NEW BRITAIN - With Andre Drummond unable to show up to the 26th annual Osgood Shootout due to a personal commitment, the star in the building transitioned into Mike Anderson.
“It’s a great tournament,” the 27-year-old said Saturday at New Britain High School. “A whole lot of talent comes out to play across the whole state and even out of it. It’s big for the community and the fact that it’s been going on for years is awesome.”
He recently led the BodyRoc team to a championship and won the MVP in the Hartford Pro-Am, and is looking to do the same in the Osgood tournament with Flight Fam.
“It’s always good for those guys to show up to the tournament,” Osgood Tournament founder and director Darwin Shaw said. “It shows that the word has gotten out so people are coming to the Osgood and it’s really like the end of the year thing because once this tournament is over most of the players go back overseas. It means a lot that they come back and play.”
Anderson’s story, however, is more impressive: one of a guy who had to do everything in his power to get to where he is today.
At the high school level Anderson attended Weaver High School in Hartford. From there he went to prep school at Taag Academy in Tampa, Fla. But the road to Division I basketball didn’t end there.
He made stops at Iowa Western Community College and Lincoln Trail College before reaching Moberly Community College in Missouri.
It was at Moberly that Anderson turned heads.
He averaged 17.2 points per game with 10 rebounds and shot 83.1 percent from the foul line and 52.6 percent from the field en route to guiding Moberly to a Region 16 Championship Game where it lost to Mineral Area College.
The stellar season led him to being one of the highly touted junior college prospects and he landed at the University of Washington, a Division I program competing in the Pac-12 Conference.
In his two seasons with the Huskies in 2013-14 and 2014-15, Anderson averaged 6.9 points per game. While his numbers may not have been the best, he earned enough respect to get a shot in the G-League, a developmental league right below the National Basketball Association.
He played one game with the Raptors 905, Toronto’s G-League affiliate, in 2015-16 and then got his first real opportunity at the professional level with the Greensboro Swarm, the Charlotte Hornets affiliate, in 2016-17. In 28 games, he averaged 15.3 minutes and fewer than three points per game, shooting just over 32 percent for the field.
While the numbers haven’t been there for him, Anderson believes the people surrounding him will be the reason he ultimately gets a look at the NBA level.
“It’s a great experience being around other pros,” said Anderson, who was placed on waivers by Greensboro on Oct. 28, 2017. “They just show you how to be a professional and go about your work. They make sure you keep on pushing.”