Being the offspring of a military man, Evans High School’s Patrick Lawrence has been through his share of transitions.
Born in Missouri, he has lived in Virginia, California and Texas. Lawrence learned how to adapt along the way.
“I’ve kind of gotten used to it by now,” said Lawrence of having to adjust to new surroundings. “It is hard because you have to make new friends, get to know the system of the team.”
Entering his second year at Evans, coming off a season in which he averaged 7.5 points-per-game and was honorable mention for Region 2-AAAAA, Lawrence is expected to be a stabilizing force for the Knights in his senior year.
“He is one of our main 3-point threats. He worked extremely hard with (former Duke star) William Avery this summer on his shot and he is shooting as well as anybody around,” said Evans head coach Kevin Kenny. “He is more comfortable after playing in our system for a year and we expect big things on the offensive and defensive end from him.”
Lawrence does talk about individual goals he wants to attain, but he will discuss his team goals.
“I just want us to win the region title this year,” he said. “We came up a little short last year. We just need to stay focused and make sure we’re a team.”
Calling shooting his game, Lawrence also noted the different styles of basketball he’s seen.
“In Virginia, there’s not a lot of people who can shoot, so there’s a lot of take it to the hole,” Lawrence said.
“In California, there’s a lot of people who can shoot and in Texas there’s a lot of big men, so there’s a lot of big-men play. Here, there’s just a lot of intensity and defense.”
One thing that was hard to ignore was the intensity he faced each night with Columbia County rivals, on-and-off the court.
“It’s actually a lot harder and there’s more pressure on you,” Lawrence said. “You’ve got sold-out crowds and everybody’s screaming. I like the big crowds, but it is a lot of pressure.”
Lawrence found his way to drown out the external noise.
“I listen to (hip-hop) music to try to calm my nerves before the game,” he said. “On the court I just try to focus and not let anything in my head but coach (Kevin) Kenny.”
He started playing basketball when he was 7 and has played baseball and football, but basketball is in his blood.
“A lot of my family plays basketball, so I guess I was born into it,” Lawrence said. “I watched my dad and uncles play. I always wanted to do that.”
For his senior project, Lawrence tackled the issue of should professional athletes be role models, and his opinion mirrored that of his findings.
“I say that they should, but it’s not required,” he said. “They should for their own moral values but it’s not their duty to.”
He thinks as a high school athlete he could be viewed as a role model as well.
“I really do because I realize younger kids look up to me,” Lawrence said.
“You see me as a role model, so I try to do the best I can. I try to stay on the right path.”