THOMASVILLE—Once upon a time there was a little girl named Brooke Anders who resided in the Fair Grove community. Like many girls her age she played soccer, T-ball, and basketball. Around age seven Brooke realized that she loved the game of basketball and so...
Come out and watch the East Davidson Women’s Basketball team this winter and you will notice a highly confident 3-point shooter by the name of Brooke Anders. Anders was not always so confident in her basketball ability. She credits her high school coach, Don Corry, for helping her with her self-esteem and confidence especially her freshman year when she joined a veteran team. Corry helped her to realize she could play with the juniors and seniors which gave her a sense of importance.
“Her freshman and sophomore years, we had Madi Hallman (Catawba College) and Bayley Plummer (Appalachian State University),” states Corry. “Brooke is kind of laid back, but as soon as the two of them graduated she took over. Last year in the conference tournament, after Salisbury had beaten us twice in the regular season, we jumped out to a 15-point lead in the first half. Second half they came back and cut the lead to about eight going into the fourth quarter and took the lead with about two minutes left in the game. I called timeout and started talking to the girls and Brooke said, wait Coach, give me the ball, just give me the ball. Well I just lit up, looked at Coach Wright, and told the girls to get her the ball. The next four times down the court she took it to Salisbury’s best player and scored. We ended up winning the ball game. She came from sitting back watching Madi and Bayley to taking over the team, to doing the things we needed her to do. She has stepped into her role as team captain and communicates well with her teammates.”
Corry adds, “Brooke is a very solid basketball player, very solid young lady, easy to coach, and a good teammate. I feel privileged to have had the chance to coach her and watch her progress."
Anders also credits her AAU Coach Kenny Carter for her success. “He helped me develop my game through the skills and drills we went through in practice,” said Anders. “My coaches over the years have helped instill confidence in my shooting by telling me I can’t make a shot I don’t take. Both Coach Corry and Carter have encouraged me to keep shooting even when my shots may not be going in.”
For Anders that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem as she hits over 40% of the 3-point shots she takes. Anders credits Coach Wanda Cline for toughening her up when she was in middle school.
“Coach Cline used to beat me down and then build me back up teaching me to be a lot tougher mentally,” said Anders. “Also, she has helped me to be in shape the rest of my life with all the running she trained us to do.”
Coach Corry jokes that Anders looks forward to running the football stadium steps as part of the team’s conditioning at the beginning of the season.
Brooke is also thankful for her family’s ongoing support.
“I appreciate my family’s support especially financially,” said Anders. “Playing AAU Basketball, we travel all over the country and the cost is a financial sacrifice for my family.”
Anders understands basketball will not last forever even if she does play at the collegiate level. She is a member of the East Davidson Beta Club and has achieved straight A’s the past two years.
“I take pride in my academics,” said Anders. “I use my free time in classes to get assignments done. I hit the books immediately after school without procrastinating.”
“At times it can be a little overwhelming,” continues Anders. “When I start to feel overwhelmed or am having a bad day, I’ll go to Coach Wright’s (EDHS Assistant Coach) classroom and see her. Wright has ‘been there and done that’ as a former East Beta Club Member and standout player on the Golden Eagle’s 2008 state championship team. Coach Wright is very comforting.”
Anders' future plans do include basketball. She wants to go to a school where she can play and acquire a business degree. She has upcoming visits to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Lenoir-Rhyne University. According to Corry she is a Division 1 shooter.
“She can shoot with anyone in the country,” said Corry. “She led our conference last year in 3-point shooting percentage. She handles the ball well and is smart. I think she can play at a Division 1 school because of her ability to shoot the ball. I look for her to be playing college basketball next year.”
Anders' fondest memories include winning the 2016-17 conference championship. She claims most people did not think the Golden Eagles could win it after losing so many veteran players. Her team just came in with the mindset to work hard and get better every day.
“Teams that beat us early in the season couldn’t beat us at the end of the season,” said Anders. “Getting to go to the ‘Dean Dome’ (Chapel Hill) and play for a state championship was awesome too. Even though we lost, it was an unforgettable experience.”
When asked what advice she would give aspiring young players, Anders replied, “keep working hard, don’t doubt yourself and don’t let fear stop you.”
...Stay tuned and follow Brooke Anders during basketball season for her senior year at East Davidson High School.