TULSA, Okla. – Not many basketball players get to the share the court with family, but for Oral Roberts men's basketball's Ty Lazenby that is not the case. The graduate transfer won three Oklahoma Class A championships at Glencoe High School with younger brothers as teammates all while playing for his father.
Lazenby credits his dad, John, for helping develop his love for the game of basketball early in his life. He spent countless hours in the gym dating back to his time growing up in Glencoe, a small town of roughly 600 people in central Oklahoma.
"I got started when my dad was a coach and I was around the gym all the time," Lazenby said. "I fell in love with the game at a very young age. My dad would let me come to practices as a second grader and sit on the side every day after school and watch. I fell in love with it and from there things took off."
The ability to watch and learn the intricacies of the sport at such a young age helped pave the way for Lazenby's success at every level of basketball. He was a three-time MVP of the prep state tournament before earning NJCAA All-American honors at Northern Oklahoma-Enid.
"I was fortunate to play for my dad and win state championships with two of my brothers. No matter how far I make it in my career, that was the most fun I've ever had playing basketball. Winning three state championships for Glencoe was by far one of my biggest accomplishments and that is something you never forget."
The impact made by being the son of a successful coach has not gone unnoticed by Lazenby as he enters a new chapter with the Golden Eagles this season, while pursuing a Master's of Leadership degree.
"Any coach's kid will tell you it's very beneficial to have somebody around 100 percent of the time to instruct you. Whether it's shooting in the gym and he sees something wrong with your shot, he can instruct you to improve. It builds your basketball IQ early and you just understand the game so much better," Lazenby added.
That constant attention might be too much for some to handle, but for him, it was the perfect motivation to reach new heights on the court. Lazenby was able to reap the benefits, which came with some tough love moments, but always at the proper time and place.
"Anyone that knows my dad knows he is a get after it and yelling kind of guy. He was definitely hard on me growing up and when I played for him in high school, he kept pushing me and that made me tons better. You can't argue with that. The thing I loved about it was that as much as he would get after me in practice, once we got home, it was checked there at the door."
Moving to ORU for his final year of collegiate basketball has been a perfect transition for Lazenby as he understands the dynamic of playing with a close group of student-athletes.
"Since day one, it's been a family atmosphere here at ORU. From the coaches to the players, everyone is so tight knit and get along well with each other. That has helped me a lot since getting here. I am enjoying playing. I am enjoying going to practice and working. When you are around people and build relationships, you want to get better and win for each other."
That drive to win for the man next to him helps keep Lazenby striving to be the best on and off the court as he shows his true competitive nature.
"You are going to get 100 percent from me every time. I am competitor and I want to win. I am not afraid to say I hate losing and am a sore loser. I can't stand going up against somebody and him beating me."
Lazenby has won at every stop on his basketball journey and he expects that same level of success with the Golden Eagles in 2019-20.
"I can promise the fans that this year is going to be fun to watch. You'll get to see an entire lineup competing every night trying to win a conference championship and we want to make a run in the tournament this year," Lazenby concluded.
For the latest information on ORU Men's Basketball, follow the Golden Eagles on Twitter and Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans also can receive updates on the team by downloading two mobile apps, ORU Golden Eagles Live and ORU Front Row, available on the App Store and Google Play.