Moving to the next level
WESTPORT -- Greg Lawrence and Cole Prowitt-Smith came to Greens Farms Academy with one collective goal in mind: To use the sport of basketball to help further their education and get to college.
While each of their respective journeys to the next level were tweaked along the way, Lawrence and Prowitt-Smith, both seniors from Fairfield, achieved that ultimate goal this week.
Within hours of each other, the pair verbally committed to play college basketball next season.
Prowitt-Smith, a 6-foot-4 guard, announced on Monday afternoon he would attended Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
Later that night, Lawrence, a 6-8 forward, announced he would play at Emory University in Atlanta.
“Each school is very fortunate to have guys of that caliber,” GFA coach Mike Jarvis III said. “Both of those guys are steals for that level and I think they’ll have a lot of success on the court and in the classroom.”
The two, who started playing together as sixth graders, are excited to have the process behind them to so they can focus on their senior years.
“It’s a big sigh of relief to be done,” Lawrence said. “I’m really happy with my decision. Emory is just an amazing school, an amazing basketball program. It’s a really attractive place. Atlanta, there’s nothing else like it. I really loved it when I visited.
Prowitt-Smith agreed that that his decision came down to an internal feeling, as well.
“It was a crazy and really exciting decision,” he said. “The schools I was considering were all off the chart, academically, so I’d say the determining factor was the quality of the people. I felt like I gelled with the team.”
Lawrence and Prowitt-Smith both transferred to GFA from Fairfield Ludlowe as sophomores.
In his two seasons at GFA, Prowitt-Smith has scored 810 points. Last season, he averaged 19.6 points, 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds a game.
Lawrence averaged a double-head a season ago, netting 14.2 points per game and matching that figure in rebounds, as well. He also averaged 2.8 blocks an outing.
The duo once dreamed about playing college basketball together, but instead had to settle for committing on the same day.
“I’ve known Cole for a long time,” Lawrence said. “Him and I are brothers, pretty much. He’s been through it all with me. We had the dream of going to the same college together up until a couple of months ago when we realized it was unrealistic.”
While leaving Ludlow wasn’t easier for either of them, both admitted that in hindsight, it was the right decision.
“How it arose for me to come to GFA was something I couldn’t pass up,” Prowitt-Smith said. “Until now, it’s the greatest decision of my life, putting me on a stage basketball-wise and academically. It’s opened doors I never could have dreamed of. I’ve had such support.”
“I loved my time at Ludlowe,” said Lawrence, who had many family members attend GFA in the past. “It was great, but GFA really helped me get some exposure, which helped me succeed. It was the best decision I could have made.”
The Emory Eagles finished last season 23-5 and ranked 18th in the country at the NCAA Division 3 level.
The Williams Ephs, part of the NESCAC, wrapped up last season with a 23-6 mark also advancing to NCAA tournament play. They were ranked eighth in the country, according to D3hoops.com.
With their college decisions, which are still dependent on their admission to the school, behind them, both players can now focus on the one goal that remains: bringing a championship to the GFA campus.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders,” Lawrence said. “Now I can just focus on winning an FAA or New England championship, keeping my grades up and just having fun my senior year.”