Lawrence draws crowd

A name to know in the 2013 class from New York City is Jermaine Lawrence

By New York City standards Jermaine Lawrence of Bayside Benjamin Cardozo High School has been flying somewhat under the radar. The versatile forward didn't get a ton of national exposure over the summer, but now he is drawing rave reviews from coaches.

"We had an open gym about a week and a half ago and roughly 60 schools were there," said Cardozo assistant coach Wendell Jordan. "Florida, Georgetown, Cincinnati, St. John's, Rutgers, Villanova, Xavier, and many others were there. A lot of schools have been doing their due diligence with Jermaine."

Jordan continued, "All of the coaches who were at the open gym and have been keeping in contact with our coaching staff every week and no one school has stood out more than another."

To this point Jordan hasn't made many unofficial visits, but this past weekend he did go to St. John's for their midnight madness festivities.

"We all went down to St. John's for Midnight Madness," said Jordan. "It was fun we all had a good time. Tony Chiles has been reaching out every chance that he can get and staying in contact."

With all of the coaches coming in to Cardozo to check out Lawrence's game, Jordan says they are seeing a player who is making huge strides.

"His game has grown tremendously," Jordan explained. "Last year around this time we weren't sure how many pieces of the puzzle he had together. This year he is working out with a trainer and he is working hard on his own a few times per week. You can see his left hand coming along, his jump shot has become solid, and his post game has gotten better. Overall he is a much better player this year than last."

Even with the attention starting to increase and coaches showing up in droves, Jordan says Lawrence hasn't let it impact his work ethic.

"To be honest I don't think it has changed him at all," said Jordan. "He is a humble kid. We have seen no change in his attitude. He is the same Jermaine I met as a freshman. He is taking everything in stride. For him, I doubt he even thinks he is that good."

For now Lawrence is simply taking things in stride. No school has emerged as a leader, and Jordan says the process will go slowly with Lawrence now focused on his school season and his grades.

"Right now the only thing we are focusing on is getting ready for practice," said Jordan. "There are no other visits set up. He is just focusing on school and basketball right now."

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