Most Recent Posts
- Video: UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown talks about recruiting the home state of Kentucky
- What role did Drew Barker’s mother play in his athletic development?
- Calipari will be keynote speaker at Iba Awards June 3 in Tulsa
- D.J. Eliot understands coach Mark Stoops “very well” can bring new ideas to UK defense
- Swiss Cat Part 2: Larry continues his adventure in Switzerland
- Brumbaugh understands junior college talent, feels he can bring JUCO players to UK
- Volleyball training, personality will both help Marcus Lee at Kentucky
- UK coach Mark Stoops was patient with Neal Brown because he was “all-in” on hiring him
He admits it was difficult reliving some moments of his childhood, but former University of Kentucky standout hopes his new book, “STAMINA,” will be an inspiration to others.
“I am excited and a lot of people are giving me good feedback. It’s something that people actually need to better themselves. We need to get our kids back focused on what is important,” said Anderson, who played on UK’s 1996 national title team and 1997 team that lost in the title game. “It was very tough reliving some of those moments. There were hurtful moments. Sometimes I had to stop writing because remembering you felt really bad was hard and I was crying. You just learn to appreciate life more. That is when you have to release yourself to relive and get rid of those moments. I found it to be very therapeutic for myself to do that.”
The book chronicles Anderson’s life from living alone at the age 11 in a rundown apartment in Louisville, having a child at the age 14 that few even knew about when he was a UK star, the murder of his sister and surviving a stabbing during that almost killed him.
“We lived in an area of Louisville that was pretty bad. I was home some days with no electricity and no food. I just always wanted to make sure that I bettered myself. I went and worked at a grocery store, carried people’s bags for a nickel or a dime to get some bread and baloney,” Anderson said.
In the book he reveals he lived in a shelter home at age 12 and when he became a father at age 14, he had to work two jobs to help take care of his son. His sister was killed by his father’s friend. He reveals his mother’s substance abuse policy and how she never saw him play at Kentucky and that his father left when he was a child
“I had a son a the age of 14 and we didn’t have food, and I needed to get us food. I went to work at a candy store and saved enough money for he and I to eat,” Anderson said. “I knew I needed to get on my knees and ask God for help. I hadn’t been to church and didn’t know Jesus. But I did know there was a higher being that I needed to reach out to. Fortunately, my uncle came into my life.”
His uncle helped change his life. He became an honor student at Doss High School, went to Ohio State to play basketball, transferred to UK and overcame a knee injury midway of his senior year to become a NBA veteran.
“There are things in this book that will surprise a lot of people,” Anderson said. “Most of my community remembers me and that is why they cherish me now, but a lot of the fans will get to see that part of me they have not and I think it is only fair that they get to see that side because they have been so supportive of me. It’s only fair that they know exactly who I am and what I have been through so they can help someone else.
“The biggest service that you can give to someone is giving of yourself. To me, it was just something that is going to surprise a lot of people. A lot of people didn’t know I had a son at 14. Kentucky fans thought I was just going to school. But I had to work and take care of him. Go back and forth to Louisville and coming and playing. Then having your knee blown out and not knowing how your life was going to turn out, those are things that really bother you but you can never let people know you negatively and that’s what I did. I smiled the whole time.”
Anderson says his college coach, Rick Pitino, didn’t know all that was going on with his life in college.
“He didn’t know my son for the longest (time). I was going back to Louisville. I would bring him up to a couple of games, but nobody paid attention to that. I didn’t want people judging me. I just did what I had to do to survive,” Anderson said. “He (Pitino) still doesn’t know what my mother looks like. You don’t know what my mother looks like. She never came to games. Living right up the street in the same city, she never came. Those are things you will get to read that people never knew and I think it is Therapeutic for me and the world to see that we can forgive and forget and move on.”
Kentucky fans have not forgot Anderson. He’s still asked for autographs and pictures almost anywhere he goes.
“I think the biggest thing with me is that I never changed. When I was in college, I spoke to people and smiled and I am doing exactly the same thing now,” he said. “No matter how much money I have made or whatever I have done, I have done exactly the same thing. When you are consistent and real with yourself, people will treat you with that respect.
“When people don’t know how you are, they won’t come to you.They won’t speak to you. But everyone is always speaking to me. You have to be honest with yourself and that is what I have been doing.”
He’s just as popular with media members for the same reason and knows that could help with publicity for his book and upcoming movie about his life as well.
“That is the respect I have given to them and they have given back to me. That’s all you can ask. Everyone wants a story, but you guys have actually helped me be who I am,” Anderson said. “I don’t have to say the political things. I am saying what you guys want to hear is the truth. You can run with that because it is the true story and continues to grow.”
* * *
Anderson’s book is scheduled to be in stores Feb. 22, but pre-orders are available at http://derekandersonworks.com.