Hinnenkamp said. “He’s our offensive facilitator. And he’s one of the quickest guys on the team. He sets the tempo for us defensively.”
The Herald recently spoke with Joo about his interest in basketball, his transition to college life and his future plans:
How have you adjusted to your first year on varsity and your role as starting point guard?
It’s definitely been more difficult at the varsity level to look for open guys. But as time goes by, I’ve become more relaxed and more confident. There’s been constant improvement.
What do you love about basketball?
Definitely the heat of the moment. During a game, there’s nothing like that feeling. The passion I have for moments like those drives me to keep playing.
Were you intimidated by the prospect of going to college at a young age?
It was slightly awkward taking classes with people two to four years older than me. It was a tough transition, but I balanced it out with other things and (staying close to) people that I know. I tried to keep grounded as much as possible. Now I’m settling in a lot better, and things are getting smoother and becoming more fun. I can now see the (benefits) of doing this program.
You’re living on the UW campus this year?
Yes, I’m a normal sophomore like everybody else. It’s been helpful because I can wake up later and study later and be closer to libraries and things like that.
What do you like about college life so far?
Well, I like how you can schedule your own classes. I wake up a lot later than my (high school) friends. That’s been nice.
What are you studying?
I’m getting into informatics, which combines aspects of computer science and human communication. Last year I heard people talking about it, and it seemed interesting, so I decided to pursue it.
Have you always been interested in science?
Yeah, it’s always been one of my primary interests. I started to study it more, and I seemingly became good at it, and I like things that I’m good at.
What career would you like to pursue after graduating from UW?
I’d be interested in joining a local company like Microsoft or Amazon, working in data science or software programming.
Why was it important for you to keep your basketball career going?
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to make sure I played all four years of basketball. In order to do that, I knew I needed a school that was close to my house, and Lynnwood was the perfect choice. I played with (my teammates) in feeder ball, and they all welcomed me. (The transition) has been pretty smooth.