It might have been those years spent as a youth soccer goaltender that helped give Tori Anderson her outstanding hand-eye coordination. When she decided to take her skills from the soccer field to the basketball court, she never looked back.
“In sixth grade… basketball was the thing I wanted to do,” says Anderson.
The Santa Margarita Catholic High School sophomore is the Eagles girls’ varsity basketball team leader, topping the score sheet with approximately 12 points per game on average and a shooting average from the free throw line of more than 80 percent.
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Asked to step into the role of point guard last season because of a teammate’s injury, Anderson has quickly learned how to navigate this key position with confidence.
“I just love being a point guard, because they are the leaders on the court,” says the 16-year-old Anderson. “Definitely, being a point guard, you learn the leadership role. I know what we can do and how we should do it.”
Winning the CIF Southern Section Championship last season has set the expectations high for Anderson and the team. Under new varsity girls’ basketball head coach Craig DeBusk, Anderson feels the team has come together quickly, learning their new coach’s style and staying away from the drama that can plague many teams.
“We saw the potential that we could reach if we all come together,” says Anderson.
In his first season at the helm for the varsity Eagles, DeBusk admits he leans heavily on his star player.
“Tori is counted on every night to lead the team in scoring and assists, in addition to guarding the team’s best player, and running the offense,” says DeBusk. “She has great ball skills and can shoot the ball extremely well. She plays the game at a very high level.
“She is a tough competitor, has a smart basketball sense, and is a humble leader who loves to play the game. She is also a great student, as she currently holds a 3.7 GPA while managing her time as an athlete. Tori has a bright basketball future ahead of her.”
That future may include the realization of a dream to play in the WNBA, something Anderson has had on her mind since childhood. The Lake Forest resident is looking to study sports science, but will keep playing the game she loves for as long as she can.
“I just want to take basketball as far as it will take me,” says Anderson.
Wherever the sport takes her, Anderson looks to her mom and dad for inspiration, the role models in her life that have never left her side.
“No matter what you’re going through, just keep going,” says Anderson of the sage advice from her parents. “Through all the ups and downs, keep pushing. Soon enough, you’ll reach your goals.”