On September 3 Fresno State forward Braeden Anderson was involved in a car accident that left him with a displacement of his C-5 through C-6 vertebrae. Luckily for Anderson no damage was done to his spinal cord but the effects of the accident left him unable to swallow or eat for nearly two weeks, resulting in the 6-foot-9 forward losing a substantial amount of weight.
It’s unlikely that Anderson, who averaged 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in ten games last season, will see the floor for Rodney Terry’s Bulldogs this season but the fact of the matter is that the situation could have been far worse. In a story written by Robert Kuwada of the Fresno Bee, Anderson reflected on the crash while also looking forward to the future.
A future that will undoubtedly include a return to the court in 2014.
“I think the biggest thing that I’m taking away from this is that I’ve been through a lot of things in my life and this is just another thing that I’m going to get through,” said Anderson. “At the point of impact, that’s when I got lucky. The injury, it’s still a severe injury. But God still has a plan for me and he still has more things for me to do and I’m going to make a full recovery.
“There are not a lot of people who come away from this injury being able to move everything and with the doctors saying, ‘Hey, your neck is going to be stronger than 100% a couple of years from now.’ I’m just kind of holding on to that.”
Before the accident Anderson was a player more than a few expected to enjoy a breakout 2013-14 season in the Mountain West. Originally a Kansas signee in 2011, Anderson didn’t take the floor until January 2013 due to his being deemed a non-qualifier and subsequent transfer to Fresno State. With Robert Upshaw being dismissed from the program earlier in the summer, Anderson was expected to play a major role in the Bulldogs’ quest to improve their standing within the Mountain West.
But even with his inability to begin rehab until the holidays, Anderson’s dreams remain on the table. Doctors expect that he’ll be able to return to the court, and Anderson will continue to work towards his goal of attending law school.
“That’s definitely a big goal of mine — to get the most out of being a student-athlete and not taking for granted the opportunity to get your education,” Anderson told Kurada.
There’s a say that in every dark cloud there’s a silver lining, and that certainly seems to be the case for Anderson. He may not be able to help Fresno State on the court this season, but the situation could have been far worse than having to sit out a season.