Anderson named basketball Official of the Year
Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 30, 2015
Bridges Anderson has spent 24 seasons as a basketball official, and was recently awarded Official of the Year for basketball for the time and effort he puts in Andalusia officials association.
Anderson began officiating in 1991 after returning to Andalusia.
“I moved back to Andalusia in 1990 and began officiating in 1991,” Anderson said. “When I started we ran a two-man crew, and now we run a three-man crew. There have been some changes, but you still have to stay committed to the game.”
Anderson played basketball in high school and some in college before moving back to Andalusia in 1990.
“When I moved back to Andalusia I had some friends who were already officials here,” Anderson said. “They asked if I would be interested ,and I thought I would give it a try.”
One of the most important things for being an official is to remain neutral no matter what teams are playing, Anderson said.
“Calling Andalusia and Straughn games before my sons were playing were difficult,” Anderson said. “Well not really difficult, but you know you might be at Wal-Mart a few days after a game and someone you know comes up to and accuses you of cheating or missing calls. It’s difficult when it’s someone you know that says that. Most fans aren’t like that, though. We never miss calls, but we might not always make the right call.”
Anderson said that the most rewarding part of being an official is seeing the young kids who start in the city leagues and watching them grow and develop their games all the way through graduation.
“It’s rewarding seeing these kids develop their game,” Anderson said. “Seeing players start in city league just learning to dribble and watching them develop their game and going to college after graduating high school. I’ve seen players like Willie Frank Tolbert, Robert Horry and Chris Porter. That is the most rewarding part of being an official.”
Anderson had many people to thank in giving the chance to be an official for all these years.
“First I want to give praise to God for giving me the ability to run up and down the court every night,” Anderson said. “And thanks to the Andalusia Association for giving me a chance to officiate. Also, I want to thank my fellow officials for guiding and teaching me.”
Anderson said he has no intentions of hanging it up anytime soon, and plans on officiating as long as he is able.
“I want to continue officiating as along as I can,” Anderson said. “When I feel like the game has passed me by and
I can’t keep up, or if I get to the point where I don’t know the game like I use to then it will be time to step down. With all the support from God, family and friends I feel like I have many more years left to call.”