UPDATE: Newark Mourns The Death of Former High School Basketball Standout Keon Lawrence
Newark Residents, family, friends and basketball lovers around the State of NJ took to social media to mourn and express condolences for the death of former Weequahic High School Basketball Star Mr. Keon Lawrence.
According to officials, Lawrence, 32, sadly passed away on Saturday due to an unspecified medical condition.
The 6'3", 180-pound shooting guard, who sent shock waves through the NJ athletic world, had a reputation as an elite scorer for Weequahic High School.
According to basketball realgm.com, in Lawrence's career timeline, just before graduating Weequahic High School in 2005, he signed a letter of intent to play for Missouri Tigers then enrolled in June 2006.
In his two years playing career for Missouri, Lawrence produced about 30 points per game and produced a total of about 669 career scoring points for the college, according to basketball.realgm.com.
After leaving Missouri, Lawrence reportedly sat out in the 2008-2009 season then came back to NJ and suited up for Coach Bobby Gonzalez and the Seton Hall Pirates, where he played his junior year and a part of his senior year at the university located in South Orange.
In 2011, Lawrence's senior year and just hours before a rival contest between the Seton Hall and Rutgers, school officials dismissed him from the program sighting "violations of team rules and an ongoing pattern of conduct unbecoming of a representative of Seton Hall athletics", according to reports published in NJ.com by writer Brendan Prunty.
Prunty's 2009 article on NJ.com noted that Lawrence saw sporadic playing time in his one-and-a-half seasons with the Seton Hall Pirates. Click HERE for NJ.com reporter Brendan Prunty's article and his analysis of that season.
Lawrence finished with the Seton Hall Pirates scoring just over 200 points. In 2011, Lawrence went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, making him an 'Unrestricted Free Agent.'
NBA.com reports said this was the same year current NBA Brooklyn Nets superstar and NJ native Kyrie Irving was chosen number one overall in the draft according to basketball.realgm.com.
According to published reports, Lawrence traveled overseas to Norway, where he saw playing time in the Norwegian Basketball Premier League with the Tromsø Storm from 2014-2019. Lawrence produced over a thousand scoring points in his four seasons of play.
City officials expressed condolences and said Lawrence was never shy in giving back to his community by participating in youth basketball training camps and mentoring. "Keon was always good to the kids," officials said.
Former Newark Resident/Major League Baseball Player and Broadcast Analyst Marquis Donnell "Bo" Porter took to Facebook and released the following statement:
"My heart is heavy! I'm so sorry to hear about Keon Lawrence and his transition to being with the Lord. He was one of the best basketball players to ever play at my alma mater Weequahic High School in Newark, NJ. Rest in paradise, Keon! You left us way too soon! I send my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy to Keon’s family, friends and the entire Newark community. This one -really- hurts!! #Indians4Life #IPC/O90"
Tromoso Storm of Norway, Seton Hall University, or the University of Missouri have not released official statements regarding Larence's passing at this time.
The family has not announced funeral arrangements for Lawrence at this time.
IMAGE/INFORMATION CREDIT: Mr. Brendan Prunty -Reporter- for NJ.com, basketball.realgm.com, Bo Porter Facebook page.