804 All-Star basketball game

Marvin Cannon (Steward) finished runner-up in the dunk contest before the 804 All-Star game in 2017. He then scored 23 points for the North and was named game MVP.

Later this week, Dante Anderson will be on a plane to Las Vegas. The Richmond resident won't be headed there to gamble or catch a show. She'll be on her way to watch Washington State's men's basketball team take on San Diego in the Las Vegas Classic. It will be the first time in a long time she'll see her youngest son, Steward graduate Marvin Cannon, play basketball live. After a one-year stop at Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, Cannon is playing 8.6 minutes a game as a sophomore for Washington State.

A year ago, the long plane ride is something that both Anderson and Cannon might not have anticipated. In high school, Cannon was attracted to the possibility of playing college ball far from home. But as the reality of playing junior college basketball in a small town set in, Cannon missed Richmond. Anderson, who had grown accustomed to a home with just she and Marvin, missed her youngest son as well.

"At first, I always wanted to be far away from home. But once I got to Kansas I realized I wanted to be close to home," Cannon said. "I missed my mom. I was telling her the first offer I get that's closest to home, I'm going to take."

Anderson's oldest son, Ketron, lives with his family in California. For Marvin to want to come home was something she would not turn down.

"I honestly wanted him to come back. I love basketball and I love to go and watch him play," she said.

As his freshman season at Barton progressed, so did his offer sheet. Scholarship offers came in from schools close to home: Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and even VCU. But, as the opportunities rolled in, Cannon's comfort level away from home was growing.

"The longer I'd been at Barton, I felt comfortable being away from home and being by myself, learning new things. I just felt good about the whole situation," Cannon said.

Cannon's new comfort level opened the door for Washington State and head coach Ernie Kent. While just a short plane ride from Ketron and his family, the Pullman, Wash. campus is certainly not close to home in Richmond. Cannon said Anderson was skeptical at first as she had only spoken with the Washington State coach over the phone. However, once they both met with Kent on campus and at his home, the tide changed. Both Cannon and Anderson were impressed by Kent's pitch. Basketball was the second topic of discussion. Kent's first priority was preparing Cannon to achieve in the classroom and for post-basketball life. After the meeting, Anderson was sold.

"I knew right then and there I was happy with it and they would take good care of Marvin," she said.

Despite the time difference, Anderson has watched -- or at least tracked -- all of Cannon's games this season. The Las Vegas Classic will give her the ability to see her son in person, and share a plane ride home with him for the short Christmas break. The time together is something the son does not take for granted.

"I'm extremely excited to see my mom and my family," Cannon said. "Even though it's a long trip -- West Coast to East Coast -- for basically a day, it's a trip that I'm willing to make any time just to see my family."

HOT SHOTS

Through games played on December 14th, Na'Jai Pollard ranked 11th in the NCAA at 22.3 points per game. She was named MEAC Co-Player of the Week for games played December 4-10, including a 32-point outburst against Cheyney.

Through games played on December 14th, Taja Cole ranked 25th in the NCAA at 6.1 assists per game.

Rasir Bolton's 25-point effort against N.C. State was his third game with 25 or more points and his second in as many games following a 27-point outburst against Colgate. The freshman is Penn State's second-leading scorer at 14.7 points per game.

Men’s statistics

Rasir Bolton, Penn State -- Sat: 35 minutes, 25 points, 3 steals, 1 assist in loss to N.C. State

Marcus Burwell (Thomas Jefferson), Florida International -- Thu: 16 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals in win over North Florida

Marvin Cannon (Steward), Washington State -- Dec 9: 8 minutes, 1 rebound in loss to Montana State

Aaron Duhart (Trinity Episcopal), Army -- Wed: 4 minutes, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal in loss to Fairleigh Dickinson

Chris Ford (L.C.Bird), Norfolk State -- Wed: 8 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds in loss to Rider

Anthony Gaston (Highland Springs), Grambling -- Tue: 15 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds in loss to UL Monroe; Sat: 18 minutes, 8 points, 1 rebound in win over Portland

Dimitri Georgiadis (Benedictine), The Citadel -- Sat: DNP in win over Southeast Missouri State

Jalen Jefferson (Hopewell), Mount Saint Mary's -- Sat: DNP in win over Wilson College

Malik Jefferson (Hopewell), Mount Saint Mary's -- Sat: 14 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds in win over Wilson College

