Education

After seeing drug deal gone bad, student plans law enforcement career

Anthony McRoberts, student of the week

Cahokia senior Anthony McRoberts, a track athlete who also maintains a 3.5 GPA, is planning a future in law enforcement from seeing how police work when he was younger and witnessed a drug deal. He will attend Illinois State University next fall.
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Cahokia senior Anthony McRoberts, a track athlete who also maintains a 3.5 GPA, is planning a future in law enforcement from seeing how police work when he was younger and witnessed a drug deal. He will attend Illinois State University next fall.

Senior Anthony McRoberts is best known at Cahokia High School for his 6-foot-10-inch high-jump prowess.

But what defined Anthony’s future was what happened the day he crouched down low.

When Anthony was 13, he and a friend was walking to school in East St. Louis. They took a shortcut through an alley one day and stopped when they saw what looked like a drug deal.

“We stopped because it was unusual, we’d never seen a car pull in so fast,” Anthony said.

The two boys stopped and ducked down to “check out the scene” and realized they were watching a drug deal go sour.

“There was an exchange of drugs and the other guy got shot,” Anthony said. “I had my phone on me, so we called the police ... the guy was dead, and the (shooter) was still there because he didn’t know we called the police.”

Afterward, an officer thanked the boys for doing the right thing and shook their hands.

“I was like, yeah, I like the way they handled things. They come on time and get the criminals,” he said.

Anthony plans to study criminal justice at Illinois State University.

Q: What do your family and friends think of a law enforcement career for you?

A: “(My mom says) ‘Be anything you want to be.’ But friends are like, ‘You gonna be a cop? A snitch?’ That’s what everybody says, but they’re joking.”

Q: Which colleges did you visit before settling on ISU?

A: “I saw Arkansas and Alabama, but I fell in love with ISU. I like the environment, the team chemistry.”

Q: Why are you a long and high jumper?

A: “The coach (LeRoy Millsap) pulled me in one day. He said ‘jump that’ and I did. He said, ‘All right, we’re going to work on you.’”

Q: What are your records?

A: “My freshman year I got 5’9” (in the high jump); 6’4” sophomore; 6’8” and a quarter junior year and 6’10” as a senior. Trying to get 7 feet. I want to get to 7’3”, 7’4” in college; 7’5” is the standard for the Olympic trials.

Q: How does the long jump work?

A: “You have to have speed on the runway. And then jump up, and twist over.”

Q: Do you have a special diet for training?

A: “I eat food. I eat too much greasy food, though.”

Q: How will you manage studies and sports at ISU?

A: “I’m a student first, then an athlete.”

Anthony McRoberts

  • School: Senior at Cahokia High School
  • Age: 18
  • GPA: 3.5
  • Classes this semester: College prep math, English 4, JROTC, Spanish and Senior Seminar
  • Favorite class: Math
  • Least favorite: English. “Too much reading,” he says.
  • Family at home: Mom, Shirley McRoberts; older brother, older sister, and a younger sister.
  • Typical day: School, study, track practice
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