Patrick Anderson is largely considered to be the best wheelchair basketball player in the world and one of the greatest to have ever played the game. His talents on and off the court have garnered him international fame as a great role model and fabulous ambassador of the sport. He is well known for his basketball flair and charismatic personality.
Anderson was born in Edmonton, Alta. and grew up in Fergus, Ont. Like many Canadian kids, he enjoyed playing ice hockey and other sports. In 1989, at the age of 9, he was struck by a drunk driver and lost both of his legs below the knee. He discovered wheelchair basketball in 1990 and his natural athletic ability and tenacity quickly transferred over to the basketball court.
With Paralympic aspirations fuelling his competitive fire, Anderson worked his way up to the National Team in 1997. He also earned a wheelchair basketball scholarship to the University of Illinois.
Anderson wasted little time making a name for himself on the international stage. His exceptional talents, unmistakable style, and dangerous combination of height and speed were on full display as he led the Canadian Junior Men’s National Team to back-to-back World Championships in 1997 and 2001. He was named the most valuable player of both tournaments.
In 1998, Canada won bronze at the world championship and Anderson was named to the first of many all-star teams as a member of the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team. He later realized his dream of playing the sport at the highest level and helped Canada win back-to-back Paralympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004, along with a silver medal in 2008. He also became a world champion as Team Canada captured the gold medal in 2006.
Outside of the National Team program, Anderson has competed in professional leagues overseas in Australia and Germany. In 2003, he was named the MVP of the Australian National Wheelchair Basketball League. His former club in Germany, RSV Lahn-Dill, also won three consecutive European Champions Cups from 2004-2006. He has also won numerous national championships and individual accolades in both Canada and the United States.
Anderson took a brief hiatus from wheelchair basketball following the 2008 Paralympic Games to pursue other interests, including his love for music. Music has always been a big part of his life and it’s a passion that he continues to explore to this day alongside his wife Anna with their band The Lay Awakes.
In 2011, an invigorated Anderson returned to Team Canada set to push his game, his team and his sport to the next level. He once again led Canada to Paralympic gold at London 2012, where he led the tournament in scoring.
He took another hiatus from the National Team following the London 2012 Paralympics, but much to the delight of his teammates, coaches, and all of Canada, Anderson donned his Team Canada jersey once again in 2017. He led the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team to a silver medal finish at the 2017 Americas Cup, qualifying a spot for the 2018 IWBF World Championships. Anderson averaged 23 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game and was named MVP of the tournament.