Freshman point guard Ayriel Anderson may be small, but her energy is big.
“You’ve seen that commercial with the ever-ready batteries in the bunny? That’s Ayriel,” said Suzie Oelschlegel, Anderson’s high school coach. “She was just everywhere and just kept going on and on, like the Energizer Bunny.”
“The Energizer Bunny” is the nickname Anderson earned while playing basketball in Irving, Texas at MacArthur High School. Listed at just 5 feet and 3 inches, Anderson is the shortest player on the Bobcat team by three inches, but that does not discourage her from playing hard with intensity.
“There is rarely a time where I can have a bad game,” Anderson said. “I have to play to my potential and play with my heart out. Every time I hit the floor, I know I just have to play my hardest and go out there and help my team get a win.”
Winning is what Anderson is accustomed to. In her four years playing at MacArthur High, her team went 144-13, winning the 2010-2011 Texas 5A state championship. Anderson won the 3-point shooting contest at the 2012 Element of Champions All-Star game and was the Offensive Player of the Year in 2010-2011, earning 5A All-Tournament team honors. The standout freshman was also named to the Top-50 list of the best players in Texas by Premierbasketballreport.com.
“I think Texas State picked up a little gold mine with Ayriel,” Oelschlegel said. “She can run, she’s athletic, she can play defense, she can put pressure on the ball, she can hit the three, she can penetrate and dish. I mean, she can do her, and she does it all.”
Anderson has been asked to step up this season playing under Coach. The freshman guard has started three games this season and is a key reserve for Antoine off the bench.
“I feel like Ayriel has done well for us so far this season,” Antoine said. “She’s been around good mentorship and good players in high school where the adjustment for her has been pretty smooth. She’s a bit of an Energizer Bunny. She brings a lot of energy which comes from her playing with a lot of emotion out there, and she has fun doing it.”
Anderson may not have eye-popping numbers—she averages nine points and three assists per contest in conference play this season—but she brings unmatched energy and speed to the team. Her aggressive way of attacking the game of basketball is what made her coach and her fans in high school appreciate the type of player she was at MacArthur.
“She never lets up,” Oelschlegel said. “Her passion, her love, her desire for the game motivated me as well. She made our press go and would make our team go. She was everyone’s favorite, and everybody talks about how fun she was to watch.”
Her coaches said the passion, desire and the emotion she plays with as well as the talent she has makes up for what she lacks in size.
Fans can expect Anderson to be the player with energy that just keeps going and going and going.
BTN: Ayriel Anderson
16:Collegiate high in points in a loss to Utah State. Anderson hit five of her six three pointers in the game, corralled five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 27 minutes.
25:Ayriel has been relied on more lately, notching at least 25 minutes of game time in five of the last six games. She played 25 or more minutes in two of the team’s first nine games.