By Brooke Adams and Dawson Van Steenhouse
Photographer and Sports Reporter
Out of Irving, Texas, Ayriel Anderson was a natural born athlete.
“I first picked up basketball around three years old, and [joined] my first club team around five or six,” Anderson said.
Hooping her way through her formative years, Anderson never lost her love for basketball and helped her high school team bring home the 5A State Championship in 2011. Anderson’s electric spirit and hard work on the court earned her the nickname, the “Energizer Bunny.” When asked what made her choose Texas State, Anderson had nothing but kind words to say about her teammates and the basketball staff.
“The family environment along with the team and coaches immediately made me feel like I was at home,” Anderson said. She also expressed the importance of being just a few short hours from her family at home in North Texas.
Keeping an open mind, Ayriel set one central goal for herself in college: “To help the team win.” She’s accomplished this and more from her start as a freshman when she led the team in assists; leading in free throw percentage her sophomore year; finally, knocking down 60 three pointers her junior year, landing her at number six in Texas State history for shots made beyond the arc. Now, as a senior finishing up her last season, Anderson credits all of the ‘behind the scenes’ work of being a D1 athlete, from early morning practices to daily ice baths, for helping her mature as a person and athlete.
Looking back at her career at Texas State, Anderson recalled a stand-out moment.
“Last year when we beat Arkansas State. I think people doubted us…and it was just nice to get a win on senior night for the seniors…and to beat the [number two] team at that time,” Anderson said.
A more recent accomplishment for Anderson is her 1,000th point scored for the Bobcats. When we asked about how this made her feel, Anderson had nothing but humble words to say.
“It means I did something good for the college because not everybody can say that they went to college, let alone played basketball and scored 1,000 points,” Anderson said.
Referring back to her Energizer Bunny work ethic, Anderson tributes her success to high energy and perseverance on the court.
Joking about her “old age” now on the team, it was clear that Anderson is cherishing the moments she has left on the court. She expressed her awe at how fast time has flown by since freshman year. and left us with this piece of advice for younger athletes.
“Stay positive no matter what. And just know that deep down inside, everybody in this locker room and everybody on this staff has your back no matter what—no matter what you’re going through and no matter how much the coach is yelling at you, it’s all to make you better,” Anderson said.