Project CommUNITY: Basketball star Derek Anderson’s mission to help the younger generation

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WLKY32) – Many sports fans in the Commonwealth know the name Derek Anderson – the former basketball star played at Doss High School, the University of Kentucky and the NBA. After retiring from the game in 2008, Anderson decided to come back home to make an impact on young people. Derek Anderson is this week’s CommUNITY Champion.


Patient receives ‘big blue’ dose of encouragement

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It was the lift Chris Hendrick needed on the day he starts chemotherapy.

He’s a rabid UK fan about to get a crocheted Cats had from his childhood friend AJ Tyler. It’s a hat made with love for Chris, who will likely be losing his hair. AJ gives hugs to his mother and girlfriend as they navigate his recent cancer diagnosis.

She wanted more for her friend – and boy, did he get it. It doesn’t get any better than former UK and NBA star Derek Anderson showing up in your room with gifts, inspiration and a jersey. There were pictures taken to treasure the moment and what a moment.

Anderson gave Chris two of everything so he can pass along the act of kindness to someone else down the road. It’s about loving people and showing them you care. Chris hugged everyone who helped make the surprise happen, including his friend AJ, who in the midst of this scary time who gave him joy. AJ wanted him to forget for just 10 minutes that he had cancer. What Chris will never forget is that feeling of love from a UK great, his childhood buddy and everyone else who has reached out.

NBA champ asks for community’s help in spreading kindness

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Heading into fall, basketball is on the minds of many across Kentuckiana.

We’ve seen the U of L Red and White Scrimmage, Big Blue Madness and NBA pre-season action between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat.

One of the biggest headlines was not in an arena but at the Muhammad Ali Center for the inaugural Acts of Kindness gala, led by former Kentucky Wildcat and NBA star Derek Anderson who founded his Stamina Foundation.

Anderson’s message is focused on leaving more than just your name.

“It’s a blessing to see many people care about it and I knew this community was about kindness – we just had to put it together and do it together,” he said.

Anderson was a member of two championship teams – 1996 at the University of Kentucky and in 2006 with the Miami Heat.

He’s put those titles on the bench and now focusing on his foundation and the Acts of Kindness movement.

“Kindness doesn’t cost a dime. It’s not about that. You’re bringing people together, that’s what is going to make a change in the community. The more change we get, the better we are,” he said.

This movement has taken off. All you do is do something nice for someone else and spread the love on social media.

It has grown so big and so fast, Anderson held his Inaugural Acts of Kindness Gala Oct. 14 at the Ali Center in downtown Louisville to continue the momentum.

Former NBA, UK star Derek Anderson discusses gala for ‘kindness’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — Homegrown humanitarian Derek Anderson grew up in Louisville’s Southwick neighborhood before going on to win an NCAA Championship with the University of Kentucky Wildcats and an NBA Championship with the Miami Heat.

Anderson’s newest endeavor is branding his love for helping others and bringing more kindness to the world, especially his hometown, which is in the midst of a record year of homicides.

Anderson stopped by Good Morning Kentuckiana with Tabnie Dozier and detailed his inaugural Acts of Kindness Gala taking place October 14.

Below is the official news release with details and contact information:

(NEWS RELEASE) — The Stamina Foundation cordially invites you to their inaugural Acts of Kindness (A.O.K.) Gala on Friday, October 14th at the Muhammad Ali Center located at 144 N. 6th Street in the heart of downtown Louisville. The black tie optional event will begin with a “Meet and Greet” reception at 7 p.m. followed by dinner at 8 p.m. During the reception, guests will have an opportunity to take a tour of the center and its new exhibits named in memory of legendary boxer, humanitarian and Louisville native Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3 of this year at the age of 74. Former UK players and other NBA players and coaches will be in attendance for the “Meet and Greet”.

Derek Anderson works to take back his streets through A.O.K.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – After years of success in the NBA, Derek Anderson is back in Louisville for good. He was inspired after Muhammad Ali’s death.

“I was traveling the world enjoying myself, but then I started hearing what was going on in my hometown,” Anderson said. “I was like ‘I don’t know how it got that way.’ I wasn’t so much disconnected, but I was always trying to live my life. Something told me, you know what sometimes you have to help other people, to help other people.”

Louisville has seen better days. However, instead of peace walks or vigils, Anderson is taking back his streets the best way he knows how. He’s teaching the foundation of basketball to anyone that wants to play.

“He’s also teaching us how to be a man in life and morals and treat people how you want to be treated. He talks a lot about fundamentals,” Miles Franklin said. News, Weather & Sports

Derek Anderson Takes Kindness Off the Court

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Of course there will be a basketball court at the Derek Anderson Stamina Academy. After all, Anderson’s stamina and skills were well known on the courts at Doss High School and the University of Kentucky, and he had an 11-year career in the NBA. He won championships both with the Wildcats and the Miami Heat.

But the blueprint for the Stamina Academy, which Anderson plans to open in Louisville in about two years, shows that the facility also will have classrooms, a kitchen and areas for cultural enrichment. The grounds will be blanketed by an urban garden.


Forbes: Derek Anderson Seeks To Make The World Better After Hoops

If there’s one thing that 11-year NBA veteran Derek Anderson knows how to do, it’s how to stay positive. The former Kentucky Wildcat overcame his parents abandoning him from a young age and working odd jobs just to support himself to become an NCAA champion and enjoy a professional basketball career that included life lessons from the likes of Scottie Pippen, Tim Duncan and others, and not once crumbled in the face of adversity.

Anderson’s life today, however, is different from his days on the court. His Derek Anderson Foundation is aimed at aiding battered women and children, and he also has set up Stamina Academy in hopes of teaching the current younger generation simple life skills aimed at making their world better.

Simply put, Derek Anderson wears a lot of hats today and is using his infectious positivity to give back all he can to those less fortunate than he. I had the opportunity to speak with him recently about how he got to where he is today, and just what his ultimate goal is now that his playing days are done.

Josh Benjamin: You were abandoned by your parents at a young age and have spoken of how you stayed positive by keeping busy. Most others in that situation would probably crumble under the circumstances, but not you. How did you keep your head up?

Derek Anderson: Staying busy and working then is how I avoided getting in trouble. That alone let me know that if I stayed busy and did something, I wouldn’t have to be explaining to all the drug dealers and gang-bangers and others that why I wasn’t joining them was “I’ve got to go to work. I have to go play basketball,” and that was kind of my excuse and was a way I got to utilize all my time when everyone else was hanging around. Everyone else saw me going to work at a candy store, delivering papers or playing basketball. I basically said at age 13 or 14, “I’m going to do a routine,” so I was basically like a machine. I just did everything the same and never changed. I’m almost the same way now. I just do what I do every single day and that way I stay committed to finishing what I started and I’ve always been busy.