Anderson, Ron
Basketball
If you were writing a play about Ron Anderson's life, what would you choose as the opening scene? The curtain might lift with a 21-year-old Anderson working in a south-side Chicago grocery store as a stock clerk. When he wasn't putting cans on a shelf, Anderson ruled the basketball courts at Stony Island Park in Chicago's tough Cabrini Green neighborhood. It was there that a chance meeting with a Santa Barbara City College player started Anderson on his storybook path to the National Basketball Association. A playwright with a flair for comedy may want to begin with Anderson's first game of organized basketball. Playing for Frank Carbajal at Santa Barbara CC, the 6-foot 7-inch forward scored his first basket for the opposing team. Or the author could focus on two of Anderson's much more auspicious debuts. The first time Anderson donned a Fresno State University uniform, he scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds against a Soviet team that included Arvidas Sabonis. In his first NBA game, Anderson knocked home 27 points for the Cleveland Cavaliers and held future Hall of Famer Julius Erving to 12 points. Wherever the story begins, it's quite a story. Anderson, who teamed with Bernard Thompson to form the "Bookend Forwards" at Fresno State during the early 1980s, played 10 years in the NBA, averaging 10.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 points a game. He played with the Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Washington Bullets. But his best years were with the 76ers, when he was one of the NBA's top sixth men and played alongside Charles Barkley. Reflecting his passion for staying in shape, Anderson then went on to star overseas, playing until he was 41 years old for several top clubs, including Maccabi Tel-Aviv. He now resides in France. While at Fresno State, Anderson twice won all-conference honors, averaging 16.9 points for the Bulldogs during his two seasons. In 1983, he was named MVP of the National Invitation Tournament, as the Bulldogs swept five opponents, including DePaul in the title game, for the NIT title.
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Honoring the Past
Celebrating the Present
Inspiring the Future