Lorenzo Ervin (200-F) is a 200cm forward that has one season of professional expereicne having played with FC Artsakh (Armenia-League A) playing 7 games averaging 10.0ppg, 7.3rpg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 13.3%, FT: 66.7%. He is taking part at the 2022 Howard Hoops Germany pro Tour in Duesseldorf. He spoke to germanhoops.com about basketball.
Thanks Lorenzo for talking togermanhoops..com. Where are you at the moment and how is basketball life treating you?
You’re welcome it’s my pleasure, I am currently in my home town of Kent Washington a smaller city located outside of what most people know as Seattle. Basketball life is treating me extremely well, I’ve been in the lab working on my game both strengths and weaknesses to be 100% ready to shock the world during the Howard Hoops Tour.
You are a real basketball warrior. Do you ever wonder if one could compare you to a cat and 9 lives? Despite all the hardships you have had to never die but always get up again?
It’s actually funny that you say that, because recently I had a friend compare me to a cat he asked me if I was a cat because of how many chances life has given me. At that moment it hit me I feel as if any hardship I face I choose to overcome them instead of giving up because I know there’s pressure to make it but one thing is certain pressure makes diamonds. A great example of a hardship during my journey that taught me to always get up again was when I was convinced of an opportunity in the country of Dominican Republic being sold false dreams, was told there would be scouts at the game and they weren’t there and dealt with pretty harsh living conditions, etc. At that point I could have given up, because I knew when I came home back to the United States I wouldn’t have a source of transportation I quickly realized I put all my eggs in one basket but through this all I kept faith in God and feel like the best of the journey is yet to come.
There have been guys at the Howard Hoops tour that have no college, but I don’t remember a player having no college but still landing a job overseas. How often have you heard the line ‘Why didn’t you play in college’?
I would say its’s a blessing and a curse being told that almost everyday. I feel like I’ve battled statistics my whole life. Not playing college can sometimes be the fuel to my fire knowing I have that chip on my shoulder. But that never stops me from my end goal. A lot of the reasons why I couldn’t play college would be due to a 1 year High School career, no college offers and a personal family tragedy.
Let’s go back to the start. Your career didn’t begin well either. You broke both legs in high school. How does one do that?
Honestly just thinking of this question gives me chills flashing back to that moment. It honestly feels like an out of body experience looking back because I played a whole half on a broken leg with will power and adrenaline to get me to the finish line, now how did it happen you may ask? It was 8th grade summer going into freshman year of high school, I remember the energy in the gym was out of this world one of my first times playing in front of a big crowd. Everything felt great like nothing could stop me but I was totally wrong. It was a very intense and close game and my team was in a full court 1-3-1 defensive press and I was the guy in the very back to intercept cross court or full court length passes, during the play in which I injured myself the ball went over my head and I tried to make a play tipping the ball out of bounce not knowing the distance from the hoop to the wall and landing with all my weight on one leg against the wall. A day I will never forget.
Did that experience already give a big dent in your mental state and self-confidence?
Honestly no it didn’t give a big dent in my mental state of self confidence because as a kid I felt like I was ahead of my time. With the mental strength that my Father in bedded in me at such a young age, I was taught that injures were a part of the game and that you’re not defined by what happened, but by how you over came it. If anything the experience gave me more confidence because the doctors told me I would never play the game of Basketball again, at a high level. So I had to enter mamba mentality.
You then also only played for the C- team. Is it fair to say you have always had doubters in your career?
One hundred percent. I have always had doubters in my career and I still do until this day. Seems like I’m constantly trying to prove myself.
Was playing for a C- team a reason you didn’t play in college? Did anybody want you?
It wasn’t the main reason, but it was defiantly one of the reasons why I didn’t play college, because I never heard of a Cinderella story of somebody making it to college that only played 1 year of High School. So I felt like going pro was my only option. Sad to say but during my High School career I had zero college offers.
In high school you played for coaches Kent Meridan and coach Pizzalatto. Despite all the tough times you went through did you get anything positive from their teachings?
Even though the High School journey wasn’t easy, I actually did get something positive from coach Pizzalatto’s teachings such as, the only limit on things is yourself. He taught me what it’s like to fight through adversity because at times I felt like I should’ve been on junior varsity as a freshman with all my friends but he made sure that mental battle wouldn’t affect my play on the court and help me develop into a man. Lastly, a positive teaching from Coach Pizzalato is discipline. At times during practice I would think we were a track team with all the running that we would do.
