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.