Interview with Chantelle Anderson

VandyMania talked with junior center Chantelle Anderson during halftime of the men's recent victory over LSU. Since Chantelle has previously posted on the Vandymania message boards, it was natural to talk about her Internet experiences, both before and after coming to Vanderbilt.

VM: Chantelle, you posted a message on Vandymania last summer, so you obviously read Internet message boards.

Chantelle: Sometimes, yeah, I do.

VM: You read Vandymania sometimes?

Chantelle: Uh-huh [nodding]

VM: How often during the season do you check it?

Chantelle: I don't know -- whenever I don't have anything else to do, and I'm chillin' on the Internet, I check it.

VM: When people are saying things that are not flattering about you, how do you take that?

Chantelle: Well, Coach Foster tells me not to read them, like "Why do you read that stuff?!?" [laughing] To me it's like soap operas, or like tabloids. Why do you read those? I mean, they're not true. It's just drama. So I just read them as kind of like a joke, like "Let's see what people are thinking."

VM: But it's different from a tabloid in that sometimes that you're one of the characters in it.

Chantelle: Exactly! And so it's just kind of interesting. It's like "Ohhhh!" Sometimes it's like, "That's cool, that's what people are saying," and then it's like "Oh? That's what people are thinking??" And another thing that's funny about it is when people try to say what they think is going on, and it's the total opposite of it. And you're like, "Ah, they think they know it!" and it's just funny. So I just like to laugh at stuff. That's the only reason.

VM: I remember back several years ago when you were a senior in high school and there was little soap opera going on on the Internet out on the Fan Forum of the Columbian. Can you talk about that?

Chantelle: I remember that. . . . I had a terrible temper in high school. There was a lot more going on in my life at that point than anyone knew. And basketball had always been kind of a safe place for me, and my senior year, I kind of brought everything that was going on onto the court with me. And that was not a good thing. So I got a technical probably every other game at least. And I just talked to the refs -- I had a terrible temper. So people were saying a lot of stuff.

VM: Some of the people posting there were saying these fairly nasty things about you, then you got into a dialog with them. and then. . .

Chantelle: I only posted on there officially like twice. And then people started saying that they were me. And I think I might have posted a response to that. So maybe I posted on there a total of three times. I'm not sure. But it was funny because someone posted on there as me and was like, "Yeah, well, I'm going to an Ivy League school, so forget all you guys," and my response to that was, "HELLLOOO, I'm going to Vanderbilt. I know it's not an ivy league school, and if you're going to post fake and act like me, at least get your information right!" That was just funny.

VM: After it went on for a while, there was actually an article in the paper, saying that you looked at yourself in a different way after reading the things people were saying about you.

Chantelle: I probably did, because I wasn't me at all. I'm a very nice person. I'm sweet. I'm fun-loving a lot of the time. And I think that the way I was acting out on the court was a direct result of everything else that I was having to deal with there. And there was a lot of stuff, and no one knew about it. But it was just like "Well, maybe I need to try to overcome some of that, and not bring it on the court with me." So I think that had a little bit to do with that.

VM: So I was watching those box scores and line scores come along and after this article, your points per game went back up to 22, 25, after a spell in midseason when they were down.

Chantelle: Oh, my senior year was horrible. I wouldn't go back to high school if you paid me to. I hated high school. I think that was the result of me being like, "I can't believe this is what people are seeing and this is what they think and that's not true, and that's not me, so I better change what they're seeing."

VM: Of course we were here in Nashville reading this. . . .

Chantelle: And you were probably like, "Ohmigod, she's coming here?!" [laughing]

VM: At one point you said, and I think this was actually you, that you were talking to your Vanderbilt coaches every week, and that you were still coming here.

Chantelle: Yes, there was a rumor going around that I had lost my scholarship, that it had been taken away, that I didn't qualify academically. There was a bunch of stuff. I think I only wrote one -- I wrote a long reply to all of them -- all of the rumors, all of everything. And then somebody replied back, and then I wrote maybe two more "Thanks for the support" or whatever. And I actually got several comments on it like "I'm really glad you wrote that because people have a different opinion", and "After you wrote that, everyone saw how educated you were, how different a person you were and it started to make them think that maybe what they were seeing wasn't really you." So that's good.

VM: It was really interesting, because there was all this background coming in, and it was so much fun when you actually showed up on campus.

Chantelle: That was crazy, because I think that a lot of people didn't know what to expect when I got here, my coaches included. [laughing] But actually . . Coach Foster knows me so well. I don't even know how he knows it. He'll say something to me, and it'll be so close to what I was thinking, I'll be like, "How did you know?!?" [laughing] But I think a lot of people when I got here on campus didn't know what to expect, didn't know quite how to deal with me. I was crazy when I got here, so that's understandable.

VM: Do you think you've changed since you've been here?

Chantelle: I think I've changed in immeasurable amounts. I have changed so much.

VM: In what ways?

Chantelle: When I got here . . . ohmigosh, how haven't I changed? Well, I used to go out constantly, go out to the clubs. I was so wild. I didn't care what night it was, I would go out. I would live off of 4 hours sleep a night, 3 hours sleep a night. That's why I was so inconsistent my freshman year. I had a problem with self-esteem. I wouldn't even look Coach Foster in the eye. I wouldn't look anyone, not even my teammates. When my seniors would talk to me, I'd look at the floor and things like that. That just speaks to my self-confidence; it was really low. I couldn't get up in the morning. I missed so many morning classes because I couldn't get up.

VM: Did you get in trouble?

Chantelle: Oh yes. Yes. Although I did get like a 3.3 or a 3.5 my first semester. I don't like when people say I can't do something, and before I came to Vanderbilt, everyone told me that I wasn't going to be able to make it academically, so then I got a 3.5 my first semester and I was like, "Okay, say it again."

VM: Then should there be a list of things that people should say you can't do?

Chantelle: No, no, I just think it's interesting to read things like that. I've grown up a lot since I've been here. My coaches help me so much. If I had to do it all over again, Vanderbilt in some ways is not the ideal school for me, but I would come here again in a second just because of the people I've met and my coaching staff has helped me so much. I would not be anywhere close to what I am today, basketball-wise, because a lot of my game was like mental. A lot of my problems were mental or like past stuff, and I had to get over a lot of it. And omigosh, Coach Foster -- I think he's a genius. I really think Coach Foster is a genius. He's like . . . . sometimes I don't even know. I love Coach Foster. He's awesome. Top Stories