Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Justin Anderson- Eighth Grader Has a Monster Game

Boo Williams (VA) always has some of the premiere players in America on its AAU rosters, and right now there are a number of young players within the program to keep an eye on. One of them, Justin Anderson, a 6'5 forward, is not even in high school yet. Anderson, who recently complete middle school at Spotsy Middle School (VA), is one of the best eighth graders in the US. Anderson's U-15 Boo Williams Summer League team took home the Gold Bracket title, defeating Team Phenom (NJ) by a wide margin. After the win, I caught up with the gifted youngster.

NB: What’s it like winning the championship?
JA: It feels great. We just, we did what we had to do and we got it done.

NB: What would be one word that sums up exactly how you’re feeling right now?
JA: Great. We’ve been wanting this for a long time, we’ve been going to tournaments, [and] we’d been coming in second place, and we just all knew . . . we had to go all out this tournament and we went all out, and we got a victory.

NB: How are you guys able to keep on getting to these championships at every tournament you go to? You guys are always playing for the championship. How [does the team] . . . maintain that focus every single weekend?
JA: Well, because we come out . . . like we’re always down by 10 points in the fourth quarter. We come out strong, we come out with intensity, so therefore we strive and we work hard until we get to the end, and if we finish, we finish, if we don’t, we don’t.

NB: What’s it like for you playing with all high school kids, playing up a year [on the AAU level], while you’re just in eighth grade?
JA: Oh, it’s definitely a different experience, it’s a different experience, but it feels great, it feels great.

NB: How do you think it helps you to be able to play with those kids that are a year older than you?
JA: It helps me, it gets me stronger mentally [and] physically. It teaches [me], I learn a lot every game. I’m always learning something every game.

NB: Have you been receiving any college interest at this point?
JA: Villanova and Virginia, yes.

NB: Is there a school that you’ve always dreamed of playing for?
JA: When I was younger I liked Texas a lot, so right now I like Texas a lot.

NB: If Texas were to start showing you interest, and down the road, if they were to offer you a scholarship, is that something you would just jump at on the spot?
JA: Oh no, no, because I have four more years left. I have to leave all my options open.

NB: Where do you plan on attending high school?
JA: I’m not sure yet. There’s a lot [of options]. . . . [It’s] between Bishop O’Connell [in Virginia], Montrose Christian [in Maryland], and Courtland High School [in Virginia], so I’m not sure yet.

NB: What do you consider to be the strongest and weakest point of your game?
JA: My strongest point is definitely attacking the rim. . . . My weakest point, what I have to work at, is getting better defensively because . . . if you can’t defend, then you can’t get your scoring on offense.

Anderson repeatedly dunked on the overmatched Team Phenom squad, which was missing one of its star players, 6'3 freshman Juan'ya Green from Archbishop Carroll (PA). Anderson displayed greats hops and natural athleticism, evidenced by the fact that he is already dunking in eighth grade. Right now, Anderson is a bit lanky and putting on some pounds would be good. He definitely has time for that, as he has not even started high school. This monster eighth grader is one to keep an eye on, so don't forget the name Justin Anderson, and I'm sure you won't as he will be ranked amongst the best players in the class of 2012.

Note- photo is from http://www.rivals.com/

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