Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former University of Kentucky and NBA Star Derek Anderson has released his first book titled "Stamina."
This amazing book is about how his Inspiring Life Journey can mold and motivate us all. In the publication, Anderson will take you back to times in his life when he could have easily given up but instead he found a way, out of no way. As you read the book, he will reference certain times in his life and what he did to survive.
At age eleven, Anderson lived alone in a rundown apartment with no electricity and no food for three straight days. By the time he turned 12, he lived in a shelter home because the school system didn't know his real social security number.
Then after having a child at the age of 14, he had to work not one but two jobs to take care of his young son -- all while still trying to survive in the middle of a drug infested project housing. He had to endure his sister being killed by their father's best friend while her new born child lay just feet away from her. Anderson also had to stand by helplessly as his mom lost her fight with substance abuse and endure his father walking out of his life for more than 17 years.
His final awakening was surviving a brutal stabbing from a neighborhood street fight that would have kept him from sharing his life story of outlasting his opponents.
Anderson's opponents in life consisted of poverty, loneliness, disappointment, jealously, and the lack of equal educational opportunities. Just as he learned in sports, life is about how bad you want to win, how much time you're willing to put into making your dreams become a reality, and how much you are willing to sacrifice now for your success later. He has won on every level of basketball but his biggest accomplishments are being a good father, a good person, and a great child of God. He say's, "I'm just getting warmed up to win my last championship, and to bring home the best trophy ever, My Legacy!"
Anderson named his book "Stamina" because everyone has come to a point in their lives where they want to give up or simply give in.
"All you need to do is have enough Stamina to win in life," Anderson said. "Don't ever let someone's opinion of you become your reality." He also wants to encourage others to say, "I am who I am because I choose to be more than what others said I would be."
Our Sterling Rings sat down with Derek on Monday's WDRB in the Morning Show for an interview about the book -- as well as a movie in the works that will be shot in Louisville.
STERLING: Tell us about your new book Stamina.
Everybody knows you as a former basketball star and may have the perception that you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, but that's not the case. And that's what this book is about.
DEREK: Basically, the book is called "Stamina." A lot of us run out of energy and focus when we're getting tired and depressed about the ways of the world. But if you have enough stamina to continue life, life can be good to you.
You need to focus on finding things that are beneficial, be positive, and something good comes out of it.
STERLING: Life was not good for you as a child. You touch on that and some of the challenges that you overcame, in your book. Share some of those stories with me.
DEREK: Well, when you're 11-years-old and you have to deal with certain situations in your family going through the ups and downs, and just being the '80s, and you know, the drugs that were involved and all the bad things in crime, we just fell victim to it.
We lived in an area that was pretty bad. And having to be at home some days with no electricity and no food, you found a way of making it. You know I've never given excuses about how I lived. So I just always wanted to make sure that I bettered myself in doing something about it. So I went and worked at a grocery store, carried people's bags for a nickel or a dime, to get some bread and baloney. I drunk water out of the sink, like normal people.
It wasn't too much that I couldn't handle, I means it's as though you weren't supposed to be able to handle that. You wanted to grow up and be a kid. Certain situations just bring out the best in you, and I think I did a lot of those things of sticking together and placing in tune to do what I had to do to survive.
STERLING: How did you survive? Was there a moment when you said 'I need to better myself, I need to better my situation.' How many people give up in that situation.
DEREK: I was fortunate enough to have an uncle, my Uncle George, actually, taught me to be a man. But right before I got with him, I had a son a the age of 14. And it was a day that we didn't have food, and I needed to get us food. And I wound up gong to work at a candy store, a candy truck, and I wound up saving and getting enough money for he and I to eat.
That was the point where I knew I needed to get on my knees and ask God to give me some direction. I never went to Church -- I didn't know Jesus -- I didn't know a lot of things. But I did know there was a higher being that I needed to reach out to. Once I got confirmation with that, my uncle came into my life, and my life started to change, but I still needed to graduate myself. And I graduated with a 3.7, went on to college, and went on to play professional ball.
It's so many people who give up right before they're about the win, and that's the point that I just never want to do is give up on anything.
STERLING: You also graduated with a pharmacy degree. Now, a lot of people think he's all about basketball, he's all about sports. Well you use your fame to actually funnel some money, energy and effort into schools and various local programs. Tell us a little about that.
DEREK: In college, I made sure I wanted to focus on what was going to make me successful. It was the school teachers who told me not to give in. It was may high school coaches who helped me to stay positive. It was the policemen around who said stay away from bad people, the firemen who were always nice to people.
Those were the people who actually helped me be a better person. Sports just enhanced what I was going to do anyway. So for me I think everyone needs to focus on the realities on what helps people survive in society. We need to pay attention to giving our teachers more money, to give police officers vacation time -- to help the people who actually help us to be better people in society. We need to reward them instead of giving athletes and entertainers so much.
Because these kids now are chasing dreams that are only 2 percent real, with the 98 percent of reality is, that we need to live in a normal society and treat people with respect.
STERLING: What I appreciate about you is you're a product of Doss High School. This is your backyard, this is your community. You were raised in this community and yet you overcame those challenges to be where you're at today.
I want to talk about a movie that's coming out about your life. And there are some fond memories that you have from Louisville that you share with me that are going to come out in this movie. Are you excited about it?
DEREK: I've very excited, especially since I get to shoot it here in Louisville. We had actually left Flint, Michigan, and around the corner was a Greyhound station. And I remember getting off the bus and actually walking through to see my grandmother's house, and I remember that vividly, and I just rode past and was like, another memory for me.
So I'm excited. The movie is basically going to explain how I survived, how the things you go through that everyone goes through, but not giving up was a key for me. So I'm just excited I'm able to film it here. And the Mayor's given me a blessing so that was absolutely a tremendous honor for that.
STERLING: Are there any famous people that are going to be portrayed in this movie that you can cut us in on a little inside scoop, Derek?
DEREK: There's a couple of famous people. Right now, we have a signed deal that I can't really disclose, but there's some powerful people that wanted to be involved in this. And actually I've only asked a couple of people, but through the information that was given, a lot of people have contact me....
I going to have a casting call, I want someone to play me at the age of 12 and 14 here as a basketball player, so I have a casting call here for that.
I want the city to be involved in it. I think they need to understand we are a product of our environment, but don't let that situation change who you are.
STERLING: Are there specific locations that jog childhood memories that will be shown in this movie that you can share with us?
DEREK: Absolutely. Well they tore down the project, Southwick, that I grew up in, so that will be hard to re-enact. But the rest of it will be my high school, Doss. I actually slept in the high school gymnasium. We had practice Friday night so I stayed overnight there and practiced Saturday. And now the gym's named after me.
So those are the types of situations -- it's an awesome feeling, man. It's rewarding. It's humbling to see how your life can come around. So I think those situations where we get to re-live those things bring back great memories.
Derek is thankful for the opportunity to encourage others and to share his life's journey, as well as open people's eyes in a Blind World.