Last season you got a job with t FC Artsakh (ArmeniaLeague A) averaging 10.0ppg, 7.3rpg, FGP: 54.5%, 3PT: 13.3%, FT: 66.7%. What do you remember being your wake up call to being overseas where you knew that you were very far away from home?
Well for starters, I was on an 18 hour flight, time zones were different by 12 hours from back home, every store or restaurant that I entered there were no English words. So there was defiantly a language barrier. I couldn’t even walk down the street without everybody staring at me wondering where I came from, I have never had that many eyes on me waking down a street before.
You lost a game by 50 points + and then lost some nail bitters. How tough was this first experience overseas and what did you learn about yourself?
Its honestly crazy to say I was apart off a game losing so many points because it was a whole new experience for me and I never lost by that much in my entire career, so it was an unfamiliar feeling. One nail bitter game that I remember vividly would be the last game I played before I left where we lost by one point in a very controversial game. The first experience overseas actually started for me in pre-season. I remember being extremely nervous knowing that I would be competing against some pro’s, division 1-3 college guys because I didn’t know the quality of competition to expect but playing against the highest level always brought out the best in me as a player. It was just a matter of getting comfortable of the pace of overseas play. I learned a lot about myself during my time in Armenia. I learned that mental strength can push you to limits that I never thought could be overcome. I learned that I actually thrived and can play well in a system when I get assigned the right role display my talents.
Ron and I actually met via social media maybe about 3 years ago and I heard about his Howard Hoops tour before I actually met him through other connections and they had nothing but great things to say. So I thought now would be a perfect time to attend the tour in Germany.
I am beyond blessed to know someone as great as Ronald Howard, because he’s the only person to give me a chance to display my talents on a big stage in front of legit decision makers. Without his guidance I wouldn’t know where my next step would be in my professional career. But he is given me the confidence to shoot for the stars and aim for the moon. So to have met Ron I am forever grateful.
Do you feel like having had that Armenia experience will give you an advantage?
I wouldn’t say it gave me an advantage on the court but it would defiantly give me an advantage off the court being that I’ve already played at a pro level before, so I know the expectations of an American player playing overseas.
Let’s talk about your game. You’re a 200cm forward. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the bill?
The NBA player that I would have to compare my game to which so happens to be one of my favorite players in the league would have be Kyle Kuzma, because I feel like we share the same qualities such as being able to defend multiple positions, stretch the floor with my shooting, play making abilities as a taller wing, finishing well in transition and unorthodox like game.
You can score and rebound the ball well. What other strengths does your game have?
I would say my best strength would have to be shooting because as a younger kid I was forced into developing a consistent jump shot because I had a skinny frame and had to find other ways to score without absorbing too much contact being that I always play against older and much stronger people.
On what area’s of your game are you working on most now so that you will be best prepared for your next challenge?
Scoring off the dribble has been a key focus as of lately because I know with my size and shooting ability I would be able to get my shot off over anybody. Plus it would allow me to pick apart the defense in other ways than just catch and shoot.
Who was the toughest player that you ever battled on a court anywhere that made the NBA?
Playing AAU growing up it opened up my eyes to competition all over the country and during those times I ran into a few players that made it to the NBA such as Jaylen Nowell who is currently on the Minnesota timber wolves, Malachi Flynn who currently is on the Toronto Raptors I also played against Internet sensation Jordan McCabe who plays at UNLV and will be entering the NBA draft next year. So I’ve defiantly have had battles with some high level guys.
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
I’m glad you asked this question because honestly this is my favorite question out of all of them, it actually makes me feel like a kid again thinking of all the teammates I’ve had over the years but if I were to crunch it down to five it would have to be in no order but those guys would have to be: Romaine Jackson Jelani Bell Dewan White Ethan Walker Tyler Lord These are my dawgs I’d go to war for them out there on the court.
Please name your personal NBA Mount Rushmore?
Lebron James Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan Shaq
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
Simply Lebron for me, I grew up in the ‘King James’ era. I could go hours on why I think Lebron is the greatest of all time, I’ve gone as far as full on heated arguments with friends over this topic alone, so I’m going to leave it as, Lebron is the goat.
Where do you rank Steph Curry right now of the best point guards of all-time
In my personal opinion with the way he has changed the game I would say he is the second greatest point guard of all Time currently but I could see him passing Magic Johnson when his career is said and done, I’ve never seen a point guard with the abilities that Stephan Curry displays.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Shouldn’t they have left it alone? P
Please don’t hate me for this, but I’ve never seen Coming to America a day in my life but after this interview that will be the first thing that I watch and then I would be able to answer that little better you can hold me to that.
Thanks Lorenzo for the chat.