Athlete of the Week: Max Lawrence

Senior guard Max Lawrence looks to pass during Spectrum's 74-60 win over West Lutheran on Jan. 31 at Spectrum High School.

Senior guard Max Lawrence knows what his life’s trajectory is after his high school basketball career ends. Lawrence is second-all time on Spectrum in points with more than 1,529 to his name. He averaged more than 20 points per game during the course of the regular season. 

Lawrence plans to major in finance in college. He has not made a decision on where he will attend school this fall and whether he will play basketball in college, but he recently toured North Central University in Minneapolis and it is on his list of prospective institutions. He said he likes working with money and took a personal finance class last year with Christopher Hyde, one of Spectrum High School’s social studies teachers. Lawrence said financial literacy is not a required course at Spectrum High School and a majority of Minnesota High Schools.

“I fell in love with the way our economy works and different ways to build wealth,” Lawrence said. “My mom works for the FDIC. [She] was very passionate about us taking it because she thinks it’s an important skill that everyone should have with them in the future.”

Lawrence’s favorite NBA player is Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history. Besides his accomplishments on the court, Lawrence is inspired by James’ charity and community work. James opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, in 2018.

“A lot of people look up to him not only as a basketball player but as a person,” Lawrence said. “He’s doing great work in the community. Seeing some of the things he’s done inspires a lot of people.

James has inspired Lawrence to give back. Lawrence has volunteered with Special Olympics basketball program at the  St. Michael branch during the spring. He was introduced to the program by McKenzie Alders, who played for the Spectrum girls basketball team and is one of Lawrence’s friends. He was doing research for his mandatory senior community project and the opportunity came across. Last spring was his first year working for Special Olympics.

“I look forward to doing it for a long time,” he said. “Obviously, it’s basketball and something that I enjoy. I like spreading my knowledge about the game and stuff like that. It’s fun to meet new people and build new relationships with the kids and players and play with them and see them grow as players.”

Sting head coach Justin Femrite said Lawrence is fun to be around when Spectrum isn’t playing or practicing. 

“Competitors against him probably don’t appreciate him much, but he’s a nice kid,” Femrite said. “The younger guys in our program who practice from seventh grade all the way up through seniors…Max is an ideal role model for those younger guys. Around some of our fundraisers that we do, he is the leader of our team that talks with people and talks with community members. [He] encourages those younger guys to go and interact with whoever we might be working with, whether it’s Cub Foods or Pizza Ranch, empowering them to be confident in themselves and to approach people and talk to them in ways they aren’t necessarily used to.”

Off the court, Lawrence loves to be outdoors during the late spring and summer. He likes to jet ski and goes fishing as well. He also likes to work out when he has spare time.

Regardless of the outcome of Spectrum’s Section 6-2A quarterfinal against Mora on March 5, Femrite said he will miss Lawrence’s leadership in practice and his intensity.

“It’s a luxury to have a player pushing his own teammates and holding his teammates accountable and trying to get them all to that next level. He recognizes that we are going to be as successful as the 10 guys we have on our bench and pushing all those guys. He does a nice job of that.”

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