“Habersham County will always be my home and Habersham Central is where I want to be,” Cody Anderson told Now Habersham on Monday evening.
The former Habersham product (c/o 2011) might be the perfect piece the Raiders need to turn things around. He is just wrapping up a season as assistant coach for men’s basketball at Longwood University in Virginia. For Anderson, it’s a dream come true to return to his old stomping grounds.
“I am extremely humbled by the opportunity to lead Habersham Central basketball,” he said. “It is rare in the coaching profession that you get the chance to coach at your alma mater. It is a surreal feeling to know that I will have that opportunity and I could not be more excited to get to work with our young men.”
Anderson has a good chance to relate to the Raiders, who have been treading water the last few years with three coaches in as many seasons. Anderson will make the fourth in four. Long-time coach Don Ledbetter left the program following the 2016-17 season, giving way to coach Jeremy York in 2017-18 and Brandon Hutchins in 2018-19. York went 6-20 at the helm, while Hutchins was 3-21 this past season.
While Anderson brings a great youth presence to the program, and if he can get the buy-in from his team, he has the rest of the skillset to bring the Raiders back to .500 or better for the first time since 2011-12.
Anderson rose to the assistant coach level at Longwood after starting as the director of basketball operations in 2015. He graduated earlier that season from UGA, and had been a four-year student manager of the Bulldogs’ basketball program. Anderson knows how fortunate he’s been to be one of the youngest assistant coaches in the nation at the D-I level.
“I have been extremely fortunate that God blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of and coach at the Division I level these last eight years,” he says. “Along with that came the opportunity to play for and coach under some amazing basketball coaches: Don Ledbetter, Greg Neeley, Mark Fox, Jayson Gee, and Griff Aldrich. These relationships and experiences have transformed me as a coach, leader, and man. As I look back on these four years, they were all preparing me for this opportunity at Habersham Central. I feel called here. This calling is centered around my passion for using the game of basketball to develop young men and I can think of no place I would rather do that at than in Habersham County.”
Anderson brings a wide skill-set that includes film preparation, analytics, scouting, and more. He also has founded the Anderson Basketball Academy in Clarkesville back in 2013, which provides coaching and individual skill workouts for students in Habersham. While he has high expectations for himself and his team, he also knows that it will be a process.
“Building a successful basketball program takes an enormous amount of hard work and time,” he adds. “Winning does not happen overnight, but rather when you make gradual improvements over a long period of time. I look forward to getting in the gym and developing our players for on-court successes, but I even more so value the role of developing them for off-court successes. This program will be something that our entire community can be proud of and I could not be more excited to lead it.”
Feature Photo by Mike Kropf