Lakewood guard Anthony Lawrence Jr. committed to Miami after taking an unofficial visit to the school Monday.
The Lawrence family already had strong ties with the Hurricanes. Lawrence Jr.’s father, Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence Sr., played for Miami from 1991-93. Lawrence Jr.’s uncle, Pat, also was a Hurricane from 1991-94.
“Everyone thinks I put Anthony up to this, but he did it all on his own,” Lawrence Sr. said. “It was a surprise to me.”
In October, Lawrence Jr. committed to UCF. A month later, he backed out of it, saying at the time he had nothing to compare it to as far as his recruiting went. Interest picked up immediately in the 6-foot-7 junior guard, with coaches from Clemson, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Miami and Texas A&M calling the day he decided to decommit.
The Hurricanes offered soon after and Lawrence Jr. said he had decided that’s where he wanted to go within the past month. He said he committed Monday after talking with coach Jim Larranaga.
“I didn’t really know I was going to do it today,” Lawrence Jr. said of his commitment. “But after I talked to Coach Larranaga, I decided I wanted to get it over with. I really like him and the school and it’s close to home. I knew this is where I wanted to go, and I didn’t want to wait any longer.”
This past season, Lawrence Jr. averaged 21 points per game and led the Spartans to the Class 5A state championship game.
Lawrence Sr. said Larranaga came to at least three games during the season and talked to Lawrence Jr. constantly during recruiting trips.
“Coach Larranaga is a really good dude,” Lawrence Sr. said. “He’s been recruiting Anthony since the ninth grade. I think they really clicked and that’s what sold him on going to school here more than anything.”