Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen Practiced With His Old High School Team

by November 23, 2011

During the NBA offseason/lockout, the Birdman [insert “Brrrrrrr!” here] ran with the hoops team at his old high school for a couple of weeks. From ESPN: “After leading Oak Ridge (Conroe, Texas) to three-straight playoff appearances, coach Rob Stewart knows he’s facing a challenging year with six sophomores on the roster. But Stewart is hoping that his ex-star and current NBA veteran Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen made a lasting impression on his guys over the summer, something they’ll be able to translate to success this season. The 6-foot-10 Denver Nuggets power forward practiced with the War Eagles. Chris Andersen said his high school coach Rob Stewart has been an inspiration to him. ‘It was definitely exciting,’ Stewart said. ‘I think we worked more enthusiastically because obviously they were just fired up to have Chris around. I know that it made an impact, but I’m sure it will make more of an impact later on as they stop and think about, ‘Wow, I can’t believe he said that and we did that.’ During several previous summers, Stewart would work out Andersen, whom he coached at Iola (Texas) in the late 1990s, for two or three days. But this summer, with the NBA lockout in effect, Andersen had more time on his hands and he ended up spending two weeks with Stewart and his team. At first when Anderson arrived on campus, he was able to sneak into the gym without being noticed. But two days later, he was already prompting a student frenzy. ‘We have these windows that go along the back part of our gym,’ said Dylan Tacconi, a senior. ‘You’d look out and there was probably 20, 30 people sitting out there, going ‘Oh my goodness, it’s Birdman.’ While participating in full-court and fastbreak drills, scrimmages and even suicides, Andersen taught the players how to do a move he does on the pro level: running the short corner when opposing defenses go zone. Throughout every exercise, Andersen stressed to be aggressive ‘like bulldogs.’”