Everyday Champions Spotlight -- Lamar Hurd
Nov. 23, 2010
Corvallis, Ore. -
By Tyler Strand
A point guard wears many hats on the basketball court.
The position demands an effective communicator, facilitator and catalyst, while also serving as the coach’s eyes, ears and voice on the floor.
There’s no question Lamar Hurd was born for the role.
Hurd handled starting point guard duties at Oregon State in all four years of his collegiate career (2002-2006) while etching his name in the record books for career games started (94, 5th), assists (374, t-8th) and assists per game (3.67, 10th). A three-time All-Academic Pac-10 honoree, the Houston, Texas native’s success both on and off the hardwood is now part of the blueprint he encourages his pupils to achieve.
Well accustomed to raising the level of play in his teammates, Hurd is now using his versatile skill set to enhance the lives of Oregon’s youth - serving as a director for All-in-One Basketball. More than a basketball clinic, the program emphasizes a balance of success in academics, athletics and the community.
“Basketball isn’t everything. We want our kids to go out there and compete, but you have to be well-rounded. There’s more to life than playing sports. The most rewarding thing is seeing the kids grow. It’s watching them learn how to become better people and better basketball players,” said Hurd.
Senior class vice president and valedictorian at Heritage Christian High School in Cleveland, Texas, Hurd pinpoints academics as a priority by checking in with his players’ teachers and parents to make sure they’re staying on top of their schoolwork. Hurd also shows the kids positive ways to contribute to the community. Last summer the campers helped out at a food bank, while this fall they’ve planted trees and helped improve a park in southeast Portland.
While pursuing that stability in all aspects of life, Hurd still wants basketball to serve as a fun and positive outlet for his pupils.
“I got into basketball and stuck with it because I had a love of the game and enjoyed it at a young age. We want to implement that for the kids,” said Hurd.
Putting his plan to action, Hurd – a communications major at Oregon State - didn’t have to look far to assemble his staff for the camp recruiting fellow OSU grads David Lucas (co-director), J.S. Nash, Casey Nash and Michael Johnson.
“I enjoyed hiring the coaches that I know can make these goals come through and be in control of that mission. All of these coaches have played at very high levels of basketball and relate well with the kids, which is really important,” said Hurd, who followed his playing days in Corvallis competing in Germany’s first division – one of Europe’s top professional basketball leagues.
Though his playing days are over, Hurd is still constantly reprising his role as an effective communicator including his work as a college basketball analyst for Fox Sports Northwest. While he no longer runs the offense, the ball is still in Hurd’s court as an All-In-One Basketball director – a role he savors and plans to continue.
“You see a lot on the floor as a point guard – it’s kind of like being a coach on the floor. I feel like I’ve always been coaching but now I’m on the sideline. It’s a special thing to go out and impact the lives of these kids,” said Hurd.
While Hurd is certainly qualified to set his sights on a full-time career in broadcasting, All-in-One Basketball is where he’s found his true calling.
“I haven’t had a bad day since I’ve been doing this,” said Hurd.
“Being able to affect the lives of these kids – it’s always a good day.”
To learn more about Lamar’s current life please read the following Q&A
Q: What made you want to serve as a director for All-in-One Basketball?
A: The way basketball was going in the area, I wanted to implement some of my own strategies. I wanted to do things that I felt would be right and best for the kids in the community.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges as a director?
A: Some kids don’t get to see as much playing time. You have to take the good with the bad and fortunately we don’t have too much of the bad so that makes the job pretty easy.
Q: What do you remember about your days at Oregon State?
A: The people I met and my teammates. You spend close to 80 percent of your time with your teammates. They’re really special to me and I’m still pretty close with those guys. The people and experiences are what I remember most.
Q: How did you maintain such a balance of success in athletics and academics?
A: It’s about establishing priorities. That’s what we try to do with the kids now. I had a great father figure. He emphasized that academics come first. If you don’t make the grades, you don’t get to play – no matter how talented you are. I learned important values from him and went into college knowing what I wanted, what was important and I was able to prioritize.
Q: Who had the greatest influence on you at Oregon State and why?
A: My communication teacher, Bobette Bushnell. She relates with the students really well. She really helped students learn how to communicate effectively with people.
Q: How do you feel your communications degree has served you both on and off the court?
A: It has helped me a lot in being able to understand people and where they’re coming from. It helps me get along with a lot of people. Not necessarily because I agree with them but because I understand where they’re coming from. People understand that and recognize it. That helps me on the court when you have guys from different states with different goals. The way you come across to people and knowing how someone is receiving you is important.
Q: How did your playing days prepare you for becoming a coach and broadcaster?
A: It helped me relate well with others. The coaches involved in our business are like most all coaches who were players at some level. We always know what these kids are feeling and that’s very important.
Q: What are your future goals for All-In-One basketball?
A: I hope it becomes the standard for youth basketball whether it’s statewide or nationwide. It’s about teaching values and life lessons.