« Men’s Basketball 2011-12

Jesse Sanders

Business Management


Sanders is a three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll Member. He maintains a 3.44 GPA in Business Management and has made the dean’s list on three occasions.


Sanders attends games and contests for other sports on the Liberty campus. He is always there supporting his many friends on other teams. When Sanders speaks, people listen, because he has already invested in their lives and supported them and their teams. Sanders is always willing to step out in front and try to lead his team. There are times he has said the wrong thing in the wrong situation, but Sanders never flinches — when he is wrong he readily apologizes to his teammates — but he steps right back into the leadership role and leads again and again. “I have been coaching for 31 years. I have a pretty good feel for who is dedicated to improving his skills or not,” coach Dale Layer said. “If there is a player in the country who works as long or as hard as Jesse Sanders, I would be shocked. He is tireless.”


Last year, Sanders had the opportunity to help head up the Give Big event through One Community Church. It was community outreach geared toward reaching inner-city families in Lynchburg. In the weeks preceding the event, Sanders and others went through various neighborhoods inviting kids and families to attend a free day of fun at a local park. Sanders was involved with the basketball portion of the event, in which a lot of his teammates came out and volunteered time to help with running the pick-up and three-on-three tournament. For the past three years at Liberty, Sanders has had the opportunity to serve at the Sandusky Elementary Fair, a fundraiser for the school. He has also had the opportunity to speak at three Fellowship of Christian Athletes camps around the Central Virginia area and be involved with the local FCA chapter at Liberty. Sanders has spoken at three local school’s FCA chapters about living with a purpose and setting goals. He has spoken to three youth groups and one church congregation about what it means to be a Christian in the world of sports and the blessing it has been to play ball at Liberty and receive the character training at home and at Liberty through Christian coaches and teachers. Sanders has been involved with SAAC each of his four years at Liberty and was selected as the representative for the national SAAC convention in Florida, focusing on leadership development. He has also attended the Big South Conference leadership weekend three years in a row.

As a SAAC member, he has enjoyed supporting local kids’ sports team through attending their games and creating signs to support the local little league baseball teams. He has been very involved with the Special Olympics events in Lynchburg and interacting with members at various tailgating events. His sophomore year, Sanders was involved with SAAC’s partnership with Samaritans Feet. Sanders was able to speak to the entire student body in convocation and challenge students to give 5 dollars or at least give a pair of shoes to donate to underprivileged kids in Africa. Sanders has also enjoyed the opportunity to help out at Liberty Basketball camps and interacting with the kids and also personally training a few kids this summer.


As a junior, Sanders averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game. He ranked No. 23 in the county and led the Big South in assists (183). Sanders helped guide the Flames to a 19-13 overall record and a 13-5 posting in conference play in 2010-11, setting a new program record for most conference wins in a season. For his efforts, Sanders was named to the Big South All-Conference first team and voted 2010-11 Big South Player of the Year by coaches and media members. He also received Associated Press All-America honorable mention, Mid-Major All-America honorable mention from Collegehoops.net, second-team National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District and Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State honors. He is the first player in school and Big South history to have at least 500 career rebounds and 400 career assists. Entering his senior season, Sanders needs 164 points to become the 22nd member of Liberty’s 1,000 point club. He is also 177 assists away from becoming the program’s all-time leader in assists and 133 shy of becoming the Big South Conference’s all-time leader.