Larabee to play at Asbury

Published 6:42 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MERRY HILL – His talent has helped lead Lawrence Academy to two Tarheel Independent Conference tournament championships and one TIC regular season title.

Next year, Trace Larabee has decided to give that same effort to Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky.  Larabee recently accepted a scholarship offer from Asbury, where he will have the opportunity to compete early for playing time.

“My dad graduated from there and they know of me,” Larabee said. “I had a cousin that played there. The coach called for some information about me and we sent him a highlight tape.”

It wasn’t long before Asbury made the offer to bring Larabee in to help provide solid guard play for the Eagles.

Larabee said he considered other opportunities including Lees-McRae College, Methodist University, Emory University, Penn State – Altoona and a walk-on opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

In the end, the family tradition of Asbury was a strong call.

“It’s a big family tradition and that was important to me,” he said. “The offered a partial scholarship and an opportunity to be the only point guard they brought in this year.

“They only have one point guard there and I’m the only one coming in, so it gives me the opportunity to have a chance to play early,” Larabee added. “Their style of play also fits my style.”

Larabee and his family had the opportunity to watch Asbury play against Morehead State, a team that made the NCAA tournament. The Eagles played well and led, before falling behind. It did show their potential, however.

“It was a good vibe and I enjoyed watching it,” he said. “I talked to the coach and I knew it was the play I wanted to go.”

Larabee said he had learned a lot at Lawrence Academy that would help him next year.

“I learned hard work and to have faith in your coach,” he said. “I also learned that you need to know your plays, be vocal and be a leader.

“A point guard’s responsibility is not necessarily about scoring points, but about getting the win,” he added.

Lawrence Academy Head Boy’s Basketball coach Jon Powell said Larabee had been a key to the success of his program.

“His love for the game and determination to strive for excellence created natural leadership on the floor,” Powell said. “That’s what you need to build a program. We wouldn’t have been as successful without his leadership.”

Powell said he felt Larabee would fit in well as Asbury.

“Based on what I know about the program, he’ll fit in well,” the coach said. “They have an up tempo program and that is his comfort level. His knowledge of the game should also benefit him well.

“The biggest adjustment he’ll have to make is that every player on the floor will be good,” Powell added.

While he’s excited about the basketball opportunities at Asbury, Larabee is even more excited about the school.

“For the basketball part, it’s an excellent opportunity to play against big DI schools and an opportunity to play early,” Larabee said. “The school itself is a good Christian school and I think it will help me become a better person and a stronger Christian.”

During his playing career at Lawrence, Larabee was twice named All-Tarheel Independent Conference. He has also been named to the All-Roanoke-Chowan Team twice and was the MVP of the 2010 Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament.