Point Guard - Denver
Copywriter, A. Arthur, Photographer, J. Fischer
Everything Starts With Belief
"When I was younger, I envisioned playing like Allen Iverson," Ty Lawson happily recalls. I had a Fisher Price basketball hoop and dreamed about hitting the last-second shot and talking trash to everybody on the sidelines."
Born and raised in Clinton, Maryland, Ty discovered his passion at a young age. "Clinton's a basketball city in a basketball state," Ty conveys. "When I was five years old, my dad put a basketball into my hands and I fell in love with the game. Growing up, playing was very competitive and that helped me get to the NBA."
Before Ty could be selected 18th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, he still had some growing up to do. When he wasn't improving his game, he was checking Eastbay for the latest sneakers – even during class. "I grew up on Eastbay," Ty claims. "I had it sent to my house and was always looking at it during school. The teachers were like 'what are you looking at? Give me that Eastbay!' I don't know how many Eastbay catalogs I had taken away from me," he laughs.
Determined to make it to the pros, Ty was a star on the court in high school and earned the opportunity to play for the University of North Carolina. "During my freshman year, everybody was telling me to go pro," Ty reveals. "I was too young and was having too much fun in college only having to worry about school and basketball." In his sophomore season, the up-and-coming point guard helped lead the Tarheels to the Final Four, where they were eliminated by Kansas. He and his teammates, future NBA players Danny Green and Wayne Ellington, decided to take one last shot at an NCAA Championship. "We wanted to come back," Ty declares. "We didn't want to go out like that. We all worked hard and I got a lot better." While not being influenced by potential NBA salaries, their decision to stay and play was rewarded with an NCAA Championship. Before declaring for the pros after that season, Ty was named ACC Player of the Year and was honored as the best point guard with the Bob Cousy Award.
Since landing in the league, Ty has lit up the professional courts with his small but strong stature, lightning-quick speed, and his ankle-breaking dribbling skills. The 5'11" Clinton native prepares to win by working hard and following the same pre-game routine. "Before a game, I take a four-hour nap," Ty admits. "When I wake up, I have just enough time to eat some pasta and get to the game." As he prepares to win, Ty uses music to get him in the competitive mindset. "I listen to upbeat music like Chief Keef, Soldier Boy, Lil Wayne, and Drake. They get me hyped up and ready to go."
On the court, Ty's been a standout performer with his play and style. He's been wearing several different Nike kicks, including the Hyperdunk, Zoom Soldier, and most recently, the LeBron X. "Over the past two or three seasons, I would roll my ankle a lot," Ty mentions. "The LeBron X helps support my ankle. When I first wore them, I had a good game and they felt so comfortable. I've been wearing them ever since and haven't rolled my ankle once."
Ty's focused on improving his game and helping his team get closer to an NBA Championship. Before he took off, he wanted to offer some advice to young ball players and athletes alike. "Believe in what you want to do and believe that you can make it no matter what," Ty states. "So many people said I was too small to play in the NBA. Now I'm on one of the top teams in the NBA and am playing well. Believe that you can do whatever you put your mind to."
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