Mission College Basketball Player Named All-State Player
By Robert Haugh
Having grown up with violence, drugs, and poverty in East Palo Alto, Mission College freshman Felicia Anderson is hoping to become a social worker, with a goal of mentoring youth and helping others who may face situations similar to hers.
Averaging 22.4 points per game, Anderson was named to the 2011-2012 California Community College Association All-State team, as voted upon by coaches. She’s Mission College’s first-ever All-State basketball selection.
Anderson hopes to transfer to a four-year university and obtain a BA in social work.
"Everyone around me has struggled," she explains. "My goal is to make it out and help people in similar situations, especially helping kids."
"With drugs and alcohol, kids feel like there is no escape or hope. Hopefully I can become a mentor to youth and help someone make it out," says Anderson.
During her senior year in high school, Anderson missed the final part of the basketball season, due to having one D in an AP Calculus class, despite having a 2.67 GPA. At Eastside College Prep, where she attended high school, you are ineligible to participate in athletics if you have even one D grade.
After high school, Anderson signed a letter of intent to play at San Francisco State. However, before school began, she was told there was no funding and she’d have to pay tuition out-of-pocket, something she could not afford.
Following that, she enrolled at William Jessup University on a partial scholarship, leaving mid-semester due to the rising debt of student loans. She returned to the Peninsula, then moved with some family members to Texas "to try something different" where she worked varying jobs, including at a nail salon, eventually returning home after coming home for Christmas.
After spending a semester at College of San Mateo, Anderson says she chose Coach Cory Cafferata and Mission College. "He’s the most loyal person I’ve ever met. He doesn’t just care about his players as players, he cares for them also as family. He will do anything for you. There are no limits to Cory having my back," she says.
"A lot of people doubted me ... said I wouldn’t finish college ... but I will prove them wrong. Choosing Mission is the best decision I’ve made since Eastside College Prep in sixth grade."
Outside of basketball, Anderson enjoys writing poetry, listening to music and hanging out with friends and family. Anderson was one of the founding members of a poetry group at her high school.
"It is amazing what she did to make All-State here at Mission," says Cafferata. "She’s doing so much with what she’s been given," adds Cafferata, who says Anderson has worked hard at overcoming adversity and has an “extreme opportunity to do something really big."
Cafferrata expects Anderson will get letters and offers from several universities, noting he has received at least ten calls from schools inquiring about her.