November 14, 2008

Lawrence Makes it Official

On Thursday evening at 6:00pm, there was no question in Omari Lawrence's mind about where he would attend college. Many seniors might have long lengthy school list Lawrence explained after he calmly put pen to paper, in front of family and friends, and official signed with the St. John's University Red Storm. "I didn't have a list. I decided on them (St. John's) early. I really didn't have interest in other schools," said Lawrence. Earlier this summer, Lawrence, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, verbally committed to the Johnnies, ending his recruitment process. At that time, his schools of interest were Pitt, Marquette, Georgetown, and NC State.

NYC Hoops asked Lawrence, who now attends South Kent Prep in Connecticut, how he felt about not playing on the same team as Xavier-bound Kevin Parrom, his current South Kent teammate and close friend. Next year in college, will be the first time that the two friends will not play on the same team. "We're just going to college but we're just two different men. Life is funny, the way things end up. We've been playing together since the 4th grade. I would have thought we would have gone to the same college," said Lawrence in reflection.

At the official signing, held at the Mullaly Park Recreational Center in the Bronx, NY, were representatives from Lawrence's AAU team, the NY Panthers. The team's founder and director Gary Charles, and assistant coach, Sterling Nunnally were present as was his good friend, the highly recruited shooting guard, Durand Scott.

Lawrence family members in attendance were his mother, Alma Lawrence, brother, Abebe Lawrence, and niece Cynyah Lawrence. Abebe Lawrence spoke with pride about his younger brother, who he helped through the years achieve his dreams saying, "I want to congratulate him. I knew when he was young he had a dream. He was so focused and I am very happy for my brother." His mother added, "I am very proud and happy today. I am happy with the St. John's staff and my son's decision to stay close to home. I want him to achieve not only athletically but academically. I want him to do well but they have to balance each other."

After the signing, Lawrence's former AAU coach Oz Cross called NYC Hoops and expressed his wish to have been at the signing. "I really wish I could have been there. It was hard not to be there," said Cross.

Later, Lawrence spoke about his future at St. John's and what he would like to bring to the program. "For me to come into St. John's and bring the program back and share the success with my family staying home," said Lawrence. This Friday, Lawrence will be in attendance for St. John's opening season non-league game against LIU at the Carnesecca Arena.

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