Pilot Point senior developed passion for basketball early in life
If you ask Jabari Anderson if he would like to have the responsibility to take the game winning shot every time, his answer, without hesitation, will be a strong yes.
Anderson found the love for basketball after his parents decided to get him involved in sports to burn some of that energy he had as a kid.
“I had a lot of energy, too much energy if you ask me, when I was a kid,” he said. “I think that’s when my mom and my dad made the decision to get me into something. I found a love for basketball and football, and the rest is history.”
Anderson is the starting guard for the Pilot Point Bearcats basketball team. He got the call from coach Price to play varsity during his sophomore year. Since then, the versatile and energetic player has been a pivotal figure in the Bearcats offenses.
“I knew that was my chance,” he said. “I just loved it. I love being on varsity. The games are different; the whole feel for it is different.”
Anderson’s favorite sport is basketball and there’s no question about it. He did play football and will run track one last time for the Bearcats. But, he said, the unpredictability of a basketball game is what makes it exciting for him.
“I just have more love for it. It’s always been more interesting to me,” he said. “Every game is different and can change at any moment. Nobody is really the underdog. Just going out there and playing your hardest and watching that hard work paying off in the court…it’s a great feeling.”
Anderson’s leadership is very noticeable during the games. He shoots, he drives to the hoop, and he creates opportunities for his teammates. But most importantly, he said, he likes having that type of control in the game.
“I’m really good at distributing the ball for them to get open shots,” he said as he busted out a laugh. “I wouldn’t say I’m anything out of the ordinary or anything, but I just love it and I’ll do what I have to do in order for us to win.”
“Anything to win” sounds about right. Anderson is currently averaging 10 points and three rebounds a game. He is leading the team with 32 three-pointers and is shooting 75% from the free-throw line, which he leads too.
“It’s the love for the game.” he said. “I love coming out here and practicing. I love gamedays too. I’m just thankful that I have this athletic ability to be out here and play. I just think I’m one of the kids that is gifted enough to be out here on this court so why not give it my all.”
Anderson described the feeling of sinking a game winning shot as “pure joy,” he said. It’s at that moment, when that shot finally goes in, when he realizes all his hard work has paid off.
“It’s just a feeling of joy that comes out of me,” he said. Being out there hitting that shot and knowing that my teammates just put me in that perfect spot just to get that shot and I finally capitalized on it...it’s pure joy.
Anderson credits his athletic talent to the many hours spent in practice and playing ball outside of school, but he also credits his coach. He said coach Price has been an instrumental part in his development as a basketball player.
“I couldn’t praise coach Price enough,” he said. He’s taught me a whole bunch of fundamentals. Being able to learn the game from him has been quite the experience. He’s a great coach. My teammates are pushing me every single day. I just couldn’t ask for a better coach.”