Four-star Michigan commit in the 2024 class, Christian Anderson, will play AAU ball this spring and summer with the Atlanta Celtics, he announced earlier this month.
The Celtics are an AAU program that’s built quite the reputation. The program has a few famous alums, including a 2003 team that included NBA All-Stars Dwight Howard and Josh Smith, and some standout college players in Randolph Morris, Jarvis Crittenton and Brandon Rush.
It’s a bit of homecoming for Anderson Jr., who played with the Celtics back when he was in the seventh grade.
“I’m happy and excited,” Anderson Jr. said on joining the Celtics. “I’m happy to be a part of such a prestigious program and be able to not only play there, but be a key factor on the team.”
With Lovett High School in Atlanta, Georgia, Anderson Jr. was able to lead the Lions to a regional championship. They lost in the quarterfinals at state — essentially the Sweet Sixteen — on a buzzer-beater.
Lovett was able to put on some impressive regular season performances, as they beat Kenmore, one of the best teams in Chicago, and barely lost to Christ School, the No. 1 team in North Carolina.
When reflecting on the season, Anderson Jr. loved the fact Lovett was able to beat an arch rival to secure that regional title.
“We actually beat Pace Academy, a team we haven’t beat in like five years,” Anderson Jr. said. “We were all super excited that we got to beat them, especially in the regional (playoffs).”
The young point guard has been real busy the last eight months. Before his first day of school, he won a gold medal with Germany in Division B of the FIBA U16 European Championship.
“I was pumped,” Anderson Jr. said. “I won sophomore of the year and freshman of the year before that. But State Player of the Year for all of 4A is a different feeling — it just gives me this feeling that I’m doing the right thing.”
Anderson Jr. has gotten taller and bigger since the beginning of his junior season. He said he’s up to 6-feet and 150 pounds now. He also feels like he’s processing the game better, and being a better playmaker.
“I’m a lot stronger and faster than I was last year,” Anderson Jr. said. “It’s easier for me to navigate the floor and things like that. My IQ is still high, my shot-making ability is still high. A big improvement from last year is me getting into the mid-range shot, and getting to the basket more and creating more shots, rather than catch-and-shoot. I’ve been able to create more, facilitate more, and we’ve been able to beat better teams this year.”
Anderson Jr. has been in constant contact with the Michigan coaching staff, and he’s built a strong relationship with the staff before taking the floor at the Crisler Center.
“We talk to Juwan (Howard) and Saddi (Washington) on a regular basis,” Anderson Jr. said. “Saddi calls me four times a month, once a week. We’ve been communicating over the last three years since I committed.”