After a strong freshman season, the Justin Northwest boys basketball team is elated to see Avery Anderson picking up where he left off.
The sophomore point guard is the Texans’ leading scorer, averaging 20 points per game thus far. That’s about five points per game more than his freshman year.
Anderson was part of the Northwest team that went four rounds deep into last year’s playoffs before being bumped out by DeSoto.
Now down a class to 5A, Northwest and Anderson figure to be a force with a good shot to make another such run.
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But for last season’s Newcomer of the Year, what inspires Anderson to keep the pedal pushed down?
“I want to win a state championship,” said Anderson.
Being a scoring threat isn’t the only way Anderson may be able to make that happen for Northwest. Just as important to Anderson is the ability to be a force on defense.
“Coach (Mike) Hatch says if you have no defense, you can’t play,” Anderson recalled.
Whether it’s through his defense and the knack to make a steal, or his ability to put up 20 or more points a game, Anderson said he’s fortunate to have some natural abilities to make it all happen.
Anderson’s father played basketball for Southeast Louisiana, so some of that talent is likely handed down, he admits, but he joked, “I’m a little better, though.”
Any father would not begrudge his son surpassing his own ability on the court, especially if it helps lead a team far into the postseason as a sophomore.
Regardless, Anderson said there’s still plenty to improve upon.
He said he wants to continue to improve on his ability to make a steal as well as his quickness.
“I also want to get bigger, stronger and more explosive,” Anderson said. He feels he can still grow and add weight to his current 6-1, 140-pound frame.
Should growth still be in store for Anderson, he’ll continue to lead a still relatively young Texans’ squad which starts a freshman, two juniors and a senior in addition to Anderson.
“I’ve been looking forward to playing for Northwest since I was in middle school,” he said.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year and so JV players have come up and they have to play a big role, and they’ve connected with the team,” Anderson added.
Even though he’s just a second-year player on the team, Anderson has developed into a natural leader for Northwest, which has the potential to make a mark this year.
“We are tuned-in right now and have to be locked in every single game,” Anderson said of the 8-3 Texans heading into this week’s games.
That leadership role has Anderson putting a bit of pressure on himself to deliver each game, and he wants to shoulder his share of the responsibility for the success or shortcomings of the team.
Hatch has the philosophy of feeding the hot hand in each game for Northwest, and so far that’s been Anderson.