A player who started in Jamaica gains a worldwide rep

A player who started in Jamaica gains a worldwide rep
Lasan Kromah races into the front court during The Basketball Tournament semifinal game between South Champions, Overseas Elite and the Northeast Champions, City of God, at Fordham University.
Photo by Robert Cole
By Laura Amato

Lasan Kromah—who won a national championship with UConn in 2014—was born in Queens, but grew up in Maryland and his on-court history has taken him, literally, all over the world.

Still, he always felt as if he owed a little bit to New York and, after years of waiting, the 6-foot-6 guard finally got to give a little bit back.

Kromah competed in The Baskebtall Tournament for the second straight year, playing, once again, for City of Gods in the third annual summer-hoops showcase. His squad came up short—falling 103-92 to Overseas Elite in the semifinals July 30 at Fordham University—but Kromah was nothing short of dominant, finding his footing on a big-time stage, in a big-time city that always felt a bit like home.

“It felt good to be here,” said Kromah, who spent several years in Jamaica before his family moved to Maryland. “I’ve played in the city a few times—at the Barclays, here at Fordham, Madison Square Garden. But to come here and play with these guys it meant a lot.”

Kromah was an offensive force to be reckoned with in the semifinal tilt, racking up a team-best 22 points points on 11-of-16 shooting. He added three steals and two assists assists for good measure.

Although his team may not have been able to back him up—at one point allowing a 41-12 run by Overseas Elite—Kromah’s performance in the tournament was yet another bullet point on a resume that is chock full of success.

After a stellar undergrad career at George Washington, which included joining the program’s 1,000-point club, Kromah transferred to UConn ahead of the 2013–14 season. He appeared in all of that season’s 40 games for the Huskies, starting in 17, averaging 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He also wrapped up his college career as a national champion, joining UConn on its improbable run that March.

“That was actually my first time in the NCAA Tournament,” Kromah said. “It was a crazy experience. Great coach, great school, great fans and players. We had a great year. It was one of those moments you won’t ever forget.”

Kromah went undrafted in 2014, but competed for the Brooklyn Nets summer league squad and ultimately signed a contract overseas with Alba Fehérvár of Hungary. He played in Greece last season, joining Union Kavala for the second year.

“It’s been the same process from high school to college and now Europe,” Kromah said. “I’m always working, always trying to work my way up. If you keep working hard, opportunities are going to find you.”

City of Gods kept it interesting down the stretch, cutting the deficit to single digits with just under two minutes to play, but the squad couldn’t quite dig out of the early-game hole. Kromah didn’t achieve his championship goal in The Basketball Tournament, but he still managed to make a statement and, more importantly, did it in New York.

It wasn’t Queens, but it was close enough.

“This game showed our character and our heart. We didn’t give up,” Kromah said. “I’ll be going back overseas now. I’m not sure where, I’m in negotiations with a couple of places, but that’s the next step.”

More from Around New York