Last year, last chance: Griffin Lorenz profile

by | Feb 16, 2024 | Sports

Anyone who follows the Ooks men’s basketball team knows the name Griffin Lorenz. Now in his last year of eligibility, Lorenz is the team’s leading scorer and has been playing basketball since he was born. 

“So I actually started when I was really young,” Lorenz told the Nugget. Born in Camrose, Lorenz’s dad used to coach the Augustana men’s basketball team in the 90s and early 2000s, so Lorenz is no stranger to the sport. “So like literally since the day I was born, I was hanging out in the gym.”

Lorenz had an active childhood and played many sports like basketball, hockey, football and baseball. But in junior high, Lorenz decided to focus on basketball, which would eventually lead him to attend 3 different colleges to play. 

He started at MacEwan University. But the experience left Lorenz wanting more. “We weren’t very good and our coach got fired at Christmas. So then I left MacEwan after my first year and I went to play for Augustana.”

Coming from Camrose, Lorenz knew the coach, meaning he got more time on the court. But when COVID happened, he missed living in Edmonton and decided to make the move back. “Being from Camrose, I didn’t want to like stay there for the next four or five years. So then during COVID, I saw it as like an out to come to Edmonton again. And I had a good connection with Slav Kornik, who used to be the coach here.”

Photos via NAIT Athletics

In Lorenz’s 3 years at NAIT, he’s been a consistent scorer for the Ooks, averaging over 12 points per game every season. His first season was the highest, where he averaged 18.5 points per game in 16 games. He’s seen a lot of growth in his game since he’s been at NAIT, which he attributes to his coach, Jordan Baker, and his constant involvement with the team. 

“He always makes sure that he’s showing up to everything. So whether we have mandatory study hall two times a week, he’s there for the full two hours that we’re there, he’s not leaving us on our own. He comes to every lift. He’s at every practice working out with us,” said Lorenz. 

“He comes from an interesting point of view. He’s obviously been in our shoes, he’s a young guy, he understands what we’re all going through … and then basketball-wise, he’s got a very good basketball mind.” 

As one of the oldest players on the team, Lorenz has stepped up as a leader in his final year. “I think a lot of it is just like trying to find who you are as a leader, like I know myself,  I’m not a super vocal guy, I’d say Yasar [Abdullahi] and Antonio [Benjamin] are a little bit more vocal than I am, but when I do speak, I definitely know the guys listen, so I try to be really constructive.”

In his tenure, he’s been to the playoffs two of the three years. Last year was their best year, with the team finishing in fifth place. Lorenz hopes this is the season they can achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship.

 “I mean, I’d love to end up winning an ACAC championship and winning a national championship and we definitely can, if we get hot. You never know what can happen, but I just want to be able to compete.”

The Ooks are 8-10 on the season, so a playoff spot is all but granted already. Barring a late collapse, they are playing for seeding in their final two games. Lorenz and the Ooks have been very competitive this season, so an ACAC title run is not out of the cards.

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