Currently out of action due to injury, London City Royals guard Andrew Lawrence was one of the marquee signings in the British Basketball League.

The Great Britain international told MVP’s Niall Gray about his injury, and life with the Royals.

For those who might not know what happened, tell us about the injury?
We were beating the London Lions at the time at home and it was a really, really good, close game. I just felt like a twinge in the back of my leg and I knew I’d done something to my leg.
I’ve been out for just under a month now, so it’s been a while, but I’m looking forward to getting back out on the court.
I don’t know the exact date I’ll return but hopefully it’s soon as I’m almost back to full practice now.

Speaking of the Lions, that was a tough defeat on Friday. What was your take on it?
The Lions are a good team. I don’t think their record is truly representative of the team they are. They had a really good game [Friday] and Justin Robinson had a great game.
We were up 11 – I think – with about 2 minutes to go and we were not able to close it out on the road. It’s a tough pill to swallow but I do think it’s a good learning experience.

What do you make of the Royals’ start to the season?
We got off to a great start and are 6-1 in the Cup. Unfortunately, we lost the Lions game [Friday], but like I said it is a good learning experience. Myself included, it shows us how you have to put teams away when you have a big lead, especially when you’re on the road.
I have really enjoyed the season so far and I think our coach Lloyd [Gardener] has done wonders. I’ve never been coached by him before but I have a lot of praise for what he has done and can’t speak highly enough of him.

You’ve played all over Europe, what enticed you to return to the UK and play in the BBL?
I’ve been planning to come home for a while now. Obviously, my family’s here, my friends are here and I was just waiting for that right opportunity. I felt that the London City Royals were moving in the right direction and it would be the right move for me.

What’s it like being on a team with a good British contingent of players?
It’s really important. When you play abroad, teams always have a contingent of domestic players. Here in England we need good domestic players to stay and play in this country. It’s a big thing for me and hopefully the league and other teams can bring people back and keep a lot of our talent over here.

Finally, we can’t talk about the Royals without mentioning the Lavrinovic twins Darjus and Ksistof, who have a wealth of International and club experience at the highest levels. What have they brought to the team?
Their experience is invaluable. They are two of the nicest guys you’ve ever met and so humble. They are always there to help people.
You’d expect people who played a very high level to have some sort of ego, but not them, they’re good human beings and they are a really nice fit to the team.

Photo: Mansoor Ahmed

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