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Sharele Anderson, whose parents both graduated from Monticello High School, smiles as she holds a trophy she earned at a tournament during the recently completed 2009-2010 high school basketball season.

New Jersey high school hoops star has a connection to Sullivan County

By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY — March 30, 2010 — One of the top girls’ high school basketball players in the state of New Jersey has connections to Sullivan County.
Sharele Anderson is a senior at Clayton High School in Clayton, N.J. She has scored more than 1,500 points in her scholastic hoops career.
After scoring her 1,000th career point during the 2008-2009 season, Anderson became the all-time leading scorer for boys and girls in the history of Clayton High School basketball during the 2009-2010 season. The record was 1,381 points.
“It was pretty cool,” she said of achieving that milestone.
“I’m also looking forward to helping my team make history,” Anderson added.
She was referring to the fact that the team was close to eclipsing the mark of 13 wins, which is the school record for the number of victories by the girls’ basketball team in one season.
Sharele also has more than 800 career rebounds.
When she was in the seventh and eighth grades at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School in Monticello, Anderson was a member of the Monticello girls’ modified basketball team. She remembers very well playing for Coach Joe Ebeling.
“We had a good group of kids on the team,” Anderson said.
Prior to attending Kaiser Middle School, Anderson went to the George L. Cooke School for Kindergarten, first grade and second grade. She was enrolled at the Kenneth L. Rutherford School for third, fourth and fifth grade.
Sharele Anderson’s parents, Keith Anderson and Michelle Bridges (nee Burbridge), are both graduates of Monticello High School. Keith Anderson played basketball at Monticello, while Michelle Bridges played for the Lady Panthers’ softball team.
For three years, Keith Anderson played on the Panthers’ varsity basketball team for Coach Dick O’Neill, who is a member of the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Hall of Fame. Keith then played at Philadelphia University, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II school.
Keith noted that longtime Monticello girls’ varsity basketball Coach Karen Atack “saw that Sharele had the chance to be a standout basketball player.”
When asked about his influence on Sharele, Keith says that it is limited.
“This is all about Sharele,” Keith said. “She has made herself a great basketball player. She worked on her game and has stayed level-headed throughout the process.”
There is a great deal of basketball talent in the family, however, as one of Keith Anderson’s cousins played at Creighton University and was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics of the National Basketball Association in 1984.
In addition to playing for the Clayton High School Lady Clippers, Sharele, a 5-foot-10 forward, has played AAU basketball the past three summers. In 2007, she was a member of the Willingboro Blitz.
During the summers of 2008 and 2009, Sharele played for the Monroe Magics. In 2008, she and her Magics teammates competed in a tournament in Florida against eight of the top AAU teams in the country.
Sharele Anderson is a true student-athlete. She has an 85 percent grade point average, scored 1,450 on the SAT exam and is ranked in the top third of her graduating class.
She is looking to major in psychology, or something related, in college.
Speaking of college, Keith Anderson noted that more than 30 NCAA Division I, II and III schools are interested in Sharele. Among the universities offering Sharele the opportunity to play for their women’s basketball team are Kutztown (Pa.), Delaware and LaSalle in Philadelphia, Pa.
Sharele averaged 20 points and nine rebounds per game for the 2009-2010 season. For her career, she averaged a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.
During her high school career, Sharele earned several honors and accolades. They include being named Honorable Mention for the All South Jersey Team in 2008-2009; selected to the Tri-County Classic Division Second Team in 2008-2009; named to the Tri-County Classic Division Second Team in 2007-2008 and chosen for the Tri-County Classic Division Third Team in 2006-2007.
One of Sharele Anderson’s most loyal fans is her grandmother, Mattie Anderson, who lives in Monticello.

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