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23 Derek Anderson

Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson
Hometown (Last School)
Louisville, KY (Doss)
1995-96, 1996-97
July 18, 1974

Derek Anderson was born Derek Lamont Anderson on July 18, 1974, in Louisville, Kentucky.  As a junior at Kentucky, he helped the Wildcats win the 1996 NCAA Championship.

In his four-year career at Ohio State and Kentucky, Anderson finished with 1,228 points, 379 rebounds, and 321 assists.

Anderson grew up on the streets of Louisville.  Abandoned by his parents at the age of 10, he would find himself sleeping in empty apartment buildings, old school buses, and even his high school gymnasium. He would become a single parent at age 15, and worked two jobs, but stayed focused enough to graduate with a 3.7 GPA as class president at Doss High School. Anderson believed that living in poverty was just a mindset and even at a young age he believed that winning was a choice, as well as losing.    

Anderson attended Doss High School, where he was a standout basketball player. Anderson was a “show stopper” on the basketball court throughout his career.  He was an all-around talent whose athleticism was off the charts.  Anderson was a two-time All-Stater at Louisville Doss where he started for four years.  As a senior at Doss, Anderson averaged 24.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists while shooting 62.1 percent from the field.  Anderson was named to the McDonald’s All-American team in 1992.

On April 30, 1992, Anderson announced that would be playing for Ohio State, spurning an offer from Louisville – the school he said he always wanted to play for.  He wanted to study pharmacy and felt like Ohio State was the best place to pursue that education.

Anderson averaged 10.2 points as a freshman for Ohio State. He averaged 15.0 points in a sophomore season cut short by a torn ACL in his left knee.

With talk of Ohio State going on probation and expecting to sit out the next season anyway as he rehabbed the knee, Anderson decided to transfer. Then-UK Coach Rick Pitino called and sold Anderson on his program’s uptempo style. 

Anderson sat out the 1994-95 season after transferring from Ohio State.

Anderson played at Kentucky for two years in 1995-96 and 1996-97, winning a title with the Wildcats in his first eligible year with the program. He averaged 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game his first year.  He started 24 of 36 games, mostly at small forward, averaging 9.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game despite playing only 19.5 minutes per outing.  Anderson finished tied for second on the team in steals and earned the squad’s “Mr. Hustle” award. In the 1996 championship game against Syracuse, Anderson drained a three with 3:53 remaining in the game that gave the Cats a 69-62 lead.  He finished with 11 points, four boards, and three steals and was 2-3 from the three-point line in that game.

In his final season at UK, he was named team co-captain.  He missed nearly all of the second half of his senior season at Kentucky due to a torn ACL but despite missing action from January 18, 1997 through the Final Four, he earned Second-Team All-SEC honors after finishing second on the team in scoring (17.7), free throw shooting (.811), assists (3.5) and steals (1.9).  He suffered the torn ACL in his right knee against Auburn on January 18, 1997. Anderson averaged 15.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game during his college career.

Anderson was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft. He earned NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in 1998.  He was traded by the Cavaliers along with Johnny Newman to the LA Clippers for Lamond Murray on August 4, 1999.  He was a member of the 2000 Eastern Conference championship team.  Anderson signed as a free agent with San Antonio on August 4, 2000. Anderson also played for the Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat, and Charlotte Bobcats. He helped the Miami Heat win the world championship in 2006.  He retired from professional basketball in 2008.  Anderson averaged 13.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game during his NBA career.

Here are some of Derek Anderson’s notable achievements:

  • Member of the 1996 NCAA championship team
  • Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft
  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1998
  • Member of the 2000 Eastern Conference championship team
  • Averaged 13.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game during his NBA career
  • Member of the world champions Miami Heat in 2006
  • Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame inductee – 2021

Despite his lack of size, Anderson was able to compete at the college and professional levels because of his athleticism and his work ethic. He was a hard worker who was always willing to improve his game.  He was a versatile player who could score inside and out. Anderson was also a good rebounder and defender.

Anderson earned a degree in pharmacy from Kentucky but returned to school in 2020 and obtained another degree, a Bachelor of Liberal Studies.

College Statistics:



Career Totals




On This Day In UK Basketball History

On December 10, 1951, Bob Burrow collected 34 rebounds against Temple for the most rebounds ever in a single game by a Kentucky player.


On December 10, 1977, as top-ranked UK is defeating Kansas on “Adolph Rupp Night” in Allen Field House on Naismith Drive in Lawrence, Kansas, Rupp dies. Thousands would participate in the funeral procession in Lexington.


On December 10, 2011, Indiana's Christian Watford hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer in Assembly Hall to stun No. 1 Kentucky.  It's only the second time Indiana had beaten a top-ranked team at Assembly Hall.


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