For those of us who are of a certain age (51 and growing rapidly), the effort to find bright, exciting and promising young faces never gets old. So, for the second year in a row, The Athletic is releasing our list of 40 influential men in college basketball who are under 40. Our intention is to highlight not only the most visible candidates (head coaches, broadcasters, players), but also a wide range of assistant coaches, writers, executives, administrators, bloggers, calculators numbers and power brokers who give the sport its texture and flavor – and who themselves have a bright future.
So it is in this spirit of renewal, as Thanksgiving approaches and a new cool season underway, that we present to you, in alphabetical order, our 40 Under 40s for 2021. Let the names begin.
• Related: The 40 under 40s in women’s basketball
1. Steve Anderson, referee | Age: 39
Anderson is one of the few college officials with extensive professional experience, having refereed in the NBA from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, he spent four years in the SEC and various other college leagues. Since returning to college football four years ago, Anderson has worked primarily for the SEC and AAC. Last season, he was assigned to his first NCAA tournament and claimed the USC victory over Kansas. Beyond that, Anderson is FIBA certified and has officiated in international tournaments since 2012, including the bronze medal match at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and most recently he has worked for soccer matches in the ‘AAC as central judge. This could put him on the path to working in the NFL someday, which he could do without giving up his college duties.