Sitting in his home on the Mornington Peninsula, David Andersen reflects on his 22-year career – a career that made the Australian a household name for Europeans living over 15,000 kilometres from suburban Melbourne, where the 40 year old first picked up a basketball.
At times, even Andersen struggles to believe what he’s been able to achieve after picking up that round ball for the first time.
“I [was] just a kid from Frankston that loved playing sport and got beat up by my brothers playing basketball out in the front yard,” Andersen told The Pick and Roll. “If you told me when I was 15 that I would be an Olympian, you’re going to be one of the best players of basketball in Australia, one of the longest-serving basketballers I would have been like, ‘mate you’re crazy’.”
While the Boomer, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks in the 2019/20 NBL campaign, looked to have had all the makings of a typical Australian child, the formative years of Andersen’s boyhood were far from ordinary.
After moving to Canberra to play at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) on a three-year scholarship, Andersen began his professional career in the NBL with the Illawarra Hawks, turning down prestigious college programs to remain at home.
“I had big offers from UCLA and Arizona,” Andersen said. “I wanted to stay in Australia and keep that sense of versatility, and I think it paid off for me.”