Roddie Anderson dribbled the ball to the rhythm of his heartbeat as he slowly looked up to his teammates watching the defense’s hands in the air and his teammate’s feet shuffling from side to side, trying to stay open for a pass. Ten seconds pass — he still looks for a way out but then he decides to run through and shoot. “Score!” goes the crowd as the cheerleaders begin to cheer.
For over a decade, Fountain Valley High School junior Roddie Anderson has worked to perfect his skills in basketball with his eye-catching speed, laser focus and captivating athleticism, training harder and harder to perfect those skills one dunk at a time.
“Roddie’s speed and quickness are definitely what stands out the most in his game,” Fountain Valley High School junior and Anderson’s teammate Aden Casarez said. “His ability to move and get down the floor at such a fast pace with the ball in his hands is something you just don’t see a lot in other players.”
Anderson has been playing basketball since the second he could hold a ball.
“I started to play basketball when I saw Kobe Bryant playing on the Lakers and I was really young and seeing all the moves that he did and his love for the game and the things that he did off the court for his community — it just made me want to give back to mine when I’m older and hopefully like I can do what he does,” Anderson said.
As a member of the Fountain Valley varsity basketball team, Anderson’s passion and persistence for basketball have made him unique and competitive. He challenges his teammates and helps them improve their plays and strategies.
“Roddie has made a huge difference in our team by scoring, and by his leadership. He will put everyone in check and tell them what they are doing wrong and that helps us because we can see what we need to work on or what we are doing wrong,” sophomore MaCarhy Morris said. “His scoring ability is crazy too because if we are struggling to get a bucket he will go get a bucket himself and that just helps the team out a lot.”
His love and passion for basketball have grown through years of rigorous practice and intense games. With the support of his team and his family, especially his dad, and his experience with playing against several schools across Orange County, Anderson has devoted lots of time to improving his skills, whether it be shooting or playing defense.
“My dad is definitely my biggest motivation because growing up he came from a real struggle of a life in Baltimore, so I just want to live up to what he did. He played professional basketball as well and, yeah, he is my biggest inspiration in my life right now,” Anderson said.
Despite the long hours of practices and games, basketball has granted Anderson a unique high school experience as he continues to set new goals for himself and practice constantly to reach new heights — which isn’t surprising because, in all his years of playing, he says the most enjoyable part is dunking.
“I would have to say my favorite part of basketball is being able to dunk. Just being so high in the air is pretty awesome,” Anderson said.
This growing dedication to pursue a future career in basketball has been mirrored in the numerous games played throughout his high school career as the team trained all year long and performed with the same strength, energy, passion and resilience.
“I want to play basketball so that I can get my mom and dad and everyone who helped me growing up, a better life than they have right now and I want to be able to support my future and family as well and to be able to do a job that you love in the future that’s my goal,” Anderson said.
His self-confidence and an unquenchable thirst to succeed in basketball continue as he plans to play once he graduates and even as a career.
“I got an offer from [University of California] San Diego, so most likely I’ll be going there to play basketball. I am still deciding,” Anderson said. “There’s many things you can do as a job for basketball, whether it’s actually playing professionally like a trainer or even as a medical staff, but I want to do something that involves sports or basketball for my career and life.”
Anderson has faced a number of challenges such as long exhausting hours of practice and, as any high school student would say, a tight-packed schedule.
“Get into the travel ball circuit. It’s a great way to get your name out there and play in front of coaches. There are going to be hard times so you just gotta keep grinding through it, keep practicing, and keep working on your shot,” Anderson said. “There are many little details that go into basketball that you have to continuously do every single day if you want to get it.”