Nelison “Nick” Anderson (born January 20, 1968) is an American retired professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association for thirteen years.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Anderson played high school basketball at Simeon Career Academy where he was named “Illinois Mr. Basketball” for 1986 after leading his team to the city championship and a top national ranking in USA Today.
Anderson would go on to play at the University of Illinois for two years before joining the Orlando Magic in a career that would also include stints with the Sacramento Kings and the Memphis Grizzlies. He currently serves the Magic in several off-the-court functions and was elected to the “Illini Men’s Basketball All-Century Team” in 2004..
Like most expansion franchises, the Magic were a young team and Anderson was one of its few bright spots. As a result, the Magic were awarded high draft picks in several consecutive years, including Dennis Scott in 1990, Shaquille O’Neal in 1992, and Chris Webber, who was traded for a package including Penny Hardaway in 1993. In his first few seasons, Anderson was the Magic’s top scoring option, and led the team in points per game during the 1991-92 season. As the team’s talent level increased, Anderson was gradually relegated to a lesser offensive role but remained a consistent member of the team’s starting lineup. Exceptions include the April 23, 1993 game at New Jersey, in which he scored a career-high 50 points off the bench. In 1994-95, Anderson led Orlando in three-pointers with 179, and averaged 15.9 points per game. The Magic won 57 games, finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference, and won their first ever Atlantic Division title.
Career highlights and awards
First-team All-Big Ten (1989)
Illinois Mr. Basketball (1986)
Career NBA statistics
Points 11,529 (14.4 ppg)
Assists 2,087 (2.6 apg)
Steals 1,114 (1.4 spg)