One of the top guards in the state of Ohio, Lawrent Rice of Wayne High School (OH) and All-Ohio Basketball recently named his top eight: Georgetown, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, VCU, Xavier, and Ohio State. A standout at the 19th annual Flyin’ to the Hoop, the 6’3” combo guard possesses craftiness off the dribble and court vision as a floor general. Rice led Wayne to its first district championship since 2018 and is capable of scoring at multiple levels. Currently in the midst of a OHSAA State Championship run, the southpaw has been somewhat under-the-radar nationally, but is primed to continue to move up the national rankings for his class.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Rice highlighted his introduction to basketball through his grandpa, his growth as a leader and competing for a state title, his top eight schools plus scheduling upcoming visits, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Lawrent Rice, from Huber Heights, Ohio:
Pro Insight: How did you get to where you are today? Talk a bit about your background and family.
Lawrent Rice: So yeah, ever since I was little I just loved standing in the gym. My grandpa, he's one of my main people that pushed me to be the best person that I can. So since I was little, I've just been playing basketball. I loved basketball, always watching film, trying to imitate the moves, do things like that. Coach Nate [Martindale], he's been a big part of my basketball career, too. He's been watching me since I was middle school, so once I got to high school, we’ve always had a relationship. He's just always pushing me to be the best person I can be, also.
PI: I assume that your grandpa played competitively growing up?
LR: Yeah, yeah. He played in high school. He actually has a state championship with Jefferson. It’s a high school around here in Dayton, OH. So yeah.
PI: Any other athletes in the family?
LR: Yeah, I do. We do have a lot of athletes in our family. I believe DK Metcalf. I'm related to the Metcalf family. So he's like one of my cousins on that side. Who else? I can't really think of them off the top of my head, but yeah, we got a nice sports family.
PI: When did you primarily start to focus on basketball?
LR: I would probably say around grade school like sixth grade, that's when I really started to take it seriously, you know, focus on basketball. They just told me I have a lot of potential. I never really thought of it. I just played basketball. That's what I like to do, but that's when it really got serious for me and I had to really focus on it and just try to take it to that next level.
PI: Did you play any other sports growing up?
LR: I did play football in middle school, but that didn't really last too long. Once I got to high school, they tried to get me to come out [and] play quarterback or whatever, but I just wanted to focus on basketball 'cause that's where my head was at.
PI: For those who aren’t familiar with your game, what are your greatest strengths and play style?
LR: Man, I would probably say my greatest strengths are being a three-level scorer at the point guard position with my size and length. I could guard one through three. That part too, defense — that's a big step to the next level. Also, being able to make my teammates better, pushing them to be the best that they can be. Just winning games. That's what it's all about, winning games. Then my play style, I would probably say it's more like finesse, smooth. I watch film — I realize I have a quick first step. People tell me I play like Jaden Ivey and D’Angelo Russell so those are two people that I do like watching a lot. Ja Morant also, he's one of the people I like watching, so I try to imitate my game after those players.
PI: What type of leader are you?
LR: Yeah, I like to lead by example, so if I'm bringing the attitude and energy and the effort, then I know those guys will follow after me — that I'll make them play their best game, their best levels, whatever. It's all about winning games, so that's what it really is.
PI: What are your current measurements?
LR: I am 6’3”, 170 [pounds]. Wingspan, I'd probably say it's like 6’4”. Yeah, I haven't really measured my wingspan in a long time. So yeah, I probably say it’s around there, maybe longer.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
LR: Right now, it's more like the physical part of my body, trying to put on weight, ‘cause it's physical at the next level. So if I just put on the weight, it'd just make the game overall easier. Just being able to play in the post. Also, as one of the things I've focused on — playing in the post over shorter guards, So yeah, finishing over big men, too. Just putting on that weight and making the game easier.
PI: Do you have a training regimen?
