1. When did you start playing basketball and what sparked your interest in the game?
Lawley: I started playing basketball competitively when I was about six years old. However, since I also played soccer, baseball and football, there wasn't much time for me to assess which sport received the most attention. Because of this, it wasn't until high school that I started to find my niche on the court. I had great teammates throughout my high school career and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams, and it's because of them that I chose to stick with basketball.
2. How have you evolved as a player?
Lawley: In addition my physical evolution upon my arrival in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)—I gained 20+ pounds and increased my vertical leap by eight inches—I believe I've become a more intuitive player as well. My patience, understanding and love of the game have grown as I’ve matured here at UC San Diego. The transition from high school to college basketball was definitely tough to get used to at first but, because of my ability to adapt and overcome, I feel I've grown in the proper areas that have allowed me to have success on the court.
3. Why did you choose to attend UC San Diego?
Lawley: I chose to attend UC San Diego after having my official visit. I was welcomed by a caring coaching staff, embracing teammates and flawless beaches—why wouldn't I come here? But seriously, my eventual teammates were what really sealed the deal for me. Besides being a prestigious university, I knew UC San Diego was the right fit for me when I realized that the other players on the team were exactly like me. We all came from similar backgrounds—top-of-the-class scholars, outstanding athletes, morally sound members of society and people with whom I shared many common interests; this made the transition a little easier. I had my chance to play at a couple of Ivy League schools, but none could hold a match to the opportunity that I saw at UC San Diego.
4. As a student-athlete, how do you balance academics and athletics?
Lawley: It's important to note, and I believe I speak for many student-athletes at UC San Diego, we are students first and athletes second. This has been easy to follow because of the wise and careful guidance that I have received from my coaching staff. They know that we take on an extremely demanding school load, and they are very thoughtful and accommodating when it comes to staying on top of our studies. Personally, juggling basketball and school hasn't been too tough of a task for me over the past four years. The true struggle has been able to find balance among school, basketball, three jobs (working at RIMAC and two other personal ventures I started my sophomore year), a girlfriend, various internships, numerous social groups and organizations (UCSD Student Foundation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, UCSD Cares and Omicron Delta Epsilon), and church. All of that has kept me busy! Fortunately, the Lord has blessed me with great tolerance and patience. And if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a single thing.
5. Why has it been important to you to be involved with other campus activities, such as UCSD Cares?
Lawley: Despite contrary belief, not all athletes are one-unit processors trained to only function in the art of athletic activity. And I hope that my involvement in many different organizations helps prove this. Philanthropic organizations, social groups and other activities that I've been a part of over the past four years have been key pieces of my collegiate experience. Each has helped me keep a level head, open heart and absorbent mind and, in helping others, I have been able to grow spiritually as a person. Even through high school, helping others was always near and dear to my heart, and being able to take part in such philanthropic organizations in college has allowed me to put these feelings into actions. Every person I’ve met through these campus activities, group members and people I’ve helped, has left a permanent mark on my life. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to positively affect others.
6. Why did you choose to major in economics? What do you want to do with your degree?
Lawley: Honestly, I can't say that economics was my first choice for majors. I came to UC San Diego as a biology major, determined to pursue a career as an orthodontist. However, while I thought I was born to be in the field of dentistry/orthodontics, Chemistry 6A my very first quarter of college proved me wrong. Realizing that maybe science wasn't a good fit for me, I decided to study economics. Born into a family with a very entrepreneurial father, my interest has always been in business. So, naturally, since we don't have a business major/minor, I gravitated toward economics. My post-collegiate aspirations would have to include playing basketball overseas next year to try to escape this economic climate, and then eventually return to school to do a joint JD/MBA program in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a sports agent.
Favorite Food: German Food
Favorite sport to play: Ping Pong
Favorite hobby: Photography
Favorite sport to watch: Soccer
Favorite place at UC San Diego: RIMAC
Favorite place on Earth: San Diego!
Favorite UC San Diego memory: Hitting a half court shot to win our game against Sonoma State last year
Favorite words to live by: "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky
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