Derek Lamont Anderson, Sr. grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and, as a young child, he would move around from house to house after his parents had abandoned him. He would grow up just streets away from another Louisville native, Muhammed Ali. Derek would go on to excel in basketball even though, at a young age, he also focused on writing. Despite his circumstances, Derek was recognized as the best basketball player in the 6th Region, achieved a 3.7 GPA and was elected Senior Class President of Doss High School.
Derek received a basketball scholarship from The Ohio State University in 1992. After playing two years there and tearing his left ACL, he decided to transfer to the University of Kentucky to play for Rick Pitino. After winning the NCAA National Championship in 1996, and receiving pre-season All-American honors, he once again ran into a major roadblock. As a senior, he played only 18 games after he injured his right knee with yet another ACL tear. Derek worked his way back in to be ready for the NCAA tournament but was unable to play due to a decision to protect his future career made by Coach Pitino. Despite this decision, Derek still made history as the only player to score without playing one single second in the tournament as Coach Pitino put him in the game to shoot two technical fouls in the NCAA Final Four. Derek studied Pharmacy and Social Work, as his passion was and is to help others who had to endure living without guidance.