July 6, 2012
There is one huge, unforeseen potential benefit to recruiting overseas.
You never know when you'll land an Olympic athlete.
College of Charleston became the most recent program to boast an Olympian, as the school announced Thursday that senior guard Andrew Lawrence would head back home and play for Great Britain in the XXX Olympiad. The announcement was made in conjunction with the British Olympic Association releasing the 12-man hoops squad.
Great Britain stands virtually no chance at medaling, but that's beside the point. The country is playing in just its second Olympics on the men's basketball side. Big news over there for the niche sect dedicated to hoops.
"I feel very honored and privileged to be able to represent Team GB and CofC in the upcoming Games," Lawrence said in a school statement. "This is a dream come true to play in the Olympics and for Great Britain."
Lawrence is 22 years old, but he'll be the youngest of the English crop. Notably, Luol Deng will also be on the team -- I had completely forgotten he was a British citizen -- with a slew of others who played at U.S. schools, ranging from Duquesne to Arizona State to Illinois to Wofford and more.
Lawrence, who was the captain of the U-23 Great Britain national team in 2010, was a Second Team selection for the SoCon last season, averaging 13 points, 5.5 assists per game and 1.9 steals.
"To make the Olympic team for any country is a huge honor, accomplishment and privilege," Charleston coach Doug Wojcik said. "To play for your home country and in front of your own nation is even more special. Andrew has worked incredibly hard to accomplish this feat and deserves every accolade he receives."
The school notes Lawrence is actually not the only student participating in London this year. A senior sailor, Juan Maegli, will represent Guatamala for the second time.“Feel very privileged that I will be attending the 2012 London Olympics as the youngest player of Team GB basketball.” Lawrence said on his Twitter account Thursday morning. “Made it!!”
Lawrence, a 22-year-old London native, is the youngest player on the team and the only college player on the roster. He is currently in London and could not be reached for comment.
College of Charleston coach Doug Wojcik said Lawrence has the talent and work ethic to be a contributor to the team.
“It’s unbelievable for him and awesome for the College of Charleston,” said Wojcik, who was named as Bobby Cremins’ replacement in the spring. “Obviously he’s played well in the last month, but he has worked extremely hard since I got here in April.”
Lawrence was a second-team All-Southern Conference selection last season after averaging 13.0 points, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
This year will mark only the second time Great Britain has qualified for basketball in the Olympics. The only other time was 1948 when the Summer Games were held in London.
Lawrence has international experience, having served as team captain of the U-20 Great Britain national team in the summer of 2010 and playing for the Great Britain U-23 team in the summer of 2011. He was one of two players to be later called up to the men’s national team training camp.
He played in the 2011 London Invitational, a pre-Olympic tournament, against France, Croatia, Serbia, China and Australia. He averaged 7.5 points in four games.
Lawrence is one of two players on the team who currently play in the United States. The other is Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng.
Lawrence will be joined by another player with South Carolina connections. Mike Lenzly, a 2003 Wofford graduate, also made the Great Britain team.
Lenzly has been playing professional basketball in Europe since his graduation from Wofford, where he finished his college career with 1,333 points in 116 games.
July 6, 2012
When someone tells Cheyenne Mountain graduate Canyon Barry that he plays basketball like a granny, he takes it as a compliment.
Retro doesn't do it justice and it's not quite old school.
Geriatric might be the best word for Canyon Barry's free throw shot. Because his style from the charity stripe is the "granny" shot.
It's not something you see often on the court. But it makes sense, when you meet Canyon's Dad.
"He taught me the under-handed free throw," Canyon told 9News.
NBA hall of famer Rick Barry used the granny shot in his day.
"His dad taught him so, passing it down," said Canyon.
"He came up to me 2 weeks before his junior season and said Dad I think I'm going to shoot the under handed, and I said that's great son but don't you think you should have practiced all summer before you started doing it," Rick said laughing.
Canyon is still trying to perfect the art, but he'll take it with him to the College of Charleston next year.
And Dad thinks his son can throw down some results, with the throw back shot.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't get himself up to a a 90% shooter eventually," said Rick.
"Honey, don't put that pressure on him," said Canyon's mom Lynn, scolding her husband.
"I said I wouldn't be surprised," replied Rick.
"Why would you even say that," replied Lynn. To which Rick answered back with "It's not pressure if you have confidence!"
Canyon agrees, he's actually never felt pressure from his hall of fame father.
"He's been able to teach me so much about basketball and life in general and he a great father to me," said Canyon.
He hopes to carve his own path at college, but he's clearly not shying away from the path, that got him there.
Lawrence's play, however much he gets, could be huge for him. He's not seen as an NBA prospect, but performing well in this capacity could set him up for a nice contract and transition to international play once his senior year is over in 2013.
Post and Courier
July 6, 2012
London was calling and Andrew Lawrence answered.
Lawrence, a senior basketball player at the College of Charleston, on Thursday was one of 12 players selected to the Great Britain national team that will play in this month’s Summer Olympics in London.