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BOYS BASKETBALL: Passing of Consortium coach Al Anderson weighs heavy on Metro Detroit prep hoops community

By: Scott Burnstein, February 18, 2013, 8:00 pm

DETROIT – The loss will be felt forever.

The memory of a man, his passion, his impact, his success, will endure eternally.

Al Anderson, Detroit Consortium’s head boys basketball coach and one of the top young sideline generals in the state, died on Saturday night, reportedly as a result of complications from heart problems he had been experiencing in recent years.

Anderson, 40, collapsed at the school in the hours after leading his team to a blowout-victory on the hardwood over Dayton (OH) Dunbar. The winning club and its coach were about to start celebrating the birthday of fab frosh Josh Jackson, who was coming off his second 30-point outing this month against Dunbar on Saturday, when Anderson went to sit down in a chair and dropped to the floor. Rushed to Henry Ford Hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Since taking the reins at Consortium six years ago, Anderson had turned the tiny charter school at the corner of Michigan and Livernois into a genuine hoops power, accumulating a win-percentage over the .750 mark.

In 2011, he took the team into the Class C final four. Last winter, the Cougars were considered one of the most dangerous squads in the state regardless of school size, and captured a district crown before losing in the regional championship game.

When he was a prepster on the basketball court himself, he was a standout point guard at now-defunct Detroit St. Martin DePorres, a one-time giant of Catholic League athletics which closed its doors in 2005. For college, he ran track at Central Michigan University.

Consortium hasn’t officially named a replacement for Anderson. Saturday’s win ran Consortium’s record to 13-3. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 2 in the state in Class C.

Jackson and UTEP-signee Vincent Hunter headline Consortium’s attack this season, a pair of players that both benefited greatly under Anderson’s guidance.

He was held dear to the hearts of so many.

And, in the understatement of all understatements, he will be missed.

Coach Anderson is survived by his wife of 15 years, Tiffany and his daughter, Autumn, a freshman basketball player and student in the St. Claire Shores School District.