Former Husker Anderson still chasing hoops dream

2013-06-14T23:55:00Z 2013-07-03T00:30:07Z Former Husker Anderson still chasing hoops dreamBy BRIAN ROSENTHAL / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Ryan Anderson remains patient.

No rush, no need to hurry.

“Just a brick at a time,” he said.

Anderson’s most recent brick?

Winning a Premier Basketball League championship with the Bloomington (Ill.) Flex, the second title in as many seasons as the franchise has existed. Anderson, the former Nebraska basketball guard, had 22 points and 14 rebounds in Sunday’s championship game.

“A lot of hard work went into that season,” Anderson said, boastful of his team’s 14-2 record.

He’ll gladly add that brick to others he’s collected while playing professionally in Germany and Holland, and also trying out in the NBA Development League — all since his senior season at Nebraska in 2009-10.

Anderson, of course, is building toward his ultimate goal: playing in the NBA.

Anybody who’s closely followed or spent time around the spirited Anderson — also an accomplished R&B singer — understands he won’t be deterred by doubters and naysayers, either.

“You know me,” Anderson said.

Noting how people follow different routes, Anderson points to Gary Neal as an inspiring example. Neal went undrafted out of Towson in 2007 and played professionally in Turkey, Italy and Spain before latching on with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010.

You can now watch Neal in the NBA Finals.

“I’m not trying to be no superstar,” Anderson said. “I’m just trying to come and bring what I know I can do to a team, and that’s spread the floor for guys, take relief pressure off somebody, give 15 minutes off the bench.

“I’d understand my role perfectly. I just want to find a team that knows what I can do.”

Anderson, who finished his Nebraska career ranked third on the school’s all-time three-point charts, said he’s thankful for his opportunity in Bloomington, where he played for former NBA player A.J. Guyton.

“He really helped me develop,” said Anderson, who averaged 17.1 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 40 percent from the floor for the Flex. “The main thing was I really needed some more development in my craft. I needed somebody who’s going to help me nourish my gifts.”

Anderson, 25, is among several former Huskers currently playing professionally.

Caleb Walker averaged 19.8 points while playing his first professional season in Denmark. Toney McCray started his career in Mexico in December, and then played in Lithuania in February and March.

Sek Henry most recently played in Poland, that after playing in Venezuela and Japan. Lance Jeter just finished his second professional season in Germany. Brandon Richardson played last season in Iceland, and Brandon Ubel, who just completed his NU career, has signed to play in Belgium.

Before playing in Bloomington, Anderson last summer worked out for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. He earned an invitation to the Knicks’ D-league team, the Erie Bay Hawks, but was cut on the final day of training camp.

Anderson said he and his agent have some possibilities on the table for next season, but doubts he’ll try the D-league route. In the meantime, he and his wife, Danielle, are living in Omaha.

A singer, Anderson — also known as Ryan Christian — has released one R&B album and is working on a gospel album. He’s lining up some shows this summer in Seattle, his hometown, and next year plans on having his own studio in Omaha under his record label, Very True Records.

His primary career, though, remains on the court.

“All it takes is one person to say, ‘I believe in you. I’ll give you a chance,’” Anderson said. “And then it’s up to you whether you seize the opportunity and make the best of it, take advantage and maybe open the door to more opportunities.”

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 402-473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBR.

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