Nov. 14, 2000
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
When thinking about athletes, especially good athletes, many adjectives may come to mind. Talented may be one, strong, fit, and dexterous might be others. Athletes, especially basketball players, might be thought of as exceptionally quick, or as having the ability to jump extremely high. Many of them are said to have good hands, or the ability to hone key offensive or defensive skills. Some are just really tall.
David Anderson, is tall. He is talented and strong. He is fit and dexterous. He is pretty quick, can jump high. He has the skills, both offensive and defensive. Something, however, sets this 7-0 tall junior Center from Lamar, Colo., far apart from his peers. Something other than his imposing frame. David Anderson is humble. Believe it — he is humble.
He is confidant, yet modestly so. He believes he can greatly impact the team this season, yet he is quick to point out the impact his teammates will have as well. He is a breath of fresh air.
Recruited by Florida State head coach Steve Robinson, among others, directly out of high school, David had to make a difficult decision. Should he go to play for the coach he had respected, for a team with respect, or should he follow his faith and instinct and play for Brigham Young University, a strict Mormon school in Salt Lake City, Utah?
At the time, David went with his heart.
For a year he played for BYU, and then his heart took him somewhere else. He made the decision to go on a 2-year mission, as many others of his faith do, at the age of 19.
“I felt like it was something I needed to do.” David explained. “It was a great learning experience. “We basically taught the gospel from sun up until sun down to anyone interested in what we had to say.”
The two years indulged in faith and comradery understandably left him little time for basketball. When he returned to BYU, things had drastically changed.
“While I was gone a couple of coaching changes took place, so it was a different situation and a different team that I had to go back to,” David said. “The basketball program there was having a lot of trouble as far as not being a very good program I felt it would be better if I went elsewhere.” he added.
He had to make another decision, only this time it turned out to be slightly easier. While it was still very difficult for David to leave BYU, he had known Coach Robinson and his staff from their days at the University of Tulsa.
“It made it a lot easier,” David agreed. “Coach Robinson was the reason I considered Florida State.”
New School, New Start
With a move across the country, David embarked on a new venture in his life, one in Tallahassee, Fla. He didn’t find it too difficult to adjust to the pressures of a lifestyle unlike what he had been used to at BYU.
“You just have to focus on what your priorities are and get them done,” David said.
For David, that means church, school, and basketball.
“I have pretty high standards of conduct for myself,” he said. “I believe that if your priority is to be a good student, then that’s what you’ll do. If your priority is to party, then that’s what you’ll do. ”
“He deals with the pressure of being a basketball player with the same practical attitude.
“On the court you have to react as it comes. You really have to do your best to draw on what you’ve learned from practice. You have to relate to situations you might have encountered before,” David offered. “When people see you do something good, something right, like when they see you working hard every single day in practice and in games, they want to be like that guy. I would like to think that I set a good example, an example worthy of being followed,” he added.
Since Anderson led the team in blocks last season while playing only a limited number of minutes, the example he is setting is certainly exemplary. A healthy David Anderson this year could prove crucial to the Seminoles winning expectations.
David himself, though, is quick to point out the effect his teammates should have on the impending season.
“We have Nigel Dixon and Mike Matthews as well, and us three together compliment each other pretty well,” Nigel is really strong and Mike is really athletic, and I have things I can add to,” he stated modestly. “I think that Mike is probably a better shot blocker than I am, so we will see a lot of blocked shots on the team this year.”
What does David think he, personally, needs to do to help his team?
“Big guys are expected to rebound a lot. I’d also like to step up in minutes, and with that, offensive production,” he said.
“I think we can catch a lot of people off guard this season. We have a really good work ethic and a really good attitude that a lot of people don’t know about. I think that’s going to work to our advantage.” David stated.
By Laynie Ruzyla
Sports Information Assistant