He's one of the greatest leapers in all of college basketball, but Doug Anderson knows it takes more than sheer talent to succeed. You have to hit the books.
The University of Detroit Mercy's fabulous dunker turned his academics around after a powerful conversation with a Super Bowl champion.
When you watch a Detroit Titans game, you just have to wait for it. A Doug Anderson dunk is bound to happen almost every time the Titans take the court.
Doug's career at Calihan Hall almost never took flight. His grades weren't up to par.
"I'd hear it and it would go in one ear and out the other," said Anderson. "Until it hit me at the end of my sophomore year, like 'I better get these grades up so I can go somewhere.'"
Was there a moment? One point in time when the light switch flipped on?
When an NFL star like Packer wide receiver Greg Jennings, who also went to Kalamazoo Central High School, takes the time to chat with you, those are words you take to heart.
"One day after a pep rally, he just came up and talked to me, like, 'This is about the time for you to get everything together. You need to focus more on school, you need to work hard on the court and off the court for you to get somewhere, because you have the potential to do what a lot of people from Kalamazoo can't do.'
"I really listened to what he said to me and took it to mind."
Still unable to play in Division I straight out of high school, Doug enrolled at Mott Community College, where he made his mark in the classroom.
"That's what I really went into school focusing on," said Anderson. "The first semester I think I had over a 3.0 GPA."
Of course, he succeeded on the court as well, famously shattering a backboard during one of his games while playing for Mott.
"That was accidental," said Anderson. "All the body weight coming down, it was kind of creepy. I let go as fast as possible. There was glass everywhere."
Finally, Doug's grades were good enough for him to join the Titans squad in 2011, and his springs helped spark wins en route to a Horizon League title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
"I came in here thinking that I had to work even harder in class so I could stay eligible to play," said Anderson.
Earlier this week, one of Doug's dunks was #1 on Sportscenter's Top Ten list. He's the front-runner to win this year's NCAA Slam Dunk Challenge, which will be held in Atlanta during the week of the Final Four.
Follow Doug on Twitter - @HeGotHops_23 Follow Tom on Twitter - @TomLeyden