Anderson gave Magic flair

It is not often NBA greats come to Cayman.

In fact it has been a few years since any pros have been to this country.

Last week however Cayman was graced with a man familiar with NBA basketball in former Orlando Magic player Nick Anderson.

Anderson was here for the Cayman Islands Basketball Association Orlando Magic basketball camp.

The former pro was only here briefly as he attended the last day of the camp last Friday and left the island last Sunday.

Before leaving, this reporter was able to speak for a short time with him.

One of the first things Anderson, 41, stated was his thrill to be in Cayman.

‘This is my first time coming here. I’ve heard so much about Cayman.

‘I can’t wait to go on a boat and see some of your beautiful island. I promise I’ll be back.’

In spite of calling Orlando and the attractions there home, Anderson was keen to be here.

Then again Anderson was eager to work with local kids on a sport he knows so well.

‘I saw a lot of talent here in Cayman. More importantly I saw a lot of kids who wanted to get involved and were happy to play.’

The week-long camp Anderson was at in Cayman took place at the Arts and Recreation Center facility at Camana Bay.

Roughly 75 kids, aged seven to 16, came out consistently to each day of the camp.

They would be taught by a plethora of Orlando Magic staff and coaches from Central Florida.

Some notable faces in the Cayman community spoke at the camp including the Minister of Sports Mark Scotland.

Anderson was at the camp to impart some fine points to the kids. Among the areas he focused on were shooting and defense.

His playing career may be many years behind him but the Chicago native looked he had not lost his joy for the sport.

The 6’6 Anderson enjoyed a 13-year pro career where he spent a decade with the Magic.

An alumnus of Illinois University, Anderson was known for his great shooting ability and solid defense. Many will remember his play during the 1995 NBA playoffs.

He famously stripped Michael Jordan at a key moment in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs to secure the Magic’s first trip to the conference finals and eventually the NBA Finals.

He retired in 2002 and has been busy working with the Magic’s community relations department.

In fact Anderson serves as the Magic’s team community ambassador along with former player Charles ‘Bo’ Outlaw.

As he states it is a position he has held for a number of years.

‘I’ve been ambassador for the Magic the last five years. I’m very much in the Magic organization.’

One of Anderson’s responsibilities is attending and coaching at summer basketball camps.

That task has not been as easy as it sounds as he has been to many camps.

‘This summer I’ve felt like I’ve done more and more camps,’ Anderson said. ‘I lost track of how many though I know it’s well over 20 camps.’

Yet Anderson has not forgotten his family. The baptized member of the First Baptist Church of Orlando talked briefly about his family situation.

‘I’m happily married with three kids. I got a 19 year-old son in college in Illinois that I have to keep on the right track. I also have a 16 year-old girl and an 18 month old baby girl.’

Ultimately Anderson was here to pass on not just tips and techniques to youngsters but a little bit of Magic to local basketball.

‘I’m here just trying to show the kids the little things that can help in a game especially how to rebound, play defense and make shots,’ Anderson said. ‘I’m trying to instil some of the basics because kids are never too young to learn.’