Lawrence Westbrook Sets Record

Chandler High (Ariz.) 5-11 1/2 junior guard Lawrence Westbrook set a state record, but it's more than likely that he won't return next season to try and break it. The potent scorer will likely head to a prep school.

With 13 seconds left, Lawrence Westbrook sank what appeared to be a meaningless jumper against Gilbert High in a 79-68 loss. However, with that shot, the 5-foot-11 ½ Chandler High junior broke the state record for scoring average in a season.

Westbrook scored 883 points in 22 games for a 40.14 average, breaking Isaac Bonds' mark of 40.09 set back in 1964. Bonds finished with 882 points in 22 contests.

However, it's unlikely that Westbrook will return next season for a chance to break his own mark, instead likely opting to go the prep school route due to a conflict with his coach, Mike Ellsworth.

Westbrook is considered by many as an undersized two-guard, but he's hoping to get the chance this summer to prove he can run a team. He'll likely be splitting time between High Five America and Pump ‘N Run out of California.

``He's a strong, quick guard who can get to the basket on anyone and finish," said Marcus Matthews, Westbrook's mentor. "He's always had a great mid-range shot, but he's had to learn how to extend his range."

``He's quick as a cat and built like a brick house," added Matthews. "He has the ability to create space to get his shot off – and he covers ground so quickly and is so strong. He just has a knack for scoring."

``Going into the season, I knew I could score," Westbrook said of setting the scoring mark. "I worked a lot in the offseason on my stamina and my vertical. The thing I was happy about is that my team wasn't that good and it was a great achievement to score that many points with guys that aren't that good and a coach that really didn't know what he was doing."

Chandler finished the season 10-16 and failed to make the playoffs.

``This was a tough year for me because my coach wasn't a good guy," he added. "A lot of people didn't like what I was doing. They called me a ball hog."

Westbrook, who maintains a 3.75 GPA, has good bloodlines. His first cousin is Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook and another cousin is NBA point guard Travis Best.

Westbrook was chosen as one of the top players at last year's Nike Hoop Jamboree and also made the underclassmen all-star game at the adidas camp. He finished the summer with a bang, leading the adidas Big Time with a 30-plus point scoring average.

``I proved that I can play point guard at the camps," Westbrook said. "I got a lot of assists playing with better players. On my high school team, we don't have much talent so it's hard for me to get a lot of assists."

According to Matthews, Syracuse, Florida State, N.C. State, Washington, DePaul, USC and Memphis have offered. Matthews also said that Texas A&M, Michigan, Florida and Georgia Tech are involved. Westbrook's current favorites include Florida, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, UConn, Memphis, Michigan, DePaul, Florida State and Louisville.

``You have to look at every situation, see who's coming back and the guards they have signed," Westbrook said. "You've got to do your homework."

When Westbrook isn't putting up big numbers on the court, he can usually be found helping his father, Larry, who runs a non-profit organization that helps teenagers. The younger Westbrook recently helped his father and his company set up meeting rooms for CEO's such as Steve Forbes as the Hyatt Hotel in the area. He's also helped to organize a warehouse in Coolidge, Ariz., where there is an abundance of supplies to help those in need.

``It's very rewarding to know that if I give, I'm going to get back," Westbrook said.

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