Cleanthony Early is one of the top junior college basketball players in the country.
And next year, Early a sophomore at SUNY Sullivan, plans on making an impact on an even bigger stage. He is set to play at Wichita State, a perennial top 25 team in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Early, an explosive 6-foot-8 power forward, will converge on Wichita State faster and stronger, thanks to Rick Scarpulla and Ultimate Advantage Training Facility. In preparation for big-time basketball and, perhaps, March Madness, Early worked out with Scarpulla.
"Rick helped me a lot. When I started this season, I knew I was faster and stronger," Early said. "I just felt it. I knew I could just blow by guys and that's from working with Rick. I love working out with him and he's prepared me for Wichita State."
Early was the NJCAA Division III player of the year last season and could win it again in 2012. He averaged 20.8 points and 11.3 rebounds, leading SUNY Sullivan to the Region XV title and a berth in the national tournament. Aside from Wichita State, Early visited Early also made visits to Washington State and San Diego State. He turned down offers from Baylor, Missouri and Alabama.
As much as Scarpulla has helped Early physically, he also credited him with developing him mentally.
"His approach is simple. If you come in do the work you will get results," Early said. "Rick is going to push you and I like that. He is a cool person to talk to. He will sit there and talk to you after workouts, try to help you. After working out with him, I just feel like I'm ready to go."