Q&A with PLNU Star Kaden Anderson

Photo credit to Evan Olbricht.

Kaden Anderson is a fifth-year forward on the Point Loma Nazarene University men’s basketball team. In his time at PLNU, he has won two PacWest Player of the Year awards, has held All-American honors twice, was selected to the PacWest Championships All-Tournament team and was a consensus First Team All-West Region selection while also getting multiple PacWest Player of the Week recognitions.

Anderson will be leaving PLNU after this year with fellow seniors Shamrock Cambell, Tobin Karlberg and Wes Slajchert. Anderson agreed to sit down with The Point to answer a few questions as his career at PLNU is coming to an end. 

The Point: When did you first start playing basketball and when did you discover it was something you wanted to pursue at the collegiate level?

Kaden Anderson: I’ve always been interested in sports. My mom has pictures of me as a newborn with a basketball in my hands. I don’t really know when I started playing basketball, but I started playing it seriously when I was a sophomore in high school; I think that’s when I first started playing AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] ball. About sophomore or junior year is when I figured out basketball was my sport. That’s when I fell in love with it and decided I wanted to play after high school. 

TP: What prompted you to come to PLNU? Were there any other offers coming out of high school, and if so, what drew you here?

KA: I had a good amount of GNAC schools that wanted me out of high school. I had a D1 offer to a school in Texas called Incarnate Word; I had some walk-on opportunities at some D1 schools, but I didn’t really want to walk on anywhere. I got the call from [Ryan] Looney, who was our coach before [Matt] Logie. They offered me a spot and I came and checked it out. I committed on the spot. I didn’t want to go to a place where it’s cold. I wanted something new. [PLNU] being a religious school was definitely a plus and the atmosphere we have at games is awesome. Having that experience as a freshman on a national championship-run team was awesome. 

TP: You and Coach Matt Logie came at around the same time, with him arriving as head coach your sophomore year. How do you feel that the relationship between you two has progressed and what kind of impact do you think that made on your college career?

KA: Me and Logie’s relationship has continued to grow every year; we get closer and closer. He knew who I was in high school when he was coaching at Whitworth. I guess it just kind of ended up being that he was coming here and I didn’t know what I was going to do after freshman year with the previous coaches leaving. Logie and the coaching staff have definitely helped mold me into the player I am today. All the work we’ve put in over the years is paying off and I’m excited to see where the journey goes. 

TP: This year has been one of the best in PLNU basketball history. What factors this year do you think contributed most to the success and how have you built such a great team chemistry?

KA: Speaking of chemistry, the beginning of the year was a little rough having so many new pieces and trying to figure everything out. That kind of showed when we started the year 4-3. Since then, we’ve figured it out and we have such an unselfish team. Nobody really cares who’s getting the credit. Everybody wants to win, we work hard, we’re in the gym putting work in and we’re just having fun. 

TP: In a few years, when you’re looking back on your career at PLNU, is there one thing that will immediately come to mind and stick out from your years here?

KA: Probably just all the relationships I built, with the coaches, staff, just being able to use basketball to spread my network and meet new people. Maybe those relationships will create a job opportunity later on in life. There are so many memories through basketball and it’s opened so many doors for me and I’m just grateful for where I ended up. 

TP: Do you think there are any lessons or concepts you learned during your career here at PLNU that will set you up for success in the future?

KA: The easy answer is hard work and some leadership skills from working with the team and learning from the coaches. Being a good listener and learning how to handle adversity are others. There’s obviously games that you lose that you don’t want to or that you shouldn’t lose and you’ve got to learn to move on from that and come together as a group and just move on to the next thing. I think those are the main lessons I’ve taken away.

TP: You’re currently working on a graduate degree. What is that degree and what is the plan for life after PLNU?

KA: My graduate program is in sports management and my plan after this year is to go play pro. Where that is or what agent I sign with is up in the air. I’m kind of waiting to figure that out after the season with the coaches. I’m excited to try and play basketball as long as I can and make a living off of it. 

TP: If you could leave PLNU students or fellow teammates and basketball players with a piece of advice, what would it be?

KA: Soak it all in. It’s kind of weird having this conversation and thinking that my time here is almost over. I know everybody says it goes by fast, but it truly does, especially when COVID-19 happens in the middle of it. Take videos just so you have memories. That’s a good way to keep in touch with your old friends or even getting Snapchat memories of things that you don’t even remember happened is fun. And build relationships. 

Written By: Cade Michaelson