If you follow Oklahoma high school basketball, then you remember the name Ty Lazenby. It’s kind of hard to forget the former Glencoe (Okla.) High star, who led Glencoe to back-to-back-to-back state championships to close out his high school career.
What was easy to forget is after winning that third one in March 2015, he disappeared off the recruiting scene. Around 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Lazenby admits he had always been that skinny kid. That’s OK for high school but colleges shied away.
He has been at Northern Oklahoma College-Enid the last two seasons and that hard work while receiving practically little attention is paying off.
Lazenby, now 6-5 and closer to 215 pounds, is starting to see the college action pick up. Offers from Charlotte, Penn State and Utah have followed in the last month. And then his world got turned a bit upside down when Oklahoma assistant Chris Crutchfield reached out to Lazenby on Sunday.
Glencoe is about 15 miles from Stillwater and Oklahoma State, but it’s Norman that’s calling now. Lazenby confirmed to Sooners Illustrated late Tuesday night he’ll be taking a two-day visit to OU on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s funny how things work,” Lazenby said. “Coach (Lon) Kruger called me tonight (Tuesday), and we tried to make the visit as fast as we could.”
On both sides. Lazenby wrapped up a visit to Penn State on Wednesday morning and is expected to visit Utah, starting Monday. The wrench in that plan is now the trip to see the Sooners.
OU has not offered Lazenby at the moment, but the Sooners do have two open scholarships with the departures of Darrion Strong-Moore and Dante Buford.
Lazenby said he still intends to visit the Utes, but you never know. You never know with an in-state kid that if everything hits the right note and Lazenby is blown away, he could be a Sooner by weekend’s end. It’s a waiting game.
In 29 games last season, Lazenby put up major numbers for NOC-Enid. He scored 22.9 points per game with 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He shot 86 percent from the free throw line, 45 percent from the field and 36 percent on his 3-point attempts.
Earlier this month, Lazenby earned first-team NJCAA All-American honors. The journey has been worth it.
“Last spring, I worked out all the time. I lived in the weight room,” Lazenby said. “I got a lot bigger than I was in high school. I had more lift in my shot. I could shoot over bigger defenders. I was able to go through contact now and my 3-point shooting improved.”
For Lazenby, it was a learning curve thing. As someone who always played baseball at Glencoe, it was that time away from the basketball court that has helped propel him toward where he’s going now.
It couldn’t just be lifting weights and getting stronger. It had to include his diet, too. Once Lazenby realized they work hand-in-hand, the weight gain came and the results on the court showed why it was worth it.
His Division I dream is so close to becoming a reality. Lazenby will have three years of eligibility to play two seasons. Not bitter about how the recruiting process worked out in high school, more about being eager to show why now is his time.
“There were definitely times when I felt like I could play at that level,” Lazenby said. “I never got recruited highly coming out of high school. Two jucos talked to me. A couple of Division IIs talked to me.
“It didn’t get me discouraged, but it put a chip on my shoulder and made me want to work harder than ever. I want to prove to myself that I can do it.”