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James Lawson knows he could be The Man at another school. So could Trey Shepherd. Or Jarvis Johnson. Or other DeLaSalle basketball players.
But it’s about more than personal glory, they say. It’s about the team. And learning. And growing.
Admirable qualities in today’s me-first world.
Lawson, a 6-3 junior forward with outstanding athletic ability, scored only two points in the Islanders’ 50-33 victory over Austin in the Class 3A championship game. As has been the case all season, forward Reid Travis led DeLaSalle in scoring with 17 points, and in media attention. Lawson, like the rest of his teammates, is fine with that.
“I’ve played with Reid since seventh grade,” Lawson said. “He’s the perfect person to play off of. One reason why we’re so good is that we’ve bought into the team. We just want to win.”
Lawson admitted that there are times when he thinks about what could be. But not for long.
“Scoring feels good,” he said. “But it’s about way more than just me here. It’s about us.”
Shepherd, a senior guard, knows he could have had more personal glory at his neighborhood school, Minneapolis Washburn. He never considered it.
“I have great respect for Washburn, but DeLaSalle is about more than basketball,” Shepherd said. “We have the best education, the best teachers. I always knew I’d be at DeLaSalle.”
DeLaSalle’s great players and its dominating run has many convinced that the Islanders are not only the best team in Class 3A, but in the state.
“I know we’re the best team in Class 3A,” Travis said.
“I actually, I do think we’re the best,” Shepherd said, sounding anything but cocky.
Of course, their success had many people wondering if the Islanders should move up to Class 4A.
“I can see that,” coach Dave Thorson said. “We’ll talk about it. But it’s about more than just the short term. We have to look long term. Can a school like ours, with 675, 680 kids compete regularly with schools that have five or six times that many? Those are the types of things we have to consider.”