A pleas­ant sur­prise

St. Mary’s Col­lege grad­u­ate earns hon­ors in Spain

Maryland Independent - - Lackey High School - By TAMMY SHOWAL­TER tshowal­ter@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @tam­lyn­nusa

Nick LaGuerre, a St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land grad­u­ate and for­mer guard on the Sea­hawks men’s bas­ket­ball team, was re­cently named as a third team se­lec­tion in the Liga EBA league in Spain af­ter his first year with his team, Soliss Al­cazar.

The an­nounce­ment came as a shock to him, es­pe­cially be­cause it was re­vealed to him on Twit­ter.

“I wasn’t sure if it was real or not,” LaGuerre said. “No one had told me that I was se­lected. I found out through the St. Mary’s men’s bas­ket­ball Twit­ter. Af­ter I saw the tweet, I texted my agent and asked if it was real and he told me it was, so I was pretty thrilled.”

Laguerre said the town of Al­cazar, lo­cated east of Seville, has been sup­port­ive of the team, which won a league cham­pi­onship that brought ev­ery­one to­gether.

“The town is great,” he said. “They come out and sup­port ev­ery game and once we won the cham­pi­onship and came back they had a pa­rade bus for us and had a nice big pa­rade and it was just a big cel­e­bra­tion.”

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from St. Mary’s, LaGuerre set out to spend the sum­mer months look­ing to get signed and play over­seas.

“I went to a Philadel­phia D-League try­out for some ex­po­sure and be­cause it was a great op­por­tu­nity,” Laguerre said. “I wasn’t se­lected but through that try­out was of­fered an­other D-League try­out with the Maine Red Claws in Bos­ton, which [St. Mary’s head men’s bas­ket­ball head] coach [Chris] Har­ney told me I was in­vited to go to.”

He wasn’t se­lected for that team, but gained ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Af­ter that I went to Las Ve­gas [in July] for an ex­po­sure camp to try to im­press scouts in hopes to sign with a team,” LaGuerre said.

Af­ter that camp LaGuerre made a lot of con­nec­tions and signed with his first con­tract with an agent based in Las Ve­gas.

“Af­ter the camp and signing, I was pretty much at a stand­still with bas­ket­ball,” he said. “I didn’t have any of­fers and didn’t see much progress so I de­cided to go my sep­a­rate ways with that agent and went at it by my­self for the next three and-ahalf months.

“Af­ter con­tact­ing hun­dreds of coaches and agents, I fi­nally found some­one who was will­ing to work with me in help­ing me get over­seas and at the end of De­cem­ber I signed my first pro con­tract and was off to Spain in the be­gin­ning of Jan­uary.”

LaGuerre said the com­pe­ti­tion level is very good and dif­fer­ent from what he was used to play­ing com­ing from col­lege.

“Now ev­ery game you’re play­ing with pro­fes­sion­als who un­der­stand what’s at stake be­cause these are peo­ple’s jobs on the line so the pres­sure to per­form well is high,” he said.

The road to the cham­pi­onship took some time for LaGuerre to get ac­cli­mated.

“Per­son­ally, it was chal­leng­ing be­cause I came in mid­way through the sea­son so the team had al­ready known each other for a cou­ple months, and I had to come in and kind of piece things to­gether as fast as I could, but like ev­ery team we had our ups and downs, but I feel like we all stayed fo­cused on the main goal, which was to win it all.”

One game that stands out in LaGuerre’s mind is play­ing the first-place team on his home court.

“To­wards the very end of the sea­son [we played first-place team], and it was a very tough game that came down to the last pos­ses­sion,” he said. “I was hav­ing a rough fourth quar­ter, but thank­fully my coach had con­fi­dence to keep me in the game and I ended up mak­ing the game-win­ning three to give us the win.”

Laguerre has his sights set on im­prov­ing go­ing for­ward.

“I’m just go­ing to try and im­prove each and ev­ery day and year,” he said. “Hope­fully once I get an es­tab­lished bas­ket­ball ré­sumé I’ll be able to have a suc­cess­ful ca­reer down the road.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Nick LaGuerre, a St. Mary’s Col­lege of Mary­land grad­u­ate and for­mer guard on the Sea­hawks men’s bas­ket­ball team, was re­cently named as a third team se­lec­tion in the Liga EBA league in Spain af­ter his first year with his team, Soliss Al­cazar.

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