Alumni Update: Chantelle Anderson

Chantelle Anderson back in Nashville last weekend for her official induction into the new Vanderbilt Hall of Fame as part of the 12-member inaugural class. Before Friday night's banquet, she talked with's Whitney D. about how her life is going.

When Chantelle Anderson's Vanderbilt basketball career ended on a heart-breaking buzzer beater in Norfolk, Virginia, in 2003, she had become the all-time leading scorer in Vanderbilt women's basktball history. In addition, she was a three-time All-American, a three-time first team All-SEC selection, and the SEC Player of the Year in 2002. In honor of her spectacular career at Vanderbilt, she was selected to be part of the inaugural class of the new Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame.

After her Vanderbilt career was over and after surgery to repair her dislocated right big toe, she was drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs as the #2 overall pick in the WNBA draft in April of 2003. After two seasons in Sacramento, she was traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Then, just as her career began to blossom with the Silver Stars, serious injuries began to take their toll. First came a broken patella in July of 2006, then a torn Achilles tendon in January of 2007. In February of 2007, she was selected by the new Atlanta Dream in an expansion draft, but before the 2008 season began, she suffered a torn ACL.

Now living in Atlanta, Chantelle was back on the Vanderbilt campus for her induction into the new Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame. Between photo shoots and the banquet, she talked with's Whitney D about what's been going on in her life and her plans for the future.

VM: Could you just give us an update - what you're doing now, how your life is going, things like that?

Chantelle: My life is wonderful, thank God. What am I doing now, and what have I been up to? Well, I've had a few injuries in the last couple of years, so basketball hasn't turned out so far like I expected. But sometimes you have to change your view and your idea of succes.

VM: How has that changed?

Chantelle: When I got out of college, I just knew I was going to be a WNBA All-Star, I was going to go to Russia and make huge money, I was going to be on the Olympic team. I just knew everything was going to flow through basketball. But that wasn't God's plan for me, and that wasn't what was supposed to happen.

But I have grown - a lot. Amazingly. It's just crazy how much you learn through injuries, and how much you learn through things not going as you expected. And, honestly, I always loved what basketball gave me and what the game provided for me, but now I love basketball, I just love the game, and I really respect the game. And that's completely different.

And the other thing was I was always scared of not being good enough.That really doesn't sound right because of how good I actually was in college, but I was always scared of not being good enough, so I feel like I wasn't as intense or I didn't give everything all the time, because I kind of took it for granted.

And so when something is taken away from you, you treasure it. So every second I'm on the court, it's like a blessing. It's a gift. So that's one huge way in which I've changed since then.

Right now, I'm rehabbing. I tore my ACL about four months ago, so right now, I'm rehabbing that. It's going great. As you see, I'm wearing heels right now, so it's going well.
VM: Is that the same knee you hurt before?

Chantelle: Yes, it's the same one. I've had a lot of problems with this knee. So basically I'm rehabbing like I'm going to play again. I'm training in Atlanta; I'm with the Atlanta Dream right now. A lot of people saw that I got waived by them and were like, "WHOA!" (Laughs.) Everyone's reaction was like, "Oh my goodness!! What happened?!?"

But what happened was that they had to release a roster spot and to get through some red tape. They wanted to keep me, but I actually asked them to release me, so they released me and then hired me back as a part of the organization. So it's kind of like a little catch to get around some rules so they could have a roster spot and have the cap room so that they could pay somebody else, but I would still be involved with the organization.

So they treated just like a player. I was at every single practice, every single game. I did a lot of appearances, speaking on behalf of the organization. And they called me a player the whole time I was there. So it was a technicality. Just so everyone knows, I didn't retire, I didn't quit.

I'm still doing that. They're planning on keeping me around Atlanta during the off-season to continue to do appearances. I'm actually also going to do some women's college basketball as a color analyst for FSN, for Fox, so I'm really, extremely excited about that because I got a chance to do some color analysis work while I was hurt, and I absolutely loved it. So that's my second career, I have decided, and I'm really really excited about that.

They asked what conference I wanted to do, so of course I said the SEC, so hopefully they'll give me some Vandy games, but we'll see. The schedule hasn't come out yet. I'm actually excited to be back in the South, because I haven't been here much since I graduated. It's like I graduated then disappeared. So I'm happy to be back and to be able to be involved a little bit more.

Chantelle Anderson, Perry Wallace, Clyde Lee

Chantelle Anderson, Dee Davis, Nicole Jules

Chantelle Anderson, Head Coach Melanie Balcomb

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Photos copyright 2008 by Whitney D for

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