Four Quarters with Dani Anderson
Dani Anderson is listed as a center on the Prairie View Lady Spartans' roster, but her actual position is all-purpose.
A 6-0 senior, Anderson's basketball skills cover the full realm.
"If they double-team her inside, I can move her outside. She's one of our best 3-point shooters," Prairie View coach Casey Coley said. "She brings the ball up the court when they press."
Anderson, who transferred to Prairie View from Forest midway through her eighth grade year, has been a fixture in the Lady Spartans' lineup for the past four seasons.
She is currently averaging 22.8 points and 12.5 rebounds, while helping the Lady Spartans to a 16-3 record.
"Dani basically takes over the game," Coley said. "She's incredible."
College recruiters are beginning to take notice, with ULM and Southwest (Miss.) Community College showing the most interest.
"I've had several coaches contact me about Dani," Coley said.
A 3.75 student with a 23 ACT score, Anderson has taken multiple dual enrollment classes.
"She will almost be a sophomore in college by the time she graduates," Coley said.
Coley, the Lady Spartans' first-year coach, has been more amazed by Anderson's contributions off the court than on.
"She's an example on and off the court," Coley said. "She washes and folds uniforms and cleans the dressing room. You just don't see a senior doing that."
Anderson is serious — perhaps a bit obsessed — about keeping the dressing room clean.
"A couple of girls brought food into the dressing room the other day and Dani chewed them out pretty good," Coley said.
Coley says Anderson's success on the court is a carryover from her practice habits.
"She's the first one at practice and the last one to leave every day," Coley said. "She's very coachable and hard-working."
Basketball may actually be Anderson's No. 2 sport as she has qualified for the National Barrel Horse Association Youth World Championship for the past several years.
BDE: When did you start playing basketball?
Dani Anderson: When I was 7, I started playing Pee Wee basketball in Oak Grove.
BDE: What memory stands out from your first season?
Anderson: I was playing against 9-10 year-olds, so everybody I played against was three times my size.
BDE: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of basketball?
Anderson: My favorite part is when we achieve a goal and are able to share it as a team.
My least favorite thing about basketball is that it's played in the winter time.
BDE: What have been the keys to the Lady Spartans' success this season?
Anderson: Working hard and coming together as a team. We work well together.
BDE: What improvements do the Lady Spartans need to make as district play approaches?
Anderson: We need to get our conditioning back and do a better job of getting back on defense. We got behind on our conditioning over the holidays.
BDE: How do you see the district race shaping up?
Anderson: It's going to be close between us and Riverfield. I'm looking forward to playing against coach (Dave) Farrell. It's going to be fun.
BDE: What is the biggest improvement you have made since your eighth grade year?
Anderson: I've become a better player in the paint and I've gotten more physical. I had never played the post before I came here, so I wasn't very physical. I had always played point guard and wing.
BDE: Tell us about the Lady Spartans' Forest connection.
Anderson: Erika (Guerrero) and I have played together since the seventh grade and Amery (Clark) was a year behind us, so we all grew up playing together. When Amery brings the ball down, we can read each other.
BDE: How difficult has it been adapting to all of the coaching changes during your varsity career (Anderson has played for four different coaches)?
Anderson: It really hasn't affected me much because I'm the type of person that just goes with the flow. I've learned whatever I could from each one of them.
All of my coaches have had different types of personalities. Coach (Ed) Bain was laid back and coach Coley is more fiery.
BDE: Has it been difficult juggling basketball with barrel racing?
Anderson: I ride during the season, but there's not a lot of racing going on during the winter time, so there's really not any conflict between basketball and barrel racing.
BDE: Outside of basketball, what is something you hope to accomplish during your senior year?
Anderson: I just want to keep my grades up and enjoy the rest of my senior year?
BDE: What are your future plans?
Anderson: I plan on going to college and becoming a physical therapist's assistant. If the opportunity is there, I would like to play basketball.
BDE: How did you become interested in physical therapy?
Anderson: I enjoy helping people.