Anderson is a Champion as a Player, Coach, and Mentor
There was only one way that the great Antonio Anderson could exit the local basketball scene.
And his players made sure it would be a perfect conclusion for the Lynn English head basketball coach.
Led by junior Kanye Wavezwa’s 22 points and senior AdemideBadmus 20 points and 16 rebounds, the Bulldogs rallied to defeat Everett, 75-71, to claim the GBL championship Saturday at the Paul Cavanagh Fieldhouse.
Badmus, a 6-foot-6-inch center, had scored the 1000th point of his superb career in a March 23 win over Everett.
English finished with a perfect 7-0 record in a shortened season that was moved to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Anderson’s spectacular four-year tenure, the Bulldogs won two Division 1 state titles and lost only one home game.
Anderson is leaving the English program to become the head boys basketball coach at Springfield (Mass.) Commonwealth Academy. He will also be the director of student affairs at the prep school (grades 6-12) and have a residence on the school campus.
Anderson was an outstanding high school basketball player at Lynn Tech under the direction of Coach Marvin Avery. The Tigers won a state championship in 2002.
Anderson was recruited by Memphis basketball coach John Calipari, who personally traveled to the Anderson residence in Lynn to talk with Anotnio and his family.
A 6-foot-6-inch guard, Anderson became a star at Memphis, helping to lead the Tigers to the NCAA Division 1 championship game. A miraculous three-point shot by Kansas guard Mario Chalmers with 2.1 seconds left sent the game into overtime where the Jayhawks prevailed.
Anderson continued his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) where he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise.
After coaching in the college ranks, Anderson was named the head basketball coach at English upon the recommendation of Director of Athletics Dick Newton.
“Mr. Newton and others took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to come back home and coach,” said Anderson. “It was just an ideal situation for me. Being here and only losing only one game in our home gym – it was definitely the best. It hadn’t happened in Lynn in a long time.”
Anderson said he was “blessed” to have a dedicated contingent of players the past four years.
“We coached some great guys from year one to year four who showed how much talent Lynn has and what they could do when they were put in the right position,” said Anderson. “I was definitely grateful for the chance to coach these dedicated student-athletes and I love the fact that I was able to be the guy to help them get to where they wanted to get to.”
Newton said Anderson made a tremendous impact on the English basketball program and was a positive influence on his players.
“We thank Antonio for his excellent leadership of our boys basketball program and wish him continued success in new position,” said Newton.
Avery, who is now the head basketball coach at Lynn Classical and has been a mentor to Anderson, also offered his congratulations to his former player.
“I know that Antonio, with his drive and determination and excellent coaching techniques, will build a winning program in Springfield,” said Avery. “I’m very proud of Antonio for what he has been able to accomplish in his basketball-playing and coaching career. I wish him the best.”