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Spartan of the Week: Larnell Anderson

Posted 02/25/2009 by Vince Crespin

Now a senior at TJ, Larnell Anderson has worked hard to put himself in the best position possible to succeed in life.


Anderson chooses TJ despite the long commute. photo by Kevin Fleming

When Larnell Anderson’s alarm clock goes off at 5:00 a.m., he has two choices: hit the snooze and be late to first period, or get up and make it to class on time.  For Anderson, that’s a no-brainer: he’s a Spartan.

As many students before him, Anderson was faced with the option of commuting from Green Valley Ranch (close to DIA) to TJ or selecting convenience and just attending the local school. After his freshman year at Montbello, he decided it was time for a change. “I knew that lots of people from Montbello and Green Valley Ranch catch the bus to TJ, and at that time I wanted a better academic school, and I remembered hearing TJ was one of the best in DPS, so it was a natural decision for me,” said Anderson. For many, the distance is problematic and causes students to be tardy or can result in students being tired in class since they have to wake up earlier, but Anderson doesn’t use that as an excuse. “At the end of the day we are here to learn. Everything we do grades-wise will be kept track of and sent off to colleges, so you can’t really afford to slip,” he said.

Anderson’s choice of which high school he should attend was brought up again when his family moved to East Denver. “I thought about going to East because the school pride there is awesome, but I enjoyed most of TJ’s culture as well, and by that point I made plenty of friends within the school, so I chose to stay at TJ. Although I still feel TJ lacks some things in comparison to other schools, Montbello’s social scene and school pride are better, but everything else TJ does bigger and better,” commented Anderson.

No matter where Anderson ends up, he has always had the same basic interests. Basketball has always been Anderson’s first love, and when he is not keeping up on NBA and college basketball scores, he can be found at his community church, Epiworth Baptist. “I love basketball. I don’t know what it is or why I enjoy it so much, but basketball has and always will be my passion in life, along with trying to help others. At my church I serve as a youth leader, and it is definitely the most rewarding thing I do; I just love being able to make people smile or just make their day better no matter what they are going through,” said Anderson with a smile on his face.

In regards to who has influenced him the most in his life time, the answer was simple: “God. God has enabled me with strengths and traits, and I believe he gave them to me to be able to help others. Out of the traits he has given me, I feel my biggest strengths are being able to help and communicate with others, and believing in myself and having faith in God; because without him, I wouldn’t be who I am today,” said Anderson.

Since Anderson enjoys being around and helping others so much, he has directed his intended major to be able to do the same once out of college. “I plan and hope to major in business. I want the interaction with people that it comes with and I want the possible success and money that could come with it too. I know it requires a lot of work, but business is where I want to be. I figure something like a manager of an agency or something like that. That would be a good fit for me personally because I could possibly combine my two passions in people and basketball,” said Anderson.

As for the immediate future, Anderson’s present is focused on one big decision: which college to attend. He has narrowed it down to The University of Denver, Trinidad Junior College and North Eastern Junior College. “DU is by far my top choice, but the cost is a major factor. I am also considering JuCo’s for a couple of reasons. Again the cost, but also I didn’t focus on my grades my first two years of high school. Since then I reevaluated things and found out the hard way about what it takes to get into a top rate college. No matter where I go, though, God has made me faithful and courageous, so I will work hard, and be the best I can be; then the rest is in his hands,” said Anderson.

Every morning when that 5:00 a.m. alarm sounds, Anderson has a lot of great reasons to get out of bed.