From the first game to the last, 6-foot-7 Ryan Anderson of Long Beach Poly High was on a mission to keep improving.
“Our coaches pushed us all season to get better every game,” Anderson said.
The Jackrabbits finished 31-2 and won the Southern Section Division 1AA championship, with Anderson the focus of every opponent’s attention.
Whether it was rebounding, blocking shots, scoring inside or outside, Anderson’s ability to contribute in many areas enabled him to rise to an elite level.
He has been selected The Times’ boys’ basketball player of the year.
“He did a tremendous job scoring inside the paint,” Coach Sharrief Metoyer said. “His defensive and offensive rebounding were outstanding.”
About the only disappointment for Anderson was a loss to Santa Ana Mater Dei in a semifinal of the Southern California Regionals.
“It’s hard to be perfect,” Anderson said. “Every team tries. I thank all my coaches for developing me as a person on and off the court.”
Anderson made 55% of his shots and averaged 16.4 points and 9.8 rebounds.
“He was a guy who made a great deal of improvement between his junior and senior year,” Metoyer said.
Anderson was selected the Gatorade state player of the year and has signed with Boston College, which means he has begun to go wardrobe shopping.
He’s looking for size-16 snow boots and a warm jacket.
“Anyone have those on sale, let me know,” he said. “I’d appreciate it.”