Glencoe post Marly Anderson has grown into a dominant force in the Pacific Conference

Throughout her life, Glencoe senior post Marly Anderson has grown into herself.

There was a time that Anderson did not like her TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Glencoe senior Marly Anderson posts up during a Pacific Conference basketball game against Forest Grove last Friday night.

“My great grandpa was named Marlin and everyone called him Marly, and I was named after him,” Anderson says. “When I was really young I couldn’t say my Rs and I went up to my mom and was like, ‘Why did you name me Molly? I’m five and I can’t even say my name yet.’”

Now, Anderson likes the uniqueness of being the only girl named Marly that most people have ever met.

“I like that it’s so original,” Anderson says. “I like that no one really has that name.”

There was a time when the now 6-foot-3 Anderson was not happy about how tall she was either.

“My dad is 6-5 and my mom is 6-feet tall and I was always pretty tall,” Anderson says. “It used to (bother me). In elementary school I was always way taller than everyone else. I always thought I was kind of weird.”

That too changed.

“Toward middle school and high school, I’ve just grown to love it,” Anderson says. “It gives me an advantage in basketball. I like it now. It’s kind of cool to be taller than everyone.”by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Glencoe senior post Marly Anderson splits a pair of Forest Grove defenders during a Pacific Conference basketball game last week.

Anderson’s name might not give her much of an advantage on the court, but her height certainly does. This season, Anderson has become the star player for the Crimson Tide and the catalyst in Glencoe’s push to try to make a deep playoff run.

“We go as she goes,” Glencoe coach Dylan Hettrich says. “We’re in her ear all the time saying, ‘You need to set the tone early. A lot of these kids look up to you.’”

Growing up, Anderson was pressured to play softball by her sister Sloan Anderson, who is now playing for Wichita State. Anderson always loved basketball, though.

“I’ve played basketball since I could, starting in the Boys and Girls Club,” Anderson says. “My sister played softball and kind of started me into that, but I never really liked softball. I just kind of played because a lot of my friends played. In the sixth grade I decided that basketball was my sport because I loved playing it. I just stopped playing softball and did basketball only.”

Anderson always had the body of a center, but she always had the shot of a wing.

“I’ve always gone to the gym a lot with my dad,” Anderson says. “He was more of a tall forward when he played basketball so he helped me a lot in developing my shot.”

Her hybrid ability soon drew the eyes of college coaches. After considering her options, Anderson accepted a scholarship with Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash.

“I went on a visit and I wanted to go somewhere where I really liked the coaches and I really liked the girls,” Anderson says. “When I visited Eastern, all of the girls were super nice and I got along with them right away and the coaches were really awesome. I wanted to go somewhere where it would be a family.

“Also, their league plays Portland State, so I get to come back here and my parents would get to watch me. They also play at North Dakota and that’s where a lot of my family lives. It just seemed perfect.”

Anderson wanted to declare early for college in large part to take some of the pressure off her senior season.

“My plan was to sign early because it would take so much pressure off and I would be able to enjoy my senior year so much more knowing where I was going to go and that I was happy with my decision,” Anderson says.

That is not to say there is not a lot of pressure on Anderson, though. This season, she was asked to take on a greater leadership role with the Tide. Anderson had always been able to lead by example, but speaking her mind is still a challenge.

“I’m still adjusting to the bigger role,” Anderson says. “Last year with seven seniors I didn’t really have to worry about being the leader. This year I’ve had to step up a lot and learn new leadership skills and be more vocal. It’s out of my comfort zone, but I’m learning to get better.

“I like to lead by example and try to work hard and be an example. It’s hard for me to speak up and be vocal with people and tell them what I’m thinking.”

Like with her name and with her size, Anderson is trying to grow into her new role as a leader.

“Our goal as a team is to make it to (the final eight in) state again,” Anderson says. “My goal is to be the best leader for the team that I can be and help everyone get better and lead by example and also vocally. I want to be the best senior leader that I could be.”

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