Justyn Anderson paused when asked recently whether he would be remembered as the greatest player in the history of Mountain View’s boys basketball program.
“It’s not that I want to be remembered as the best player,” he said. “I just want to be remembered.”
The senior point guard is building a resume that won’t be easy to forget.
With 1,972 career points, Anderson is already the Saints’ all-time leading scorer.
Although it’s thought that there are more, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association record book lists only eight players in state history to have eclipsed 2,000 career points. Anderson could soon become the ninth.
Beyond the staggering numbers is a floor general who uses an old-school bag of tricks to get in the lane, draw fouls and control tempo.
“Justyn has an understanding of what the other nine people are doing on the floor, so he has the ability to control the speed of the game,” Mountain View coach Ray LeBoeuf said. “If you’re going to press him, you’re allowing him to break down defenders and get to the basket. If you’re going to go in the halfcourt, he can find an opening for a shot or get to the basket.”
The 5-foot-11-inch Anderson leads Mountain View (6-6, 1-0 Class 2A Southern League) with 30.5 points per game. He scored at least 40 in two of his last three games, including a 48-point performance in a win over Tech on Dec. 29.
“He’ll make shots I think are impossible,” Saints freshman guard Jacob Duldulao said. “He’ll just do it. I’m like, ‘Wow.’ It makes me scratch my head sometimes.”
Anderson could probably be starting at several Class 4A schools this year, but he opted long ago to spend his entire career at 2A Mountain View, a private Christian school that has students as young as preschool.
It was important to Anderson, who has attended Mountain View since kindergarten, to follow in his family’s footsteps. His brother Joey Tirabassi and cousin Greg Anderson were members of the Saints’ 2002-03 team that won the 1A state championship.
“I always had options coming into ninth and 10th grade, but this is my home,” Justyn Anderson said. “I’ve been here since I was a young kid watching this team play. My whole life, I just couldn’t wait to put on a Mountain View varsity jersey.”
Now Justyn Anderson hopes to lead the Saints to the same kind of team success his family members enjoyed.
Mountain View hasn’t reached the postseason since Justyn Anderson’s freshman season and hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005-06.
“There’s a bit of urgency because I haven’t been able to get to the playoffs the last couple years,” Justyn Anderson said. “I don’t want to just make the playoffs. I want to get to state and have a good chance to play for a state title.”
Justyn Anderson is also driven to bring the basketball program the same level of success that he helped the football team attain as a senior.
A first-team 2A all-state receiver, safety and return specialist, Justyn Anderson caught 16 touchdown passes and scored 27 total TDs to help the Saints reach the state championship game.
Basketball coaches at Pepperdine and Abilene Christian (Texas) have expressed interest in Anderson, but he is still waiting for a scholarship offer. LeBoeuf is confident that Anderson, who wants to study business or sports management in college, will be a steal in someone’s recruiting class.
It won’t hurt that he owns a 3.79 cumulative grade-point average and is serving as vice president of the school’s student leadership council this year.
But recruiting can wait until after the season, which Justyn Anderson hopes will stretch into late February for the first time in his career.
“Like any other senior, they realize it’s their last year,” LeBoeuf said. “I think that he’s always wanted to win, but he’s as focused on it as I’ve ever seen him.”