The old place never wears on Ryan Anderson, like a driver settling into his relic ride, appreciating the look and feel.
Anderson has a soft spot for Power Balance Pavilion, which he'll always call Arco Arena because he's forever linked to its past. The Orlando Magic power forward starred for Oak Ridge High School in 2005 when the Trojans toppled national power Mater Dei of Santa Ana in the CIF Division II final.
Anderson still grins when he surveys the place as a once-a-year visitor to the arena, but now he gets paid handsomely to snap the rim and hit three-pointers as a professional.
"It's still exciting, definitely is," Anderson told reporters Saturday following practice. "I won a state championship here. A lot of memories. I used to really be in awe of this place."
Those who have studied Anderson's game have been in awe, too. At 6-foot-10, the talented Anderson was named The Bee's High School Player of the Decade for the 2000s. He excelled at Cal, was a first-round pick of the New Jersey Nets in 2008 and is now a 23-year old starter for the Magic, averaging a career-best 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds.
He went for 19 points and 11 rebounds in Orlando's 104-97 win over the Kings on Sunday afternoon in front of dozens of family members and friends. Anderson's game remains as smooth and easy as his personality, though Magic coach Stan Van Gundy isn't shy about offering constructive criticism and is particularly eager to see a more concerted effort on defense.
In other words, add some nasty to that niceness.
"I think he's a hell of a player," Van Gundy said. "My whole thing with him is I think he's got a chance to be an outstanding player in this league, and to do that, he's going to need to do some of these things (defense and rebounding)."
Said Anderson, "I know I can get better, and I want to get better, and I will."
Record-setting Folsom quarterback Tanner Trosin, The Bee's Offensive Player of the Year, has given Cal Poly a verbal commitment to play on scholarship. Cal Poly was the only scholarship school to express interest, the prevailing thought being that Trosin is too small at 6-1 and 175 pounds to handle the rigors of the college game.
Programs might grow to regret the slight, considering Trosin is only 17. His father, Tony, is 6-3 and the last quarterback to lead Sacramento State to the playoffs (in 1988).
Armstead to choose soon
Pleasant Grove All-America lineman Arik Armstead expects to announce his college destination this week. He hasn't tipped his hand, but we're sensing Cal. If so, it's a major recruiting season for the Bears. Cal already has commitments from Elk Grove lineman Steven Moore and Grant safety Shaq Thompson.
Burbank graduate Terrance Mitchell, looking lean and proud in Oregon sweats, watched his alma mater play Sacramento in a Metro Conference boys basketball thriller Friday night. Mitchell, a redshirt freshman, is a key member of the Ducks' secondary.
Kudos to Burbank and Sac High students and fans for packing the Dave Hotell Pavilion in Oak Park during a week when those schools were still on winter break.
UC Santa Barbara basketball coach Bob Williams attended the Father Kelly Tribute basketball showcase Saturday at Jesuit to watch his prize recruit in Foothill guard Michael Bryson, who can dribble, drive, shoot and defend. Bryson scored 21 points before going down early in the third quarter against Deer Valley of Antioch with a rolled ankle, an injury not considered serious.