LR: Not really like a routine…like every single training session, [my trainer and I] watch film a lot so if we see something we like, we try to incorporate it into the training session. So yeah, during the season I try to workout at least three times like skill development, like at least three times a week. Offseason is probably like three times a day with weight training. So two times skill and then weight training. So yeah, that's really it.
PI: What are your short term goals you have for yourself as a player?
LR: As a player right now, we're in the state tournament so we're trying to make a run [and] get to state finals. That's really my goal right now is to get to state, just be better as a leader 'cause we lost a couple tough games. Right now, we are just trying to bounce back from that and just trying to lead these guys.
PI: Who has been the toughest individual matchup you’ve ever faced?
LR: Toughest individual matchup…I would probably say EYBL like this summer 'cause that's a tough circuit. I played against players like Rob Dillingham, Aden Holloway, that whole Team CP3 — that was a tough game we played. Even against JL3 [Elite] out of Texas, I played against George Washington [III], those guys down there. Then, who is the other team? They had I think his name was Isaiah [Collier]. He goes to Wheeler, but he's on the circuit, too. That was probably like my toughest match up in the summer. I'd probably say this season I played against Dailyn Swain. He plays on my AAU team, but individually I'd probably say that was my toughest so far this year.
PI: Describe your experience with All-Ohio Basketball.
LR: Yeah, It was really nice. This team, I love that team. I really did. I wish we could have gone to Peach and won it, but unfortunately we lost in the elite eight to Team CP3. But I love those guys especially James Okonkwo, he left early to go to West Virginia. He’s one of my favorite players to play with 'cause he's different. He's from England and he came over here and played with us. It was nice, but I think that group, that was our best group I think. We all played as a team. We all knew our roles, played well together, and it was just fun being around those guys.
PI: Reflecting on the high school year so far, how special is this Wayne High School team?
LR: Yeah, so since I've been here, our coaching staff prepares like I think the best ever. For real, I don't think any other coaching staff prepares how we do. So we always know who we're facing going into the game. So there's no surprises or anything like that. But these guys, we're younger than we have been in past years. But with that we're just learning. We're watching film, staying in the gym, getting extra shots up, lifting all the time. So we're just working. We're just working, Yeah, that’s really it. It's just work at this point.
PI: You have a top eight, what is your recruitment update?
LR: Yeah, I do have a top eight, but my recruitment is still open.
PI: Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
LR: Man it's been tough 'cause everybody in my top eight, we’ve been texting weekly. I have talked to North Carolina State, I have talked to them a lot. Hopefully I can get down there at the end of this month to visit. But yeah, I've talked to Xavier a lot. I like Xavier. I like everybody in my top eight really. I don't really have a favorite right now. I'm just building those relationships. It's making it the best I can and enjoying it of course.
PI: What will ultimately be your deciding factors when making your choice?
LR: Definitely where I fit in the most. The coaching, the coaching style, the play style, things like that. I try not to worry about all the off-court things, the facilities and stuff like that. It doesn't really matter to me as long as I'm put in a position where I can be successful and make it to the next level, which is my big goal — my big picture that I'm looking at. Yeah, any school that can help me get there, to succeed after basketball.
PI: What is your timeline looking like for a decision?
LR: I don’t [have a timeline] so far. I'm trying to take my five officials after this season and this spring time so maybe around the start/middle of AAU…yeah, I'd be nearing a decision I think.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
LR: Probably either watching film, watching other players, or playing video games. I like playing NBA2K and things like that. You know, just having fun.
PI: Who’s your go-to team for 2K?
LR: Man, I use everybody for real, but my favorite player is LeBron. LeBron, in the game he's really unstoppable (laughs).
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
LR: I'd probably say Lil Baby. He's probably like the main artist on my list. Before a game, I might try to calm myself down. I might listen to Drake or something. Have my headphones in, things like that, just shooting around. Yeah, those two are really the main ones.
PI: If you were stuck forever on a deserted island and had all the food, water, and shelter you needed — what three personal items would you bring?
LR: I'm gonna definitely bring a person, like Bear Grylls or something 'cause he's gonna help me survive (laughs). He's gonna help me survive. Man, I’m going to try to bring water.
