Anderson gets the point of working hard

Jahmir Anderson enjoys being the point guard and leader of the Vikings. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jahmir Anderson has learned a lot since joining the team.

But long before he became a member of the Northeast High School basketball team, he was taught something that has certainly helped him on the hardwood.

“I think the biggest thing I learned was how to be responsible, and I learned that from my mom,” said Anderson, a senior point guard for the Vikings. “Just doing the things you need to do to be good. Taking care of things. You have to do it in school, in everything you do, and you have to do it in basketball, too.”

It’s certainly paid off so far for Anderson, who lives in Olney.

Anderson is a four-year player for the Vikings. After playing junior varsity his first two years, and absorbing the system, he stepped in last year as the team’s starting point guard and he’s been the coach on the floor for coach Steve Novosel.

“I worked with coach for a long time, I’ve been here the whole time, so I learned a lot from him, and I know what he wants to do,” said Anderson, who can play either guard position. “I’m usually the point guard, but it’s the Public League and a lot of teams press, so you have a few people bringing the ball up. I don’t care what position they have me at.

“I try to do the thinking for everyone, know what everyone is supposed to be doing. We aren’t that young, we have a few seniors, but most of the guys are new to the team, so they need help learning the plays. Especially this year because we didn’t play together much (during the summer and preseason). But they’re good, I’m just helping them when they need it.”

So far, the Vikings have needed all of Anderson’s leadership because they’re off to an 0-2 start, but he knows that’s not terrible.

Sure, it would be nice to win a game already, but it’s 2021 and nothing is normal, so it makes sense Northeast has some work to do.

Coronavirus shut down all in-school activities last March, and Anderson and his mates weren’t able to see much of each other until basketball practice started a few weeks ago.

The Vikings, like all schools, are still doing remote learning, so after putting in a hard day of work at home with their studies, they meet up at the school for practice.

“Instead of going to the gym from school, we go after we’re done,” Anderson said. “It’s not too different. But it’s good to get back. It’s fun being around everyone and playing basketball. I wanted to have a season because it’s my last year here.

“It’s been good so far. We lost two games, but we’re getting there. We need more practice and we had some games canceled because other teams didn’t have enough practice time in, so we got to practice more. I think after we have a few more practices, we’ll be where we need to be. But we aren’t there yet.”

Anderson is still not where he wants to be, either.

But he’s doing his part to get there.

A capable scorer, this year his biggest contribution to the team will be getting the ball to his teammates. That means sacrificing statistics for potential wins. He was quick to sign up for that role.

“I like playing point guard, I like making sure everyone is happy,” Anderson said. “I like playing shooting guard, too. I’d say it’s equal. But on this team, for us to win, I have to be the point guard, and I like that. I want to win. Whatever they need, that’s what I’ll do. If it helps us win, that’s good.”

Anderson stays busy learning everything he needs to do for the team to be successful. He also stays busy away from the court.

After school, where he maintains good grades, and practice, Anderson heads to Wal-Mart, where he works stocking shelves.

He’s also busy thinking about his future.

Right now he’s unsure what he’ll do next year. He’s considering going to college, where he would like to play basketball and major in business. He’s also pondering trade school.

“There’s a lot of things I’d like to do, but I would like to do something with my hands,” Anderson said. “Maybe be a mechanic. I like cars, and people always need them. But I like business, too. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do.”

No matter what he does, he won’t go too far because he is very close with his family, which includes an older sister, a younger sister and two younger brothers.

“I’m real close with them,” Anderson said. “My youngest sister is 5 and youngest brother is 3. But my other older brother is 11. He’s a pretty good athlete. He plays basketball and runs track. I like being around them all. We’re all really close.”

He hopes his family can follow along during his final year at Northeast. And he hopes he gives them something to cheer about.

“I just want to win as many games as we can, get into the playoffs and maybe win a championship,” Anderson said. “We’re good. The other guys are learning quickly. And coach lets me help them a lot. When I talk, they listen, too, so it’s good.

“When I was younger, I learned from the guys who were around (the system). Now I’m trying to do what I need to do to help them.”