When it comes to energy, Sherwin Anderson has plenty of it.
“I wake up every day and give thanks to two things: I got those two eyes open," Anderson said. "I don't even play with it.”
Anderson is the host of the YouTube video series Basketball Hustle TV, which showcases talent around the Tri-State, and he teaches the game to aspiring hoopers.
“The goal is just to give a kid a platform in a positive light,” Anderson said.
Anderson originally came to Cincinnati for basketball. A two-year captain at Xavier from 1993-1997, he helped the Musketeers reach two NCAA tournament berths and led the nation in steals as a junior in the 1995 season.
After graduating with his master's degree from Xavier, he moved to Florida to play for the Harlem Globetrotters. Then, he came back to Cincinnati to start the Sherwin Anderson Skills Academy in 2000.
“Training kids, mentoring kids, I wanted to give them an outlet to learn the game and release that energy,” Anderson said.
When the pandemic forced the closing of his Over-the-Rhine gym, Anderson transitioned to being a life coach, inspired by the experiences of his own children over the last year.
“I can't even explain how many kids are spending long periods of times in their rooms, not having contact with people,” Anderson said.
Saaf Ahmad met Anderson several years ago when he played basketball at Mason High School.
He reached out again during the pandemic when he was having a tough time.
“I need somebody to talk to that can offer me some stability, and he's a very positive voice,” Ahmad said. “The first thing he said was, 'I'm here to walk with you through this journey. We’ll figure it out.'"
Ahmad is one of more than a dozen young people Anderson mentors. His goal is to be a support system.
“The therapists are overbooked, and some kids just want to talk," Anderson said. "They just want to have a simple conversation with somebody that's willing to listen. I'm a very good listener.”