Former Collins Hill, North basketball player dies of rare condition

SUWANEE -- Former Collins Hill and North Gwinnett basketball player Andrew Anderson passed away Aug. 11 after an extended battle with a rare strain of pneumonia.

Anderson, just 21, had fought the illness, which overtook his lungs quickly, for more than three weeks in intensive care. His mother's Facebook page listed the official diagnosis as cryptogenic organizing pneumonitis and bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia, a rare condition for a young and athletic person.

He played point guard at North before transferring to Collins Hill, where he graduated in 2008.

"While Andrew only played one season for us, he had a tremendous effect on our program," Collins Hill boys basketball coach Eric Nathan said. "He was quiet and reserved, but he was as tough of a competitor as we've had here in my seven years at Collins Hill. He was driven and played hard. As good as he was on the court, he was a better person off the court. We extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to Andrew's mom Jennifer and his surviving siblings. He will definitely be missed and remembered."

Anderson also had many friends in the North Gwinnett cluster.

"Andrew was a vital part of our basketball program," said Len Garner, his former basketball coach at North. "He was strong in handling the ball and could shoot very well. Andrew was liked by all the team members. Andrew definitely had not reached his potential, but was extremely hard on himself to get better. Andrew was a good person and he will be missed. I know his passing away has saddened all of his past teammates. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

Anderson was preceded in death by his father, Sean Michael Anderson, and is survived by his mother, Jennifer Anderson, and siblings Aaron and Alexis Anderson, and Caitlyn Vann.