Written By: Jermaine Anderson
Jermaine Anderson is a part of the 2002 class. While At Eastern, Anderson won a championship at every age level at the school. Anderson was the team captain for the senior team 2 out of his 3 years that he was apart of the team. Won OFSAA gold in his last year of high school. Signed his letter of intent to Fordham University in Bronx, NY in the Atlantic 10 Conference(A10). “Rock” as he is affectionately known was a 1,000 point scorer for Fordham. He graduated from Fordham in 2006 with a business degree. Anderson also suited up for his country as the starting guard for the Canadian Men’s National team since 2004, where he has played over 75 international games with the team. He has played professional basketball overseas since graduating from Fordham University. Currently he plays in Germany for TBB Trier in the German Bundesliga. Jermaine talks about his memories of the 90 year old building.
In Grade 7 I remember going to watch a High School basketball tournament at Jarvis Collegiate. Eastern was the last game of the night and the gym was jam packed (standing room only). When the team took the floor they came out to the song “Danger” by Blahzay Blahzay which at the time was a hip hop anthem. I remember the gym going crazy as they warmed up, the energy in the gym was incredible, and they put on a show for all who were in attendance. Collin Charles, who was the point guard at the time was unstoppable and I knew right then and there that I was going to wear that black and red uniform someday. I wanted to feel that energy, put on a show, and be a part of that winning culture.
During my time at Eastern Commerce I was a part of a championship team at every level. We won more tournaments than I can remember. I do not remember losing more than 7 games in the 5 years I attended the school. The biggest accomplishment for me without a doubt was being apart of an OFSAA Championship team in 2002. We lost in the city finals the year before to Oakwood, which was a big disappointment for all of us at the time. But we were able to come back, work that much harder, and prove that Eastern was once again the best team in the province. Eastern has a tradition of winning and I’m glad that I was able to be on a team that started the 4 years of OFSAA dominance.
The love and support that I received from the staff and students was incredible. Students and teachers traveled to watch us play all over the city, no matter where we went. Mrs. Khan and Mrs. Scobie , were two teachers who took the time to work with me for countless hours so I was prepared for the SAT exam, which I can never repay them for doing. I want to thank all of the coaches who helped developed my game including Desmond Rowley, Roy Rana, Trevor Bullen, Jon “Big John” Smith, coach Edwards, Vince Mede, Radcliffe Goulbourne, David “DJ” Joseph, Mr.Nicholson, and Mr. Sialtsis . These gentlemen assisted me in bringing out my full potential in this sport that I love. I can’t forget the janitors who let me in the gym before and after school. Those men and women allowed me to get in the necessary time to work on my game without interruption.
With so many talented student athletes in one school, you could never take a day off. We all had the same goals and it was a dog fight every time you stepped on the court. The only thing that separated the majority of players was the willingness to work in the classroom. From a basketball standpoint almost every player had a unique gift or talent. Respect was also a very key component because with so many different inner city communities in one school, if you chose to be disrespectful you could make life hard for yourself at school. There were times things got out of hand but for the most part everybody respected each other.
Eastern is important to me because it was a gathering of students who came from relatively the same environment. We were able to leave whatever problems we had at home or in our communities and become a family through the classroom or basketball. Eastern is more than just a building on the Danforth, it’s a community of love and friendship. I am in communication with the majority of my peers because of the memories we share and the struggles that we have been able to overcome over the years. A group of us still meet every summer, and guys are still playing with each other once a week. We still compete, fight, and argue like brothers and sisters but the love for one another hasn’t changed. Eastern prepared me to compete, fight, and work for everything I hope to attain in life. Once I left Eastern I was prepared for anything mentally and physically. If you can make it at Eastern you can make it anywhere by the Grace of God.
Written by Jermaine “Rock” Anderson
Submitted by Kareem Griffin
Edited by Drew Ebanks