Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Rockets Ryan Anderson praises God in both triumph and tragedy

The Houston Rockets are the best team in the NBA. They’ve won 10 games in a row and have the top record in the NBA at 21-4.

James Harden is on his way to another MVP season and Chris Paul has been solid since returning from injury. Another key player for this team is veteran forward Ryan Anderson.

At 6-foot-10, Anderson has been a key contributor since arriving in Houston in 2016. Last season, he averaged 14 points per game for a team that won 55 games. This year, he’s averaging 12 points and has started every game for a Rockets team that is currently atop the Western Conference.

Anderson’s NBA journey began in 2008, when he was selected by the New Jersey Nets with the 21st overall pick out of Cal, but he was quickly acclimated to the business side of the league when he was traded after his rookie year to Orlando.

From 2009-2012, Anderson was a member of the Magic and then again was traded, this time to New Orleans.

But it was in his second season with New Orleans when trials came his way.

In 2013, Anderson was dating model Gia Allemand, a former contestant on “The Bachelor.” Anderson called her “the most amazing person I ever met.” But tragedy struck in August of 2013 when Allemand took her own life.

Anderson talked in a 2014 video about overcoming this tragedy and how counseling and specifically his coach at the time, Monty Williams, helped him get through the pain he was experiencing.

“I praise God every day to have Him in my life,” Anderson said in September 2013. “It would be very, very hard to get through these steps if I didn’t have God and Jesus Christ in my life. I’m really glad coach (Williams) asked me to come back when he did. I’ve been here for a few weeks now and just being around the guys and being back in the gym, having some sort of routine back, it helps a little bit.”

In January 2014, the hits kept coming as Anderson suffered a neck injury in a game against the Boston Celtics that saw him get removed on a stretcher and eventually required neck surgery, forcing him to miss the rest of the season.

He would return the following season and has been a stabilizing force for the teams (New Orleans/Houston) he has played for ever since.

In the summer of 2017, Anderson got married to Kari Klinkenborg and honeymooned in New Zealand.

Anderson grew up in the Christian faith and had Biblical principles instilled in him from a very young age.

“I grew up in a Christian household and went to an amazing church,” Anderson told NBA.com back in 2012. “I had not only a great family at home, but a great church family as well. It is Sun Hills Community Church in El Dorado Hills, California.”

The Rockets signed Anderson to a four-year, $80 million deal in July of 2016. With stars like Chris Paul and James Harden, Anderson has started 23 of the 24 games he’s played in 2017-18 and is fitting in well for a team that has NBA Finals aspirations in 2018.