Legacy: The Recruit

Sebastian Anderle ’06 stands out in a crowd. On a good day, he tops off at 6’11”, and, as his
By Kaija-leena Romero

Sebastian Anderle ’06 stands out in a crowd. On a good day, he tops off at 6’11”, and, as his brunch choices indicate, it takes a lot of food to keep a body that size running. At final count, it was four chicken breast filets, and about as many eggs as those chicken produced in a month.

With such a physique, it’s no surprise that Anderle plays basketball. Still, the only courts seeing Anderle’s b-ball skills this season are those of Grays’ IM team.

Anderle came to Harvard from Apolda, Germany, as a fresh-faced recruit for the men’s basketball team. He was all ready to get down to the business of being a varsity athlete when he found out, on his birthday in October, that he had been cut.

It seems counterintuitive for a Harvard recruiter to take the time, energy and resources to seek out a player, watch him play, fly him to Harvard, and encourage him to choose Harvard over other schools, only to give him the axe less than two months into the school year. Anderle, though initially hurt and frustrated at the decision, has handled it with remarkable grace and maturity. He acknowledges that he only began playing basketball three years ago, as an exchange student in Los Angeles—previously, he had played soccer.

After a year as an exchange student, he decided to stay in the U.S. in order to go to an American university, and boarded at Montclair Prep in Los Angeles for two years. In the fall of 2001, he was contacted by the University of San Diego, Columbia, Cornell and Harvard. But Anderle had his eyes on the Ivy.

Anderle’s acceptance to Harvard was greeted with support by most of his friends in high school, though he admits that some friends teased him about getting in only for basketball.

He acknowledges his basketball skill was a big factor in his acceptance: he was a good student, but doesn’t believe that Harvard would have been an option without recruitment. It’s not that Anderle thinks he doesn’t belong here. In fact, he says athletes add to the campus, deeming them more in touch with “reality” than the average student.

Anderle is surprisingly unaffected by his dismissal from the basketball team. He says he isn’t “all that attached” to the sport, and that since he’s stopped basketball, he’s had a lot more time to do homework and get a job. He was reminded recently, though, of one of his other offers when the head coach of Columbia’s basketball team recognized him at a basketball game and mentioned that he wished that Anderle had come down to New York to play.

Despite New York’s lure and the chance to play again, Anderle doesn’t want to transfer. “I like Boston,” he says matter-of-factly, and doesn’t particularly feel like changing schools again.

So for now, the IM teams will remain blessed by a near-varsity player in their ranks. Anderle also puts his height to use for the Grays’ volleyball squad. But sometimes the lack of focus and commitment on them can get to Anderle.  He tends to stay away from everything but basketball. He gets annoyed when people “fuck around with the volleyball and giggle when they drop it.”