Leesburg, Va. — Matthew Anderson has been around Loudoun County High School athletics his entire life. His two siblings, Michael and Kelsey, are two of the most successful athletes the school has seen in the past decade. Matthew was at their games growing up, hoping to follow in their footsteps and make a name for himself as one of the best basketball players in school history. The youngest of the Andersons certainly achieved what he set out to do and now he has committed to continue his playing career at Shenandoah University starting in the 2020-2021 school year.
“It felt great to commit early because then I just had to focus on playing ball during the season and getting decent grades,” said Anderson, who made his commitment on January 12. “I stopped worrying about college applications and all that.”
Michael, who graduated in 2013, scored over 1,000 points in his career on the basketball team and went on to have a successful career at Marymount University. Kelsey, who graduated in 2014, won three state titles as a member of the Raider volleyball program and played collegiately at Shepherd University.
“Michael is eight years older than I am, so by the time I understood basketball, he was playing at a competitive level,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t wait to play competitively. I started playing in first grade and have not stopped playing since. I love that it is a team sport. When your team connects on the court, you all win. One person can’t win the game for everyone.”
Anderson averaged 14.8 points, 4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game during his senior year, while racking up a laundry list of awards, including Dulles District Player of the Year, VHSL Region 4C Player of the Year, All-LoCo first team, and VHSL 4A first team all-state.
“Matthew was the heart and soul of this team,” Loudoun County head coach Mark Alexander said. “He made his teammates better with his energy, toughness and intensity. No one competed the way Matthew competed. His will to win was evident in every game, practice, drill and off-season workout.”
Alexander and Anderson led Loudoun County to a perfect 12-0 Dulles District regular season and the Dulles District tournament title, before helping the Raiders achieve something that had never been done before in his high school’s long history: bring home a boys basketball region title.
Anderson set some school records this season, a feat that is more impressive considering that Loudoun County High School has been around for 66 years. On February 14, Anderson set a single-game school record, making 8 three-pointers. Then in the very next game on February 18, he set the school record for most three-pointers made in a career – which now stands at 143. Finally, on February 25, Anderson scored his 1000th career point becoming the first Raider since his brother Michael to break the 1000-point plateau.
“He will be missed,” Alexander said, “But he leaves quite a legacy of what it means to be a Raider basketball player for all that follow.”
Anderson grew as a leader during his four years with the Raiders, and he credits that to the older players who were in the program when he was a varsity team member as a freshman and sophomore.
“I knew I had to prove myself on the court with my older teammates. I wanted them to know I looked up to them and wanted to learn from them,” Anderson said. “The cool thing about the environment of Loudoun County is that it’s all about family, and our basketball team is a family.”
Anderson will turn in his navy and gold for red and blue when he heads to Winchester in the fall. The Division III Shenandoah Hornets are coming off of a season in which they went 6-19 overall and 3-13 in a very competitive Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
“I want to be a good teammate and a contributor and make a difference,” Anderson said. “Shenandoah has the same philosophy that I’ve always had at County which is ‘get it done,’ and I got it done with the help of my teammates.”
With a four-year trip to Winchester in his near future, Anderson knows he’ll never forget his roots.
“It’s cool because so many people, like former players and other parents and friends who have graduated, always seem to come back and support us,” Anderson said. “I just can’t say enough about how great it has been playing for Loudoun County. I will be one of the super proud alumni that come back to watch and support this basketball team.”