The Alex Anderson Era at Tipton-Rosemark Academy didn’t have such a humble beginning.
The confident freshman arrived on campus proud of his family’s legacy and knowing his own potential to be a Division-I caliber talent.
Luckily for the TRA Rebel Basketball program the youngest Anderson boy has fulfilled his destiny from racking up several awards the past three seasons, team honors and on Nov. 20 a signing with the University of South Alabama.
The youngest son of Vicki and Cedric Anderson came to TRA in 2017 well-versed in the accomplishments of his big sister Alexis. In addition, his brothers Cedric Jr., Aaron and Andrew were busy racking up impressive basketball resumes on the professional, collegiate and prep levels respectively.
Alex was sure he was going to add to that legacy while being a good role model for his baby sister Ava.
“It’s hard being the youngest brother,” Cedric Anderson Sr. said. “It’s tough. You’ve got the physical aspect of it and the mental aspect of it. But he’s handled it well. His brothers all had best friends who spent a lot of time at the house, So he got four or five additional brothers with each brother. He had to play behind those guys and they pushed him. They required more out of him. Then with his mom and his sisters, those relationships are amazing.”
The eldest Anderson took on the head coaching job at Rosemark in 2017, bringing his two youngest sons with him. With CJ playing professional ball and Aaron at LeMoyne-Owen College, Cedric also pointed at his college graduate daughter as an additional role model for Alex.
“His older sister really takes care of him,” he said. “She’s nine years older than him, she makes sure she spends time with him although she is a professional in the community. She gives up her time for him. His baby sister was sick as a child and he took care of her. They both have asthma. Hers is more severe than his. But his acts up and now she takes care of him like a mother hen.”
Ava is on campus with her big brother who called her his best friend. The two youngest Anderson children are a part of activities and organizations on campus outside of basketball from cheerleading to big-brother programs.
Alex’s academics and achievements away from the court certified his commitment to South Alabama. The Jaguars are led by head coach Richie Riley and play in the Sun Belt Conference. Alex’s signing to USA fulfills one of his freshman year promises to join his brother Andrew on the same college roster.
Other promises met by Alex were leading to the Rebels to the state championship game in 2019. He led TRA in scoring that night.
Leading the TRA Rebels in most major offensive categories, Anderson helped his team make another deep run into the postseason, just missing a return trip to state in 2020. As a junior forward, he averaged more than 20 points a game in 2019-20. His efforts earned him a Division II-A Mr. Basketball Finalists spot, the first in program history.
“Just hard work and dedication,” Alex said. “Just keeping my head low and kind of blocking everybody out. I just stayed focused, stayed humble. I work hard every day, I watch basketball every day. It’s just my life. I really just keep tunnel vision.”
Keeping Alex focused and helping him mature into his 6’6 frame was his family.
“It’s family first in our household,” Cedric said. “When the boys were born starting with the first one, I told my wife whatever they desire to do, we’re going to help them get there. So my wife as a helpmate agreed with me. We worked together as a team to get Alex to where he’s at today. She sacrificed just as much time as I sacrificed my time.”
The Anderson siblings made sacrifices to help the baby boy reach his potential and dreams.
“They all have different prospectives on different things,” Alex said of his older siblings. “They all teach me something. I take away something from each one of them. I put it in myself and it really makes things a lot easier. It’s not that hard when you see somebody do it right in front of you.”
Ava’s impact on his development reminded Alex he’s being watched by those around him.
“You see not only that you’re looking out for yourself but you have to look out for somebody else,” he said. “She’s always watching me so you want to do the right thing. With me being a male and her being a female, I want her to watch me and say, ‘I want somebody like that.’ I try to stay respectful around her and everything.”
Alex said he learned how to be a good man from seeing his mother handle herself as a lady.
“My mom is a hard worker,” he said. “That woman right there is a real warrior. She has won on all level of dance and cheer. Usually you’ll think the mother of the relationship is soft on the kids when it comes to sports. She’s just as hard on us too because she’s been through it as well.”
The biggest influence on his development as a young man came from his coach/father.
“He helped a lot,” Alex noted. “It started when we were little. Late night at the gym when I was five years old. Even though I couldn’t do much, I still had to watch. Even though he was on me everyday, we talk basketball every day. He’s my biggest supporter while being my biggest critic. He helps me everyday. With him being my coach, I can say I am more comfortable out there because I can do more things with him that I couldn’t do with an other coach.”
Cedric said it started the day CJ was born, the commitment the Andersons made to work on a plan from a higher power.
“I remember as a Christian man when my baby girl got baptized,” he recalled. “You want the best for children. To see them reach success they worked hard to get, it’s awesome. This is my youngest son and he’s followed behind some great ball players. He’s doing a great job with what he’s been given and presented right in front of him.”
“The drive and love of Jesus Christ has gotten Alex here today,” Cedric concluded. “In addition to that, Alex might be the most driven kid you’ll ever meet. He’s self motivated.
Self drive and time has helped Alex reach his high school goals. He admits he has one left on his list — state championship. But you won’t hear him bragging about his college signing or pursuit of the Tennessee Division II-A state title.
“I’ve matured a lot,” he said. “I’ve learn don’t talk about it. My brother CJ has a saying, ‘Don’t talk, just work.’ I’ve been going by that. I just let my game speak for itself now … I do have little goals and I write them down, but I have to achieve them first then I’ll talk about them. I’ve come a long way as far as maturing. I have had a lot of people help me with that. Even my teammates have helped me mature. It’ just being more humble and patient and letting it come to you.”