By Marc Raimondi
Doron Lamb joined the growing list of boys' basketball players leaving New York City last month. The Bishop Loughlin standout and Laurelton resident announced his decision to transfer out of the Brooklyn school. He'll enroll at the heralded Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., for the fall semester.
“It's right for me,” Lamb said after scoring 25 points for the Skip to My Lou team at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 game Friday night at Harlem's Rucker Park. “I need to get away from home. New York is distracting.”
A handful of players have left New York City this summer, mostly from schools in the CHSAA. But the 6-foot-4 Lamb is one of the Big Apple's greatest losses. He's a five-star prospect and the second shooting guard in the country in the Class of 2010, according to Scout.com. His list of college suitors is long — “everyone,” Lamb says — and he's only played two years of high-school basketball.
This past winter as a sophomore, he helped lead Loughlin to the CHSAA Class AA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan championship and the league's city semifinals as well, where the Lions lost to Christ the King. Lamb averaged 22 points per game and was poised, with the graduation of Holy Cross star Sylven Landesberg, to become the face of the league.
Instead, he'll be a part of a team contending for a national championship at Oak Hill, which boasts NBA alums like Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant.
“We saw it as an opportunity,” said Lamb's mother, Brigitte, a Briarwood native. “I've known about Oak Hill since I was 13 … It's isolated, he can concentrate and they have a great coach (Steve Smith), too.”
The third annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 game was something of a last hurrah for Lamb in New York City. It's a game made up of the top 24 high-school boy's basketball players in the country — regardless of age and sneaker affiliation. It was his first time competing in the event, and he showed off his smooth jumper as well as his resourcefulness. He had a pair of putbacks late in the game and was a main key in the Skip to My Lou team's 135-121 victory.
“I wanted to go out with a bang,” Lamb said.
He stressed that the decision to leave Loughlin was difficult, but this was something he needed to do for himself. He cited Oak Hill's 21 alums who have played or are playing in the NBA. Lamb said when he informed coach Khalid Green and his friends from the Fort Greene school, he did so with a heavy heart.
“That's like my home,” Lamb said. “I was like born there.”
Now he'll have a chance to grow somewhere else.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at email@example.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.