LaGrange Academy’s Anderson ready to be a Panther

Published 7:24 pm Friday, June 9, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – He looked around, explored his many options, and decided to stay at home.

Lincoln Anderson, who enjoyed two standout seasons as a basketball player at LaGrange Academy after transferring from Callaway, is heading to LaGrange College to become a part of a program that is thriving.

Anderson announced his intention to become a Panther during a ceremony at LaGrange Academy on Thursday, with many of those closest to him on hand to join in the celebration.

Anderson will become a student at LaGrange College this fall, and the season gets under way in November.

“I’ve been playing pickup basketball with LaGrange College (players) since the 10th grade,” Anderson said. “There was just something about them. I didn’t feel tolerated. I felt like they wanted me.”

Anderson did his due diligence during the recruiting process, visiting numerous schools and talking to a bunch of coaches.

“I made the most of every visit,” Anderson said. “When I went to different AAU camps, coaches came and talked to me, I loved all of it. I enjoyed all of it.”

Anderson’s coach for the past two seasons, Britt Gaylor, said he was a tremendous asset to the school.

“He was phenomenal,” Gaylor said. “Every kid at our school, from pre-K to high school loves him. He’s such a hard worker, and he’s so humble. He just takes everything in stride. I’m so proud of what he’s done these last two years. He’s put in so much work. I’m going to miss him.”

Among those who were there to celebrate with Anderson was Michael Freeman, who is heading to Mercer to play football after graduating from Callaway this spring.

The two are first cousins and life-long friends, and Freeman was glad he could be there on Thursday.

“Honestly, there are no words for it,” Freeman said. “You watch somebody grow up and put so much work into it and give it their all. And you see it pay off. It means the world for me to see it.”

Gaylor said Anderson is “the type of kid you want your program to embody.”

“He’s the hardest worker, he was the leader, he was always helping the younger kids,” Gaylor added. “And he set the tone in the classroom, too. He was phenomenal.”

Anderson said he “enjoyed the two years” he spent at LaGrange Academy.

“I loved it,” he said. “Wherever I go, this will be home.”

Anderson joins a LaGrange College program that is in the midst of a remarkable run.

The Panthers have won three USA South titles in the past four seasons, and they’ve made it to the NCAA Division III tournament for four straight years under head coach Kendal Wallace.

Gaylor believes that Anderson, a mobile big man, will fare well with the Panthers.

“He’ll fit right in, and they’ll keep things rolling over there,” Gaylor said. “Coach Wallace will do a great job with him.”

OF NOTE: Lincoln Anderson was a two-time all-state player in the GISA. He helped the Warriors reach the final eight of the GISA state tournament in 2016. Anderson was an all-state player during both of his seasons at LaGrange Academy. As a senior, Anderson averaged 23.2 points, 16.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game.