N.C. State’s Beejay Anya continues weight battle

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N.C. State junior big man Beejay Anya has struggled to maintain a consistent playing weight during his basketball career, but it appears that he’s making progress as we get closer to the 2015-16 season.

In a tweet this week from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Anya’s weight was reported at 284 pounds, down from 320 that Anya was at during the offseason. That’s great news for Anya and the Wolfpack, but we’ve also heard this same song-and-dance about his weight loss before.

Before the start of his sophomore season last fall, Anya’s weight loss was once again a focus, as we found out that he had gone down from 349 pounds at one point in his N.C. State career to 290 pounds. Fox Sports’ Lauren Brownlow chronicled in an October 2014 story how this had become somewhat of a trend with Anya over the last few years of his career:

That’s been Anya’s struggle. His weight yo-yoed up and down for much of his final two years of high school, and he was listed at 275 as a senior. Then he reported to Raleigh in the summer of 2013 at 337 pounds, somehow. They started him with a nutritionist and strength and conditioning coach Bob Alejo right away. Somehow, he gained weight before the start of the season, exasperating his head coach Mark Gottfried.

He was able to drop about 20 pounds before the start of last season, but the weight gain-loss-gain-loss-gain roller-coaster continued, seemingly never-ending. He averaged 11.8 minutes a game and scored 2.1 points, adding 1.4 blocks and 2.1 rebounds, but he ended the season back to where he had been before it started, weight-wise.

Things didn’t look good for Anya even as soon as a few months ago. Powell Latimer of Greensboro.com mentioned in a report from July that Anya was over 300 pounds again with head coach Mark Gottfried saying, “that’s kind of a tired subject to me.”

Anya issues maintaining his ideal playing weight aside, he does deserve credit for figuring things out before the season to get in better shape. It’s not ideal that Anya continues to put on weight in the summer, as he might get hurt and it also might burn him out a little bit earlier in the season.

Either way, N.C. State needs Anya to produce down low this season as their interior depth took a hit with the loss of transfer Kyle Washington. If Anya is reliable, the Wolfpack could be in solid position for another postseason run.