Pacific basketball player top scorer and scholar

Alphonso Anderson

Alphonso Anderson

University of the Pacific men's basketball senior Alphonso Anderson’s winning combination of excellence in the classroom and on the court has earned him top honors as one of five players named to the Academic All-District 8 Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Anderson, who is majoring in media and public relations, has a 3.85 grade-point average and leads the Tigers in scoring, averaging 11.5 points per game, and a 6.8 average in rebounds.

 He now moves into consideration for the organization’s national all-academic team, which will be announced in March.

“Balancing school while working on your craft is not easy, but my mom taught me very young that they go hand in hand,” Anderson said. “The university has created an environment where I can succeed on and off the court. I am thankful for professors who effectively communicate and I also want to thank my coaches and team for pushing me to be better.”

District 8 is comprised of institutions in California, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Canada. To qualify for the award, student-athletes must be a starter or key reserve, at least a sophomore in academic standing, have been at their respective institution for at least one academic year, and must have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average.

“Alphonso is the type of student-athlete who goes to classes and practice each day and always gives his absolute best,” Pacific Head Coach Leonard Perry said. 

Janet Lucas, director of athletics, said Anderson’s approach and success is a model for Pacific student athletes.

“This award is an acknowledgement of the impact Alphonso has had on our program,” Lucas said. “One of the four pillars within our athletic department is balance, and for me that means the balance between academics and athletics. Alphonso is a great example of a student-athlete who embraces both of these areas.”

Tigers face long-time rival USF in holiday game

Pacific’s men’s basketball team will play host to the University of San Francisco for the 111th time in a President’s Day matchup at 6 p.m. Monday at the Spanos Center.

The teams met for the first time in the 1911-12 season when USF was known as St. Ignatius and Pacific was still located in the Bay Area. The rivalry has endured for more than a century with both teams having periods of success.

Bob Thomason, who played for Pacific from 1968-71 and was head coach of his alma mater for 25 years before retiring in 2013, said the rivalry remains strong. He played for the Tigers more than a decade after Hall of Famer Bill Russell had led USF Dons to two national championships (1956 and 1957). 

“San Francisco was always a good basketball team,” Thomason said. “People always were able to relate to San Francisco coming in here to play.”

The Tigers have won two of the last three matchups with the Dons, most recently earning a 76-59 victory on Feb. 27, 2021.