Doron Lamb led the Univeristy of Kentucky Wildcats to a National Championship Monday night. The sophomore scored 22 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers that put them up by 16 with 10 minutes left.
But long before he was a national basketball star (and a NBA draft pick possibility) Lamb was a kid in New York City. He played for The New York Gouchos, a AA youth team in the Bronx, learned how to shoot in the Lower East Side, and was made by his father to practice all over Lower Manhattan, where the Lamb family lived before moving to Queens. “Every time I wanted to go to the corner store, he had me dribble the ball in my left hand,” Lamb said. “He made me do it every time. Any time I wanted to go somewhere."
In 2008, after his junior year at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, he transferred to the prestigious basketball school Oak Hill Academy in Virginia-- the alma mater of NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.
While in New York, Lamb was given the nickname "Smooth Criminal" for his quick play and calm demeanor, honing his game in Rucker Park, the same playground that helped create legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Irving, and Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
"It’s an honor to be from there,” Lamb said of the Big Apple days before the National Championship game. “There’s been a lot of great guards to come out of there — Rod Strickland, Stephon Marbury, Kenny Anderson. So, it’s great to hear people talk about me, saying I made it. I feel like I’m representing New York City every time I go out and compete."
And so, in homage to our hometown hero, here are some clips of Lamb's younger days as a New Yorker: