Checkmate slam dunk – Former chess player scores with NCAA Division One basketball purse | Sports

Jamaican basketball player Lawrence Foreman has taken a monumental step in his promising career. The 18-year-old center is committed to NCAA Division One School Rider University in New Jersey for 2020. The former Jamaica College star said the scholarship validates the hard work he has done so far.

“When the offers and interest started coming in, it was towards the end of this year. I have worked hard consistently over the past three years, so when I saw that it was finally starting to pay off, I felt a sense of relief for the most part, ”said Foreman. The gleaner.

Foreman said the close family atmosphere convinced him to make Rider University his home.

“When I made my official visit, the coaches are so close to the players and I also love the way they define their academic perspective. How they work with teachers. When I saw how family they were at Rider, I said this was where I wanted to be, ”said Foreman.

He rose through the youth ranks as a talented chess player, winning various regional tournaments. But he also discovered a love for basketball, and when training for the two began to collide, he had to make a choice.

“Training (for chess and basketball) started to collide. So my parents sat me down and told me I had to decide [on] one and focus on that one and get really good at that one, ”he said. “My love for basketball was growing at the time, so I decided to switch to basketball.”

The transition from chess to basketball was far from easy. He struggled with health issues including chronic asthma and weight issues, which left him behind other kids when it came to fitness and conditioning.

“When I started playing basketball I had a problem with my weight. I was bigger than everyone else in weight and height. I was slow, I was easily out of breath. So I had to work twice as hard to improve my physical condition and follow everyone in the field. And it took me a while to really get over it [hurdle]”said Foreman.

It was under the guidance of Jamaica College head coach Duane Cunningham that he saw his game and his confidence increase.

“Coach Cunningham has done a lot for me. He first encouraged me to get back into sports and sometimes when I was depressed and wasn’t going anywhere and getting no success he would always encourage me.

“He believed in me when other people in Jamaica didn’t think I could do it and make the transition to the international level and go to school abroad,” Foreman explained.

The opportunity presented itself in 2016 when he moved to the United States to St Thomas Moore School in Connecticut and then to Windsor High School, where his technical improvement and success drew attention. university scouts.

“Coach (from Windsor) Ken Smith welcomed me with open arms and worked a lot one-on-one with me in some skills that I needed to hone which also helped me make the transition to attract more college schools. It also provided me with a lot of exposure where we reached the state championship, playing in front of 8,000-10,000 people, which made my name known and created the buzz I needed, ”he said. -he shares.

Foreman is spending his postgraduate year at Woodstock Academy in Connecticut and he’s already aiming for the NBA. But he hopes his story can inspire others to pursue their dreams. He also has plans to contribute around the house.

“I definitely have the aspiration to become a pro. This is the ultimate goal for me. Once you’re locked in, work. Don’t listen to hate [and] you will reach the goal. If you take the leap to college, you can’t get complacent. We must continue, continue to push. I hope everyone who succeeds will come back and give back because that’s what I want to do, ”he said.

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