Lead Lion: Penn State’s Lamar Stevens ready to go at the next level
Coming out of Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, 6’6 big man Lamar Stevens committed to Penn State University to continue his dream of becoming an NBA player. Penn State, a college known for their football program, has never been much of a Division 1 powerhouse in basketball. However, by the time he left State College, Penn State basketball, led by head coach Pat Chambers and Lamar Stevens, were a Top-25 ranked team and well on their way to a March Madness appearance. As Penn State’s basketball program jumped in the rankings and national spotlight, Stevens transformed himself into a versatile player and an intriguing early 2nd round prospect in the 2020 NBA draft.
Signing with Scott Nichols of Rize Management, Lamar is ready for the next level. He has incredible athleticism and has consistently improved his shooting capabilities from where it was in high school, averaging 17.6 points and 7 rebounds per game in 2020. The Liberty Line had the opportunity to sit down with Lamar and talk to him about Penn State basketball and his preparation for the upcoming NBA draft.
So how have you been staying active in quarantine and been prepping for the NBA Draft?
“I’ve just, been running on the treadmill, I’ve been riding bikes with my little sister. My agent set up something with a strength and conditioning coach where I’m able to work out with him on zoom. I also have a friend that has a private gym and I’m able to get in there almost every day and shoot. So I’m blessed to have that and have a routine during the quarantine.”
The way your season ended at Penn State wasn’t ideal. Do you have a final send-off message for your Penn State fans?
“I’m definitely going to write something to the fans and PSU community because they’ve just been so good to me. I’ve always wanted to let them know how much they meant to me and their support has helped me throughout the years to become a better player and a better person and I don’t take any of that for granted.”
my favorite play was when Lamar Stevens dunked on the whole state of Ohio pic.twitter.com/ouplFYN7Im
— Legion of Blue (@LegionofBluePSU) January 18, 2020
What are you looking forward to bring to the next level in the NBA?
“I’m just excited you know just to continue to expand my game and that’s something I’ve always taken pride in. Just trying to get better each year and that’s something I want to continue to do at the next level. The one thing I want to continue to work on I want to help separate me is just continuing to work on my jump shot getting that more consistent.”
You led Penn State to its best season in over a decade. What did it mean to you to help put Penn State back on the map in college basketball?
“It meant everything to me, that’s that was the reason why I decided to return for my senior year.
Personally, I had a good career after my third year individually but my focus in the gym my senior year wasn’t about me. It was about the promise Coach Chambers and myself made to each other before I even committed, about just the goals that we had and what we saw Penn State could be and what we believed it could be. Just having that accomplishment of the year we had was special. I was surrounded by a great group of guys, great coaches, even our athletic director showed a great amount of support and great guidance for us this year. So it meant everything to me, that was what I set out to do when I committed to Penn State and to say that I did it even though it got cut short is something that I will be proud of forever.”
"To me, Lamar Stevens was the perfect example of everything you want in a student-athlete."
— Penn State On BTN (@PennStateOnBTN) April 9, 2020
We’ve all been stuck inside recently. How have you been able to stay busy? Are there any games or shows you’ve been watching?
“We have a family game night, probably like, once or twice a week, When I’m not doing basketball stuff or working on stuff in the gym I’m definitely a very big Netflix guy, been working on my 2k and Fortnite.”
What do you have to say to some of the teams that are looking at your film right now and thinking about drafting you?
“I would just say how much better I’ve gotten since high school where I was a real big man. You know, I’ve never really handled the ball, barely ever shot any jump shots and didn’t shoot any 3’s at all throughout my high school career to where my game is now I feel like I’m only going to keep getting better, I’m hungry to get better. I think that any team that gets me is going to get an extremely tough nose competitive guy who’s gonna take pride in guarding multiple positions and is also a guy who I feel can improve his three-point shot and is someone who can also score on all three levels. And hopefully I’ll be ready to come in and make an impact in practice or games right away.”
Lamar Stevens defense vs Alabama was great:
Gets switched onto Kira Lewis Jr. here and forces the tie-up. Impressive. pic.twitter.com/kjaL57ZLLZ
— Ethan Piechota (@EthanPiechota) March 24, 2020
Who do you want to thank most for like where you got to where you are today?
“Well first I definitely want to thank God. I want to thank my parents and obviously Coach Chambers and my high school coaches, without them none of this would be possible
And, my parents have been my support system my entire life. I have an extremely close relationship with them they always are motivating, pushing me to be the best player I can be. And I think my two high school coaches really helped me fall in love with the game. And just, you know, showed me another side of the game that you know, outsiders or beginners may not know, and kind of help me take it to that next level. They spent a lot of time in the gym with me helping me get better.”
Lamar Stevens from Tony Carr, two-hand dunk with body. Roman, 47-38, with about 2:40 left in Q3. pic.twitter.com/hZDITnUmMo
— Aaron Carter (@AceCarterINQ) March 20, 2016