A sophomore small forward on the Windermere Prep girls basketball team, Grace Anderson has played basketball at both the middle and high school levels at her school. During the last few years Anderson has become a leader on head coach Emmalee Schill’s varsity team.
How did you first get into basketball?
I got into basketball around sixth grade — I’ve played ever since middle school — but it’s been a big part of my family for a really long time. We watch the Florida Gators, and we play basketball as a family every winter when they come down for Christmas. A lot of my skills in basketball, and the root of where it came from, came from my family.
What has kept you in the sport for so long?
I really, really like the team sports aspect of it — I love the community and working with my teammates and my coaches. I also think it’s a really good outlet — especially with stress with school work and life in general — to get (stress out), so when I’m in season I kind of just do better overall as a person, because I can release my energy.
What is your favorite thing about playing at Windermere Prep?
I would definitely say my teammates and coaches, because I meet people I wouldn’t previously talk to. As a leader at my school, it has opened my world in a way.
What’s the most challenging part about playing at small forward? Your favorite part?
Most challenging part is probably communicating on the court. I’m a small forward, so on defense I’m on the blocks so I can see everything that’s going on — so the hardest part is communicating and telling my entire team what is going on. My favorite part is probably rebounding — that’s fun — and going through the plays.
What are the best words of advice you’ve been given about basketball?
Coach says a lot, ‘Defense wins games.’ I’ve seen with my team this year that it does win games. In a game we played last week our defense was lacking and we ended up losing and it just really showed me if you don’t play defense, you really can’t win.
As far as the game of basketball itself goes, what is the hardest aspect of playing? Your favorite part?
I’d probably say the time. I love the outlet, but it takes a lot of time practicing five days a week with games — it takes a lot. My favorite part is when the crowd is crazy in the last couple of minutes.
Coming into the season did you have any goals in mind?
Individually something I had in mind was average a double-double per game, because if you have something like that in mind every game it pushes myself and my expectations for myself every game. Another goal I had — because I’m a captain on the team and I wanted to figure out a way to be a better leader on the basketball court — was to bring my team closer together and work harder as a team.