Former NBA guard: I sacrificed everything to have better life

derek-anderson-speakingFormer NBA player Derek Anderson has recently appeared in KTLA NEWS channel to talk about his book “Stamina Don’t Run Out of Breath Before You Win” and his foundation the Derek Anderson Foundation that assists abused and battered women and children who are without guidance.

“Stamina” is an inspiring life journey of a young child finding enough strength and courage to go from sleeping in an abandoned apartment at the age of eleven to becoming an NCAA, Olympic, and NBA champion. His legacy didn’t stop on the basketball court, Derek Anderson became a successful entrepreneur.

“When you think about it (growing up alone since 11 years old), you become what you think about the most,” Anderson told KTLA News. “And everyday I woke up, I realized i wanted better than in any situation I’ve been given. Even being homeless, trying to find a job, growing a child at 14, and playing basketball.”

Anderson played 11 seasons in the NBA, playing for Cleveland Cavaliers, LA Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Portland TrailBlazers, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat and Charlotte Bobcats.

Anderson averaged double figures in scoring in his first 7 seasons in the league. He averaged career high 16.9 ppg for LA Clippers during the 99-00 season. He appeared in total of 615 NBA games (390 started), averaging 12 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 3.4 apg in 29.2 minutes per game.

“I sacrificed everything to have a better life,” Anderson said. “I didn’t know I will be this successful, and I knew i will be better than in the situation i was given.”

He went on to note that basketball was not the meaning of his life.

“I was playing, trying to find relationship with my parents. And I found them in 20 years. Last year I had Christmas with my mother, first time in 20 years,” he admitted. “And I said, life is about forgiving and enjoying yourself.”

“So when people look at life, I wanted to give them something more than just sports. When you look back at all the things that you’ve accomplished, you realize that the biggest thing you can have is the gift of sharing the love, and I really dedicated myself to that,” he said.

“I won college championship, I won at high school, and my parents never saw that. I went to find my dad, I did, after 20 years, and I forgave him. And 10 months later, he passed away from cancer. But i was able to forgive him, and grow from that,” Anderson noted.

He underlined that a lot of people have excuses about life, and one can’t make those excuses.

“You have to find a better you, and the only way you do that is to do something positive in life, and that’s what I plan on doing – just sharing the message, and hopefully to create a better life for our neighborhood,” Anderson said.

Speaking about his NBA career, Anderson said he was always focused.

“People wonder why I was always focused, why I never got technicals, never got into trouble…it was basically because i had so much more to offer in life,” he said. “Those kinds today, they don’t have any creativity, and after their basketball careers are over, they have nothing left.”

“People I talk to – they deal with the same situations, and I tell them that they have to give their mind something to feed on,” Anderson continued. “It’s the same with both kids and adults.”

Ex-NBA guard said he himself was feeding off basketball and knowledge.

“For me it was always important that everyone i’ve ever come in contact with, would understand my character. I’d rather be effective than famous in my life, and that is the biggest key with life,” he said.


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