Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Omari Lawrence is headed to St. John’s.
The 6-foot-4 senior shooting guard out of New York committed during a visit on Wednesday. He cannot sign until the NCAA early signing period in November.
“Yes, I’m leaving the campus right now,” Lawrence, a Bronx native, said Wednesday by phone. “I like the school. It’s close to home. It’s a good Big East school for me to develop and get to the next level.”
With the decision behind him, Lawrence can now focus on his senior season at South Kent (Conn.), to which he transferred after leaving St. Raymond’s in the Bronx where he averaged 18.2 points last season.
“I’m really excited that I got this over with and I can finish up my senior year strong,” he said.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Lawrence, ranked No. 32 among shooting guards in the Class of 2009 by Rivals, also considered UConn, Florida, South Florida, Providence and Marquette.
“I had that same list since beginning of junior year, but I really like this school,” he said of St. John’s.
Lawrence projects to be the backup behind current sophomore DJ Kennedy when Kennedy is a junior.
Lawrence said St. John’s recent hiring of Kimani Young and Oswald “Oz” Crosshad nothing to do with his decision. Cross coached Lawrence and teammate Kevin Parrom with the New York Panthers AAU club.
“Before Oz and Kimani even decided on taking this position, I already had interest in St. John’s,” he said.
Lawrence is still rehabbing a separated shoulder but should be ready by the start of the season.
“He’s rehabbing right now,” South Kent coach Kelvin Jefferson said. “He’s mobile. He’s doing a lot of rehab. I still think we’re looking at mid- to end of October before he’s really able to get on the court and go up and down with us.”
With Lawrence now committed to St. John’s, will Parrom follow?
“Kevin is day-to-day,” Jefferson said. “St John’s is on his list and he likes them a lot. But he likes Xavier and South Carolina and I’m not sure what his timetable is right now. I told him to take his time and make a good decison.”
Added Lawrence: “I’m just worried about myself right now. If Kevin wants to come to the school, I’d be happy to have him. That’s his decision.
“I’m not really a recruiter. I’m a basketball player.”
St. John’s has one scholarship remaining (possibly two) and is involved with Parrom, 6-7 Tevin Baskin of Trinity Catholic, 6-9 Jordan Williams of Torrington (Conn.) and 6-5 Lance Stephenson of Brooklyn Lincoln.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.