Arizona Basketball: Ryan Anderson’s dream comes true

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 27: Ryan Anderson #12 of the Arizona Wildcats scores during their game against the Utah Utes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on February 27, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 27: Ryan Anderson #12 of the Arizona Wildcats scores during their game against the Utah Utes at the Jon M. Huntsman Center on February 27, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

Former Arizona Basketball star Ryan Anderson has been hired by head coach Tommy Lloyd, joining his staff as a Graduate Assistant.

There’s good news for fans of Arizona Basketball, as the Wildcats are bringing back a former star! We were recently wondering, where in the world is Ryan Anderson these days, and well the mystery has been solved, Anderson is in Tucson!

Hired by head coach Tommy Lloyd to join the staff as a Graduate Assistant according to Arizona Daily Star reporter Bruce Pascoe, “[Ryan was] Applying to the Eller College of Management. He said he was accepted last month and will pursue a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, clinching his decision to take the GA job” after the offer was extended to him by Lloyd.

Arizona Wildcats Basketball
Arizona Wildcats Basketball /

Arizona Wildcats Basketball

Just weeks prior, Lloyd added former Wildcats Basketball legend Jason Gardner to his staff as Director of Player Relations, and just lost Assistant Coach and former All-American Wildcat NCAA and NBA Champion Jason Terry to the Denver Nuggets Gold G-League team. So it’s nice to have at least two alumni on the staff.

Anderson was a Karl Malone Award Finalist that racked up quite a few awards in his collegiate and high school career:

  • Pac-12 All-Conference 1st Team (2016)
  • NABC First Team All-District (2016)
  • USBWA All-District 1st Team (2016)
  • Third-team All-ACC (2013)
  • Honorable mention All-ACC (2014)
  • ACC All-Freshman Team (2012)
  • ACC Rookie of the Week (2-20-12)
  • 1787 Career College Points
  • 1050 Career College Rebounds
  • California State Player of the Year (2011)
  • John Wooden Award (2011)

ZZ was able to speak to former Arizona Basketball star Ryan Anderson, and he is very excited, “It’s great to be back!!”

ZZ: What are you looking forward to the most by being back in Tucson and working with the players and coaches?

RA: I’m really looking forward to learning the game from a different perspective. After all these years of playing, it’s been awesome learning from a coach’s viewpoint and I’m just looking forward to us putting it all together on game days and showing the fans a great performance.

ZZ: Do you see yourself in any of the players?

RA: I see myself in all of them just as college kids working towards a dream of playing professional basketball. The fun and love they have for their teammates always reminds me of the good times I had with my teammates.

ZZ: Will you be helping the international players adjust to NCAA basketball since you have played both?

RA: Yes I will just try to make them feel as comfortable as possible because I know how it feels trying to adjust in a different country.

ZZ: You had once told me that you always saw yourself as a coach, is this a dream of yours to be able to contribute to your alma mater and learn more about coaching? 

RA: Yeah it’s a dream come true. I love Tucson and I am always thankful that I got the opportunity to play here, now to be able to learn from such a great coaching staff is really a dream come true for me. I’m going to try and soak everything in and help Arizona as much as I can.

ZZ: You have seen your share of career setbacks, how has that made you stronger or changed your outlook on life?

RA: Yeah it’s been challenging. I think for a while I was upset and bitter about having so many injuries because I know what kind of player I am but now I have a more appreciative perspective and know that I had a lot of great experiences and memories that I will always cherish and I know always played as hard as I could so I’m okay with walking away from the game.

ZZ: How has your mom supported you through your basketball career? What was her reaction to the news?

RA: She has always been my number one fan. I never could have accomplished what I did without her. So many hours in gyms all over the world. She has always been there for me. She was sad but she understood my reasoning and supported me on the decision.

ZZ: Will you be helping with recruiting? What has Coach Lloyd said you would be doing?

RA: I can’t recruit but I mostly just help with on-court stuff and helping with film breakdown.

ZZ: How does it feel being a student again? What’s it like being a part of the Eller School of business?

RA: It was weird at first but it’s a chance for me to learn business in a different way which is something that has really started to interest me  so I’m all about routine and it’s been good getting back into it.

We can’t hold back our enthusiasm for this hire. Not only is Lloyd getting a very seasoned Grad Assistant, he is getting a former Wildcat who understands what Arizona Basketball is all about. In addition, a young man that has always supported us is living a dream come true right in front of our eyes and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more respectful, talented young man. Thank you Ryan for sharing yourself with us.

Next. Arizona Basketball Players and Coaches, where are they now?. dark