For some, flying to the other side of the world often means new experiences and a host of unique things to see and do. For Team England’s Jamell Anderson, it’s a little different. Born in Nottingham, Anderson’s enjoyed a solid career to date that has taken him to Essex, Leicester, Cheshire and currently Spain with FG La Roda. Last April, at the conclusion of the BBL season he headed down under to join the Townsville Heat, helping them to lift the QBL Championship for the first time in 17 years. With Team England’s pool matches at this year’s Commonwealth Games taking place in Townsville, it’s no surprise Anderson already feels right at home as a man in demand.
“I've got about 50 coffee dates lined up. I'll be wired by the time that first game vs Scotland comes around!” laughs Anderson. “But in all seriousness a lot of my friends will be coming to the games here so hopefully I will have a chance to at least say hello and take some pictures to bring back home.”
It’s a somewhat unique scenario for the Team England camp, with so many players experiencing not only the Gold Coast for the first time but Australia as a whole. For Anderson though, he already has a long list of things to see and do, “Where do I start?! From the friends I’ve made and the family I stayed with when I was here, to hanging out at the Phone House with my extended family Nancy, Lauren and my brother Jeremy! I’ve got to get down for an Acai Shake at Squeeze Me! The beach and especially the rock pools were always my place to go and just think and relax, so one things for sure I'll be doing the rounds when I’m not on court!”
Whilst Townsville is clearly a special place for Anderson, he also has a deep enjoyment of the people he met during his 2017 stay on the Gold Coast. “The people of Townsville always greeted me with a smile and positive energy which is why coaching the kids and forming friendships was so great. Winning the QBL title just seemed like the icing on the cake, it was our goal all along and to achieve it in such a fun and memorable way is just something I'll never forget,” recalls Anderson.
With such a popular player in the Team England ranks, does Anderson think that there might be a little more local support than previously expected? “I’m not so sure about that!” he laughed. “I'd like to think no matter what that the bonds I made will last a lifetime, I can't guarantee my friends and the other locals will be changing to support England any time soon but I think there is a mutual desire to see one another be happy and successful.”