On the Rise: Lavon Long

Andy Alessio

Just when senior stand-out Lavon Long thought his college recruitment process was over, everything changed.

On April 2, 2013, Long, who originally committed to Loyola (MD) on November 3, 2012, found out that Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos was leaving the university for the head coaching position at Siena College.

“My mom told me that he (Patsos) was offered a job, but I was not too worried,” Long said. “I did not know if I wanted to leave.”

Almost two weeks later; however, Long made the decision to follow Patsos, and play at Siena. He could not be more excited to begin his college career, especially under the coach who originally recruited him.

“I am really excited, especially with our first game being against our rival Albany,” Long said.

Long had a phenomenal 2012-13 senior season at Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, MD., where he averaged 15.0 points per game, along with 10.8 rebounds. Due to his success, Long was a McDonald’s All American Nominee, and was named the 2012-13 Howard County Player of the Year, as well as to the All-MET squad (fourth team).

Based on his play on the court, Long originally had many notable offers from mid-majors including VCU, Dayton, and ironically Siena. However, he chose Loyola (MD) for several reasons.

“I really liked the coaching staff, and it was close to home,” Long said. “I also fit in perfectly, and they had me playing the three (small forward).”

Although adjusting from the high school style of play to the college level can be difficult for some, Long is not concerned whatsoever.

“I feel that I am ready because of all the pickup I play with college players,” Long said. “I never felt overwhelmed.”

In order to become an even better player; however, Long feels that he needs to work on being more consistent with his jumper.

“I am confident in getting to the basket, and I shoot well, but on any given day my shot could be off,” Long said.

In his preparation of playing at the college level, not only is Long frequently participating in open gym sessions, he is also lifting weights as well as competing for his high school’s track and field squad in the high jump. Long is doing all of this to not only have a freshman year that is similar to his senior year in high school, but also to help improve upon Siena’s 8-24 record in the 2012-13 season.

Long, who will major in business/finance, has bright goals he hopes to accomplish during his four years at Siena both on and off the basketball court.

“I want to win championships, and get invited to other tournaments, but I also want to get my degree, and start life after college,” Long said.