A basketball rolls around at the Anderson house, and the boys continue to bounce it.
Neil and Deedee moved to Camas in 1986. He is a former college basketball player who referees high school games. She coached the Blazer Dancers. Together, they raised three boys on the hardwood.
Ryan, 27, was the first to play ball at Camas High School. He graduated in 2006, and now is a father.
“This is where I learned the values of hard work and teamwork,” Ryan said. “All of the lessons and traits I will need for the rest of my life, it all started here.”
Daniel, 25, played with Ryan briefly, before carrying on the Anderson name for the next two seasons. He is back with the program as the junior varsity coach.
“One of us has been in a Camas uniform all this time. You don’t see that too often,” Daniel said. “All we heard about when we got here is how bad Camas was at basketball. I think that all started to change around the time Ryan was a senior. And every year since, Camas has gotten better.”
Jordan, 18, is enjoying his senior year on the varsity squad, and has emerged as one of its leaders. He could be the last Anderson to wear the Camas colors.
“I always looked up to my brothers and dreamed of playing on this court in front of a crowd,” Jordan said. “It’s going to be weird next year. No one from our family is going to be a Papermaker. It goes by so fast.”
Time is running out on the Andersons, but they are going to keep bouncing that ball. Neil, Deedee and Ryan never miss a game that Daniel coaches and Jordan plays.
“It’s the highlight of the year for me to come to these games and see what everybody has been up to,” Ryan said. “Every game is like a family reunion.”
Daniel said the support from family members goes a long way in making them love and appreciate the game of basketball.
“They’re the ones who dropped us off at all the practices and paid for the camps,” he said. “This wouldn’t be possible without them.”
All of the eyes in the family are on Jordan for a change. It’s a moment he has eagerly and patiently waited for. Sometimes impatiently.
“I’m very proud of him,” Daniel said. “He’s dribbled around with us since he could pick up a ball.”
“He always wanted to know, ‘When’s it my turn?'” Ryan added.
Jordan admits watching a game from the stands was boring. Stepping on to the court is a challenge he wouldn’t have been ready for without keeping an eye on his brothers.
If Ryan and Daniel ever had a dispute, they settled it with a basketball. Jordan does the same.
“We’ve each had a common goal of turning this program around,” Jordan said. “Basketball at Camas gets overshadowed by other sports. It’s time to step out of those shadows and get the younger generation focused on basketball.”
There’s one more Anderson bouncing a basketball around the house. And this time, it’s a girl.
Ryan and Kara are raising their 1-year old daughter, Frankie. They live in Vancouver, but the thought of moving to Camas and continuing their family’s legacy is enticing.
“I’m at the age now where I’m looking to settle down. When I do, I want it to be in a place like this,” Ryan said. “Camas has a great community with a great school and great teachers. It’s funny how it all comes full circle.”
Good to be home
Playing in Camas for the first time in 28 days, the Papermaker boys handled Stanwood, of Seattle, 74-53 Monday.
Twelve different Papermakers scored points off 21 assists. Jordan Anderson led with 15, Trevor Jasinsky added 14, and James Price and Ethan Unger both had eight.
Jake Hansel delivered six points, Bryan Nguyen netted five and Kantas Zalpys finished with four.
Andre De Los Rios, Jayce Allen, Matt Murphy and Alex Glikbarg each chipped in with three points. Brock Fielding scored two.
Camas (6-3) hosts Battle Ground Jan. 6. Tip off is at 7 p.m.