In 1996 the men’s basketball coaching staff at the University of Kentucky assembled one of the greatest teams in the storied history of that program, there was a total of nine NBA destined athletes on that team and among the all-stars was Louisville native Derek Anderson.
A Doss high school graduate, Anderson was amongst the names at Kentucky, helping the Cats to a 1996 NCAA championship, but the Kentuckian differentiated himself enough to warrant a draft pick in 1997 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, ironically going back to Ohio after playing at Ohio State prior to joining Pitino’s team.
Instantly making a dent in the NBA, Anderson was named to the second all-rookie team in 1998. And proved that being selected 13th overall was a good move for the Cavs, proving himself to be a dependable athlete.
The following year, after being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers Anderson achieved the ranking of 7th in free throw percentage in the 99-00 season. Bouncing around the NBA Anderson brought his talents to the San Antonio Spurs, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Houston Rockets during the proceeding seasons. Despite dealing with steady injuries, during his playing time Anderson was a dependable player that teams counted on.
Things came full-circle for Anderson in 2006 though when the NCAA champion became an NBA champion as well with the Miami Heat.
Later that year though, Anderson headed to Charlotte to play with the Bobcats where he played until 2008, when he became a free agent.
Winning the gold in college and basketball is what really makes Derek Anderson a sports legend of the Ville though.
Image courtesy of the Derek Anderson Foundation
Anderson discusses his days as an "untouchable"