Roddie Anderson, Columbia College
As 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard, Roddie Anderson led Columbia College to the 1993 California Community Colleges Athletic Association State Basketball Championship. Anderson was named the tournament?s most valuable player after leading the Claim Jumpers to a 97-88 victory over Ventura College at the University of San Francisco. He knew how to take over a game. In the semifinal game against LA Trade Tech, Anderson rallied the Claim Jumpers, scoring eight of his 40 points in overtime as Columbia went on a a 10-3 run to secure the win.
Anderson, who graduated from Modesto High School, played two seasons for Columbia. During his two seasons, the Claim Jumpers finished with a 63-7 record, won two Coast Valley Conference titles and named conference MVP.
In his final season, Anderson averaged 18.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists. He shot 52 percent from the floor and his assists-to-turnovers ratio was an impressive 184-91. He was also Columbia's top rebounder.
He signed with Utah State University where as a junior the Utes won the Big West Conference championship and participated in the National Invitation Tournament, losing to Illinois State in overtime, 93-87. He finished his career at Utah with 503 points scored 302 rebounds in 56 games.
Lester Neal, Ventura College
Phil Matthews knew a player when he saw one. And he saw a good one in Lester Neal. Neal, who was inducted into the Ventura College Hall of Fame in 2008, played for the Mathews at Ventura College in 1989-90 and 1990-91.
He was a two-time All-Western State Conference player and a two-time all-state selection. He also was selected as the conference?s most valuable player his sophomore season and named to the Junior College All-American team. In 1991, Neal, who graduated from Dunbar High School in Chicago, IL, led the Pirates to a 30-5 record and the regional finals of the CCCAA state playoffs. That same season he set the Pirates? rebounding record with a 14.8 per game average.
Graduating with a grade point average of 3.0, Neal transferred to Arizona State University where he led the Sun Devils in rebounding for two years. His 484 rebounds (8.2 per game) ranks in the top eight by a two-year player in Sun Devil history. He was the first recipient of the Lester Neal Warrior Award, an honor created by his coaches for someone who demonstrated leadership, discipline and a strong work ethic.
During the 1992-93 season, Neal averaged 9 rebounds a game which lead the Pac-10. In his two-year career, he played in 59 games, starting 47 and shot .556 (248-of-448) from the field and averaged 8.2 boards per game and 10.4 points per game. He posted his career-high in his final game with 26 points vs. Georgetown in a NIT loss on March 18, 1993, and his best rebounding effort was on Dec. 5, 1991, when he grabbed 18 vs. Texas-San Antonio. He was 37-24 while playing for Bill Frieder.
Neal went on to spend 10 years playing professionally in Europe, Asia and South America. After retiring from competitive basketball, he returned to Phoenix and began working as a mentor and life coach with inner city youth in addition to spending time with Native American children on Arizona's Indian reservations. He also returned to school, 20 years later, earning his degree from ASU in 2010 in Interdisciplinary Studies.
John Bynum, College of the Sequoias
John Bynum, a graduate of Whitney High School in Visalia, was a two-time All-Central Valley Conference player and a two-time all-state selection. He scored over 1,000 points in his two-year career as a Giant and amassed over 500 rebounds and 400 assists. He averaged 16.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, finishing in the top 10 in the state in field goal percentage shooting at 59.1 percent his final season.
He success at Sequoias led to Bynum signing with Metropolitan State University in Denver. During his time with the Roadrunners, he played in two national championships and helped the Roadrunners amass a two-year record of 61-10. In 2000, Metropolitan State University raised the NCAA Division II national championship banner after securing a 97-79 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan. Bynum was selected to the Elite 8 all-tourney team after shooting 64 percent from the field.
In his career, he played in 70 games at Metropolitan State University, making 46 starts. He concluded his career with a 11.4 scoring average. She shot .535 (294-550) from the floor, .321 (18-56) from three-point range and .682 (192-283) from the free throw line to go along with a 4 per game rebound average.
After completing his career at Metropolitan State University, Bynum headed overseas. He made his professional debut with the Solent Stars of the National Basketball League in England. Bynum averaged over 30 points a game his rookie season and led the team in rebounds and assists.
He then headed to Germany where he played for the Grevenbroich Elephants, a third-tier league team. In 2002-03, Bynum led the team to the championship. He then headed to Norway and the Ulriken Eagles, coached by current NBDL Bakersfield Jam coach Wil Voigt. Together, they led the Eagles to playoffs with Bynum leading the team in scoring (20 point per game) and rebounds. Following his stint in Norway, he returned to Germany and Grevenbroich, now a member of the top-tier English Basketball League.
In the 2004-2005 season, Bynum averaged 26.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.4 assist and was named to the Eurobasket.com First Team. After going to the prestigious Treviso camp in Italy and the East Meets West Camp in Poland, Bynum signed a contract to play for Etha Engomis in the first division in Cyprus. He was released in the pre-season, but two months later signed Bremerhaven, a top-tier team in Germany.
In all, Bynum played 12 years of professional basketball overseas covering three different countries, England, Norway and Germany. Bynum co-founded B3 Elite, and today he is employed at Shoot 360 Basketball and is manager of the Signal the Light Basketball website which covers California community college basketball.