Making the McDonald's All-American Game wasn't something that was in doubt for the last year for Anderson. He knew he would make it, but it wasn't always a focus. At Jersey City (NJ) St. Anthony's he had other things on his mind, like winning state titles, but Anderson now says the honor is starting to sink in.
"It's great and it is an honor," said Anderson. "It never hit me until I was on the plane on my way here. It is just great and shows a lot of hard work has paid off."
One of the amazing things for Anderson is that in his final two years of high school basketball Anderson never lost a game. After transferring from Paterson Catholic after the school shut down, he did some impressive things at St. Anthony's.
"It means a lot to me," Anderson explained of never losing a game at St. Anthony's. "There is such great tradition at St. Anthony's and everybody wants to be a winner at St. Anthony's. With so many great teams that have rolled through, and to be able to come back to the program and say I never lost a game that feels good."
While at the school Anderson had a chance to learn from legendary high school coach Bob Hurley. Anderson says he learned a lot and grew during his time there.
"I think I grew as far as playing hard every possession and my defense both on and off the ball developed," said Anderson. "We had a lot of talent at Paterson Catholic, but at St. Anthony's I had more responsibility."
Now the next challenge is going from St. Anthony's where he kept tradition alive to helping bring back UCLA to their former glory. Some see it as pressure, but Anderson isn't worried about it.
"People can say it is a little bit of pressure, but I don't think so," said Anderson. "The whole team with the players coming back, we all have to collectively bring the program back to where it used to be, and we are ready for the challenge."
He then quickly added, "I have talked to former players there, they have told me what to expect. I am ready."
With a program like UCLA coming off the year they had and adding a talent like Anderson, there will be no shortage of expectations on him and no doubt a lot of pressure, but if there is one kid who is more than ready for it, it would be him.