Jacob Kessler (Mills Godwin), Army -- Wed: 11 minutes, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in loss to Fairleigh Dickinson

J.J. Matthews (Millwood), Arkansas State -- Fri: 23 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds in win over Florida Atlantic

Devin Morgan (Matoaca), Youngstown State -- Sat: 22 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist in win over Binghamton

Zane Najdawi (Cosby), The Citadel -- Sat: 32 minutes, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 1 steal in win over Southeast Missouri State

Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz (Deep Run), Liberty -- Tue: 24 minutes, 18 points, 3 assists, 1 block in win over South Carolina State; Sat: 21 minutes, 8 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds in win over Kentucky Christian

Greg Parham (Monacan), VMI -- Dec 9: 27 minutes, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist in loss to Chattanooga; Wed: 24 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal in loss to Presbyterian

Ryan Pearson (Henrico), Navy -- Dec 9: 6 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal in loss to Lipscomb

Zach Pfaffenberger, Sacred Heart -- Mon: 13 minutes, 6 points, 1 steal in loss to Dartmouth

John Sally (Benedictine), Youngstown State -- Sat: 3 minutes in win over Binghamton

Mike'l Simms (Highland Springs), VCU -- Dec 9: 15 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound in loss to Virginia; Sat: 22 minutes, 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in loss to College of Charleston

Jare'l Spellman, Sacred Heart -- Mon: 29 minutes, 19 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block in loss to Dartmouth

Deandre Thomas (Millwood), Samford -- Dec 9: 15 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal in win over Alabama A&M; Thu: 4 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds in win over Morehead State

Jason Wade (Trinity Episcopal), Old Dominion -- Dec 9: 24 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal in win over Fairfield; Sat: 11 minutes, 3 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 block in win over Syracuse

Charles Williams (Millwood), Howard -- Fri: 31 minutes, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block in loss to George Washington

Kenny Williams (L.C. Bird), North Carolina -- Sat: 31 minutes, 9 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound in win over Gonzaga

Women’s Stats

Morgan Batie (Richmond Christian), North Carolina A&T -- Tue: 12 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist in loss to Johnson C. Smith; Thu: 15 minutes, 2 rebounds, 2 steals in loss to East Tennessee State

Taya Bolden (Highland Springs), Campbell -- Thu: 18 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in loss to Howard

Aja Boyd (ARGS), UNC-Greensboro -- Wed: 30 minutes, 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 1 assist in loss to NC Central; Fri: 34 minutes, 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, 1 block in loss to North Carolina

Taja Cole (L.C.Bird), Georgia -- Fri: 40 minutes, 3 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 block in loss to Villanova

Jennifer Coleman (Highland Springs), Navy -- Dec 9: 27 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block in loss to Colorado

CeCe Crudup (Highland Springs), UNC-Greensboro -- Wed: 14 minutes, 2 points in loss to NC Central; Fri: 25 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist in loss to North Carolina

Jennifer Davis (TPLS), Towson -- Mon: 1 minute in win over Saint Joseph's

Camarie Gatling (Highland Springs), George Mason -- Dec 9: 20 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in win over Eastern Kentucky

Tyah Hunter (Hopewell), Furman -- Wed: 20 minutes, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal in win over Florida Atlantic

Jocelyn Jones (Cosby), North Carolina -- Fri: 20 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal in win over UNC-Greensboro

Charme Lilly (Cosby), North Carolina A&T -- Tue: 10 minutes, 4 assists, 2 rebounds in loss to Johnson C. Smith; Thu: DNP in loss to East Tennessee State

Tina Lindenfeld (Midlothian), Radford -- Sat: 14 minutes, 7 points, 1 assist in loss to Morehead State

Mallory Odell (Deep Run), Longwood -- Wed: 34 minutes, 1 point, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist in loss to Norfolk State; Sat: 31 minutes, 10 points, 8 rebounds in loss to Eastern Michigan

Na'Jai Pollard (Highland Springs), Delaware State -- Dec 9: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block in loss to Xavier; Sat: 32 minutes, 21 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in loss to Cornell

Ali Trani (Cosby), UNC-Asheville -- Tue: 32 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal in win over East Tennessee State

Anna Wilson, Stanford -- Sat: 3 minutes, 1 point, 1 steal in win over Baylor

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