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  • Writer's pictureJ.Cooke

Interview with Pam Anderson (Mom of USC Men's Basketball Player, Ethan Anderson)


ACADEMIC BALLER: Welcome, Pam! I have sat with you during many Fairfax High School basketball games, watching Ethan play together with my nephew, Robert. Congrats on Ethan’s first year as a USC Trojan!


He is currently ranked third of all-time among USC's freshmen, fourth in the Pac-12 and tied for sixth nationally among all freshmen in total assists. That is such an amazing debut! How were you feeling when Ethan transitioned from high school to college last year?


PAM: Apprehensive. When Ethan was at Fairfax he was in advanced studies. However, I was concerned about how he would do academically in college. Once I found out about all the available resources he would get at USC, it was a relief. USC has a very well-planned support system.

ACADEMIC BALLER: Let’s talk about Ethan’s high school student-athlete experience. With all the demands of school and basketball, how did Ethan manage everything?


PAM: Ethan did not require much oversight. He would tell me if he needed materials for a project but did things on his own. Like doing his homework in the classroom or the bus on the way to games. He also turned his notes into audio notes and listened to the recordings when riding in the car.

ACADEMIC BALLER: Once the college recruiting process started, did that change your family’s approach in supporting Ethan with school and basketball? Did you have to make any adjustments?


PAM: Early on when you get the offers the dialogue begins. Schools start wanting to see the transcripts. If you have a high GPA, your SAT scores can be lower. Once you receive the required information from the school, you need to make sure to hit the numbers.


It’s best to take the SAT as early as possible. Ethan took the SAT in the 11th grade and earned a score of 1100. Since it was a good score, we kept that one.

ACADEMIC BALLER: I understand that as a Marriage & Family Therapist, your work includes supporting athletes. Do you work with middle and high school athletes? How do you define the importance of mental health care for athletes?


PAM: Yes, I work with young athletes all the way up to college. I am currently working with high school athletes in the college recruiting process. Providing them with support to get through the stressful process. Mental health care is very important for athletes. I help them deal with injury recovery, manage anxiety, and build overall confidence.

ACADEMIC BALLER: How did Ethan have to adjust in terms of prioritizing classwork and being a student-athlete after he started college?


PAM: USC is very good at providing support for their student-athletes. They require them to take classes in the summer before fall semester starts. The goal is to get some units completed so that the course load for fall will be lighter. USC also provides the basketball team with tutors, a learning specialist to offer assistance and study hall. The players also have an academic counselor available for them during away game road trips.

ACADEMIC BALLER: Pam, you are one of the fiercest sport’s moms in the game! Thank you for your time and sharing with us. Best of luck to Ethan and the USC Men’s Basketball team in the upcoming season.

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1 Comment


Danford Earle Scott
Danford Earle Scott
Sep 06, 2020

Great interview. I believe that Ms Anderson could become a valuable resource in advancing your company.

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