Two years ago, Justin Northwest was in one of the toughest districts for any sport in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
With the likes of Denton Guyer, Denton Ryan, Trophy Club Nelson and the Keller school district, the Texans had their work cut out for them.
Following his freshman season, colleges started to contact Anderson. And they haven’t stopped since.
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“After my ninth grade, they started coming at the end of the season, so I knew I had to work even harder to get more offers,” he said.
A year later, the 6-foot-2 guard elevated his game as the Northwest boys basketball team went to the Class 5A state tournament for the first time in school history.
“When he’s making good passes, good decisions, he’s impressive and we’re tough to beat,” Northwest coach Mike Hatch said.
Anderson averaged 21 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He was voted District 6-5A Co-MVP, along with All-Region and All-State by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. He was also named to the Star-Telegram super team and 5A state all-tournament team.
Now a junior, Anderson is rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports.com and holds scholarship offers from TCU, SMU, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and LSU.
But Anderson’s focus is on helping the Texans back to state.
“He really doesn’t talk about it. He’s unfazed about that, and he’s a down-to-earth kid,” Hatch said of the attention on Anderson. “He’ll let that play out, and his parents have a good angle on it.”
“Going into my senior season, I might commit,” he said. “Right now I’m focused on school ball, so I’m going to hold out on recruiting, but it’s going great.”
During the opening round of the Whataburger tournament on Thursday night — in front of scouts and even TCU coach Jamie Dixon — Anderson wowed the crowd by scoring 24 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter.
“In the fourth quarter, I was feeling it,” Anderson said. “I felt like I couldn’t lose. I knew if we did, it’d be on me, because I came out sluggish in the first half and that can’t happen anymore.”
The Texans, No. 3 in Class 5A, rallied to beat 6A No. 8 Houston Sam Houston 81-76.
“I felt like we were on the doorstep of being really good,” Hatch said. “We really haven’t beaten a good team like that. This game showed the resilience from our team, and I’m proud of them.”
Northwest fell short to 5A No. 1 Waxahachie 65-60 in the quarterfinals on Friday, and continues play at 8 a.m. Saturday against 6A No. 4 San Antonio Wagner. Anderson had a game-high 19 points against Waxahachie.
“We’re here because we want to play the best teams and players in the state,” Hatch said of the Whataburger tournament.