Larry Sanders – Career, Profile and Personal Life

Larry Sanders

Born on November 21st, 1988, Larry Sanders is a former American professional basketball player. Before he declared himself eligible for the 2010 NBA draft, he was a power forward for the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. The Milwaukee Bucks picked him 15th overall in the draft.

Larry Sanders – Details

Name – Larry Sanders

Position – Power forward and Center

Date of birth – November 21st, 1988

College – VCU

Draft no – 2010: Rd 1, Pk 15 (MIL)

Birthplace – Fort Pierce, FL

Twitter – l8show_thegoat

Facebook –

Shoots – Right

Height – 6’11” (211 cm)

Weight – 235 lb (106 kg)

High School – Port St. Lucie in Port St. Lucie, Florida

NBA debut – October 27, 2010

Career length – 6 years

Country – USA

Last attended – Virginia Commonwealth

Career stats:

PTS – 6.4

REB – 5.7

AST – 0.7

FG% – 48.0

G – 238

FG3% – 0.0

FT% – 55.3

PER – 15.4

WS – 10.3

Know More About Larry Sanders

Sanders is a formidable rim protector, first and foremost. He can soar high and quickly with a vast 7 ‘7 wingspan and a height 6’ 11. He averaged 1.8 blocks per game and an incredible 3.3 blocks every 36 minutes over his six seasons in the NBA. Not surprisingly, given that the 3 Headed Monsters selected Sanders third overall in 2019, he emerged as one of the BIG3’s most formidable defensive players.  

In terms of total blocks (9) and blocks per game (1.3), he tied for second place at the end of his first season. In addition, he pulled down 33 rebounds in all and had a substantial field-goal percentage.583, ranking fourth among all players. In the 2021 campaign, Sanders maintained his superior defensive play and took home the BIG3 Defensive Player of the Year title. 

He had a significant role in helping Tri-State secure the top playoff spot. After winning two CAA Defensive Player of the Year awards at VCU, Sanders was selected as the fifteenth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Sanders played in 238 NBA regular-season games throughout six seasons, averaging 6.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, and the previously noted 1.8 blocks per game.

Sanders was among the first NBA players to discuss anxiety and mental health concerns in the league, along with fellow BIG3 star Royce White. Sanders played for the Triplets in the 2023 campaign after playing for Tri-State in 2022.

Why Did Larry Sanders Leave the NBA?

Larry Sanders left the NBA despite having a $44 million deal. He was the best defensive center playing force, but while he was still playing at his best, mental and physical issues began to wear on him. He knew in 2014 that it was the end of his tenure with the NBA. His team lost by seven points to a middling Charlotte Hornets squad, and his coach canceled the holiday and made the team practice as a punishment.

He worked with total dedication. However, the stress took over him. This was the second time this kind of stress reaction had happened in such a young career. It caused Sanders to focus on his health and seek immediate treatment where he was hospitalized and never returned to the team despite having a $44 million deal.  

He said, “I physically and mentally could not get myself back there,” he says. “Nothing could get me in the car to go there. I had such a block.” A few seasons prior, the 6′ 11″ center had averaged practically a double-double and nearly three blocks every game; now, he was repressed. “I didn’t touch a basketball for the next two years. Not a shot, not a dribble.”

Sanders and His Childhood

Larry grew up in the trenches where gangs were on every street in Fort Pierce. When he was little, his parents divorced, and both suffered from untreated mental health issues. As per Sanders, “They had all this trauma,” Sanders says, “all this pain. They were predisposed to a lot of violence [while] not understanding the power of therapy, the power of meditation.”

Being a kid, he enjoyed drawing, and it was his getaway. At one point, he wanted to work for Disney and become a comic illustrator. He was also interested in oceans and even won a grant to study oceanography. He also rode in submarines. Surprisingly, being so tall, he never had any interest in basketball as a kid. Yet it was this game only that eventually became his life.

“Because I lived in the projects,” Sanders says, “automatically where you live there are places you can’t go [due to gang conflicts].” He used to be left alone if he carried a basketball on his bike or even went to his relative’s house. Even violent gangs admired young people who could utilize the game to escape their neighborhood.

He said, “I had a ball everywhere I went.” “It was my pass. Like, ‘Oh, he’s going to play basketball, he’s just going to the court. If I didn’t have that ball, I would’ve constantly been getting checked. I would probably have had to attach myself to a gang to protect myself. But I didn’t even play.”

Larry Sanders and His Start of Career

Only in high school did he start to become genuinely into the game. By the time he entered the tenth grade, he was already six feet six inches tall, but he was raw: in his opening game, he scored a basket on his own. However, he began to watch the pros more often. Tracy McGrady, a player for the local Orlando Magic, was his idol. 

Sanders adopted his armbands, mimicking McGrady’s style of play. Double-digit blocks were soon within his grasp. Later on, in his eleventh and twelfth grades, his squad dominated the area. He also began playing AAU as a senior, going as far as Las Vegas for matches. He grew close to and eventually enrolled at VCU with the individuals he had met back then.

The Sanders college squad was formidable. In his three years there, his team only lost 27 games while winning 75. He decided to become a pro after his junior year, and Milwaukee chose him as the 15th overall choice. If he had continued his education, he would have been a member of coach Shaka Smart’s VCU squad, which advanced to the Final Four. He was still anticipating the NBA, though.

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