LB Holds the Keys

 

By now, Lawrence “LB” Burnett should be a name everyone knows in the world of basketball in Kokomo. I’ve learned and taken away so much from him in the past year. For myself, working my way into the player development field – I couldn’t have asked for a better example than him. Lawrence is from Chicago, Illinois – a land foreign to Kokomo natives in the sense that our styles of basketball are very different. I’ve lived in Kokomo all 32 years of my life, and played hoops about 25 of those years. There have been tough ball players produced here; too many to name individually, but in my opinion the culture of basketball overall in the area has always been a bit passive. And that is not necessarily a bad thing – we produce jump shooters, it just comes with the territory. But since the day I met LB, he’s been on a mission not to change – but add to the culture we have here in mid-central Indiana.

 

LB (left) and assistant coach Stacey Pollard listening in on coach Matt Moore’s gameplan during a timeout.

 

In my observance of him I notice that our styles of teaching are different – that’s the reason I believe I’ve always admired his methods. LB is tough man!! And his ability to transfer that toughness into his players is incredible. You can’t buy toughness, sit up on your mantle and claim to have it – it is totally and completely a mentality, a way of life. The way in which he builds that mentality up in kids is quite unique, and effective. With him, you will be respectful, you will listen, and you will perform. After taking careful consideration of the order in which he demands these things, I realize that a kid performs simply because he has taken the time to listen; a kid will listen because he has learned a respect for authority; and respect is taught while they are young and impressionable. In a deeper evaluation of that philosophy it is actually love, that produces these results. LB through his faith, love and passion for connecting with young people is truly a good man. By everyone that I’ve seen interact with him on a regular basis, he has made a great impact on their lives and earned their respect.

 

 

LB has produced and helped along many talented ball players that have a “go get it mentality. The fruits of those gentlemen’s labor are seen in the signing of overseas contracts, and some who have even made their way to the NBA. “Go and get it”, as much as it is about pure desire to be successful by one’s own will, it’s also about the mechanics. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from LB, is his teaching of counter moves. Out on the basketball court the environment and landscape is changing constantly. He prepares his players to the maximum, how to react to those changes and attack the basket. I especially love to incorporate this mindset into shooting the basketball, because there is nothing more rewarding to me than figuring out a way to rise up into my jump shot in reaction to what a defender has given me. Much of what I teach, more so for the older students is the art of deception, element of surprise, creating space and believe it or not closing down the space. Being a smaller guard, you have to find little ways outside of your athletic ability alone to create an opening to take your jump shot. LB’s emphases on making multiple moves work to your advantage – work! One is never going to just have a clear path to anything, even in life. Learn to create your own way!!

 

LB (middle) with two of his young guys..

 

If you’ve not yet made it a point to meet LB, please do this coming basketball season. There are very few people who know what it takes to get to the next level the way he does, and will actually give you the keys to making it happen. Take full advantage of having a man like that right here in Kokomo.

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