A Lam Helps ERHS
Sophomore Has All-Around Skills
Posted: January 31, 2013
ELKTON – Coming off a bad junior varsity basketball season that was interrupted by a case of bronchitis, sophomore Logan Lam did not expect to begin his varsity career at East Rockingham High School this winter.
Now, he’s starting for the Eagles as one of their most consistent players.
“He does a little bit of everything in each category,” ERHS coach Mark Palmer said, “and that’s good because that’s what we’re looking for. I mean, we’re looking for consistency. If you think about it, he’s our most balanced player on the floor.”
With a post-heavy squad led by veterans, that’s saying something – especially for Lam, a quiet 15-year-old small forward who is one of only two sophomores on the team.
Yet, with the help of a career-high 21 points in Tuesday’s 113-112 overtime loss at Stuarts Draft, Lam is now averaging 10.1 points per game for the fourth-place Eagles (11-9 overall, 7-5 in the Shenandoah District). Entering the week, Lam had taken the second-most shots on the team behind only senior guard Tyler Hensley, while also leading East Rock as a 64 percent free-throw shooter (66-of-138) and a 53 percent shooter beyond the arc (21-for-40).
ERHS varsity assistant Matt Rhea, who coached him on the JV team last year, calls Lam “Big Smooth,” a nickname he borrowed from former North Carolina star Sam Perkins.
“They call me that and ‘Sam Perkins,’” said Lam, who checks in at 6½ feet and 170 pounds. “I guess we’re both left-handed and I think we’re just smooth basketball players. Just the reactions I have. I don’t show an incredible amount of emotion.”
Rather, Lam oftentimes seems like he’s in his own world, Rhea said, walking the halls typically in his hoodie. On the basketball court, the year-round player can be the same way.
“Sometimes,” Lam said. “I just try to zone out the crowd and play my own game, make sure nothing distracts me.”
With Lam’s help, the third-year Eagles are eyeing their best season yet with a chance to host a first-round playoff game in the district tournament, which begins next Friday. East Rock has two regular-season games left, at Page County (16-4, 11-1) on Friday and against Riverheads (7-11, 3-9) on senior night next week, trying to hang on to a top-four seed in the eight-team district.
Lam’s career night against Draft was a product of ERHS going small, using four guards primarily, with John Wright as an athletic post player. And the Eagles may go to that lineup again to combat the press in the postseason depending on the matchup, said Rhea, who came up with the Draft game plan.
“Logan is one of our better scorers in transition and as an all-around scorer,” Rhea said, “so we put him and Chase [Comer] at half-court so we could get some of those easy baskets.”
That’s high praise for a kid coming off a marred JV season.
Lam said he lost 15 pounds in two or three weeks due to the illness last winter, putting him behind four or five games. It was a struggle to knock the rust off once he returned.
“It took me about two or three weeks to get back in the flow of the game, and by then the season was over,” said Lam, who benefited from playing in the Virginia Basketball Alliance in the offseason under current Turner Ashby coaches Chad Seibert and Brandon Shields. “… I figured they’d keep me down and let me get another year of experience. But I’m glad they moved me up. I’ve improved a lot this year, just getting my confidence and working well with my team.”
Though Lam sort of came out of nowhere this season, it’s safe to say he’s no longer a secret.
“He probably wasn’t on people’s scouting reports the first time around,” Rhea said. “Definitely the second time around they knew where No. 22 was and what he was all about.”