Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chasing the Basketball Dream: The Professional Journey of the Gateway Steam’s Jake Anderson

By Lee Hamilton

ST. LOUIS - Gateway Steam guard Jake Anderson exemplifies what the MPBA is all about, providing an opportunity for the top minor-league talent to continue pursuing their basketball dreams.  Anderson has played professionally both domestically and internationally since completing his NCAA eligibility in 2011.  The Chicago native provides a wealth of experience that he can share with his teammates in regards to the life of a minor league player. 

Anderson began is NCAA career at the University of Northern Illinois (NIU), where he was the 2007-08 Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year.  A three-year starter at NIU, Anderson averaged 13.2 PPG and 5.5 RPG from 2007-10.  After completing his degree in Communications in 2010, Anderson transferred to Iowa State for his final season of eligibility, where he was enrolled in graduate classes in Hospitality Management.  Anderson had an outstanding senior season in Ames, starting 31 games and averaging 12.8 PPG, and leading the team with 7.2 rebounds per game.  In Anderson’s final collegiate game, he scored a career-high 33 points vs. Colorado in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. 

Anderson was drafted in the 4th Round of the 2011 NBA Developmental League Draft, and played for the Iowa Energy and Sioux Falls Force during the 2011-2012 season.  In July 2012, Anderson was invited to participate in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he played for the Chicago Bulls Summer Team.  Following his stint in the Summer League, Anderson signed with German Pro A Team Erdgas Ehingen, where he averaged 12.5 PPG in 16 games.  Anderson enjoyed his time playing in Germany as well as the cultural experience. 

This past fall, as the MPBA was preparing for its inaugural season, Anderson was living in Texas when we received a call from Steam coach Durrell Robinson, inviting Anderson to attend the Steam’s open tryout in December.  The move to the St. Louis area also brought Anderson closer to his family in Chicago, who has had the opportunity to watch him play live when the Steam have visited Chicago this season.

 Anderson has been a consistent presence and a leader on the court for the Steam in 2015, averaging 13.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game, including a season high seven rebound, seven assist performance in the Steam’s victory over the Chicago Force on February 22nd.  It is that consistency and leadership from Anderson that Steam fans have taken notice of, and hope will lead to a successful second half of the MPBA season.

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