PI: Hold up, we give you water.
LR: Okay, you give water? I'm bringing my phone. Try to get service or something so I can connect with people (laughs). And then… And you guys give me food, too?
PI: Yeah, we’ll give you food, too.
LR: Man, I don’t know. I’ll probably just bring my game or something then I guess (laughs).
PI: Yeah, for sure and we'll give you the electricity, too.
LR: Okay yeah yeah. Then cross Bear Grylls off, I'm bringing like my mom or something. I thought you said I'm stuck, like I gotta find my own way (laughs).
PI: Recapping, what are the three things?
LR: Okay, so I'm bringing my mom, my phone, and my game (laughs).
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
LR: (Laughs) Ohh yeah, #TheLaw. It's something my grandpa came with. The Law.
PI: If you woke up tomorrow to see a fortune in your bank account, what would be your first purchase?
LR: Ahh man. Okay so for real, I would probably go buy a car or something (laughs). I'll probably go buy a nice car. And then like just go from there, like whatever my mom needs. Get her whatever she needs.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
LR: I'd probably say I'd be like…does a coach count or it can't be no sports? (Interviewer nods) Okay yeah, I'll probably be a coach. Yeah most likely or a skills trainer.
PI: Which level would you want to be involved at?
LR: I'll probably say college. I’d go from college to high school, you know, just work in that area.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
LR: Best advice…Coach Quisenberry, he said, “to whom much is given, much is required.” He's a former coach here at my school. His name is Coach Quisenberry. His son Darius Quisenberry, he actually plays out at Fordham.
PI: Who’s someone you really look up to?
LR: Someone I looked up to…I'd probably say like my mom. She makes a lot of sacrifices for me so try to do that, make a lot of sacrifices for not only myself, but also others too.
PI: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
LR: Oh man, I can't stand when people snore. When they snore in their sleep, it just messes me up. I can't even sleep. I gotta sleep with headphones in with somebody snoring (laughs).
PI: Does that happen often on roadtrips?
LR: Yeah, like when I go on roadtrips with my grandpa, he snores a lot so I gotta put the headphones in (laughs).
PI: Are you an introvert or extrovert?
LR: Definitely an introvert, definitely.
PI: Talk about a time or story in your life that you feel has really shaped who you are today.
LR: Man, I'll probably say like this whole summer up until this point, it’s definitely been eye-opening. Transitioning from AAU in that role to being a leader now with this team, it is two totally different teams. I had all the pieces around me in AAU and then with high school, I don't have as many pieces, but I have what is enough. So just trying to be a role model and understanding who I am as a person. It's been a big thing for me.
PI: How have you handled and responded to adversity in your life?
LR: Yeah, I just take it. Everything is a learning moment. I'm always talking to my coaches. They've given me the best advice that I could ask for so just taking it all in as a sponge and then applying it so I could be better. Once these moments come again, I know what to do. Just being a sponge.
PI: How would you define the word ‘success?’
LR: I think success means to me like having not only yourself, but like everyone around you is okay, like everyone’s straight and then just continuing to give. Not be a receiver, but continue to give to everyone whether it's anything, advice, whatever they need. So yeah.
PI: Where do you see yourself in five years?
LR: Five years, I see myself either in college or the NBA, hopefully.
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
LR: I would probably say quiet. Don't talk a lot, like to stay to myself. I'll probably say a leader. I'm working on it, but I'm a leader. What would you say, coach? (looks at his coach)
Coach Martindale: I would say driven. I think driven is a good word. I would say cerebral or smooth.
LR: Yeah, I like that one. Cerebral. Driven. Quiet. Leader.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
LR: Man, that's crazy. That's tough 'cause like I talk to my coaches about leaving a legacy here at my high school and things like that. I just want to be remembered as somebody that you can look to in times of adversity and things like that. They could look at me and then whenever I hit these adversities or these moments, they could be like, “okay you did this. Let me follow in these footsteps.”