Former Trojan displays some ‘Magic’
By Mike Bush
SACRAMENTO — Ryan Anderson considers Power Balance Pavilion his second home.
The Orlando Magic forward and 2005 Oak Ridge High School graduate has good reasons to say that about the arena formerly known as Arco Arena. During his senior year Anderson led the Trojans boys basketball team to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II, Nor-Cal D-II and state D-II crowns at the arena, in addition to winning the Sierra Valley Conference title.
“It definitely feels very comfortable,” Anderson said. “I have a lot of memories here. Coming back to see a lot of familiar faces and good friends — it’s always fun coming back.”
Anderson had additional fun Sunday afternoon when the Magic played the Sacramento Kings in a rare Sunday afternoon game. On the court for 33 minutes, Anderson, who played at University of California, Berkley for two seasons before entering the 2008 NBA Draft, recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds in the Magic’s 104-97 win over the Kings.
During pre-game warm-ups some Oak Ridge classmates greeted the 6-foot-10, 240-pound Anderson, joking with each other while he was taking shots. But once Anderson lined up at center court for tip-off, it was back to business.
“One of them was Kevin James,” said Anderson of his former Trojans teammate from the championship team.
Toward the end of summer going into the fall months, Anderson and the rest of the NBA players wondered if the current season was going to take place. The NBA owners locked out players for 161 days; that ended last month. The season was shortened from an 82-game to a 66-game season. Under both schedules the Magic and Kings were scheduled to play each other Sunday afternoon.
“It’s good to be back,” Anderson said. “It was a long break. But the NBA is a crazy lifestyle — just a crazy schedule, so many games. The important thing was to stay in shape.”
During the lockout Anderson stayed in shape in an interesting way.
“I boxed, which is a great full-body workout,” Anderson said. “I did things that I knew I could just stay fit and ready.”
Anderson is off to one of his best starts in his fourth season in the NBA. He’s averaging 17.9 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game.
On Sunday Anderson, guard Jason Richardson and forward Glen Davis picked up the pace against the Kings. The Magic’s center Dwight Howard picked up two fouls early in the first quarter, picked up a technical foul and finished the game with five points. Richardson lead Magic scorers with 22 points, Davis 20 and guard Von Wafer came off the bench to chip in 12 points.
Howard noted Anderson’s solid play in the paint and boards after missing four three-pointers.
“Ryan wasn’t shooting the ball particularly well from the three but he kept playing, which is great,” Howard said.
The Magic next face the Trail Blazers at Portland on Wednesday.