A Champion Gator: Omarion Layssard put on a show in Division V title game
BOYCE, La. (KALB) - This season was a historic one for the Northwood-Lena Gators, as they won their first state title in school history for boys’ basketball with a 73-56 win over Lincoln Prep.
The Gators fell short of getting to the big stage and on the big stage the last few years, but that became motivation, especially for senior forward Omarion Layssard.
“Probably my favorite thing about him since I took over this program is the fact that he was willing to do whatever it took for us to be state champions,” said Gators Head Coach Alan Tinsley.
“All the coaches always pushed us to win the state championship, and I fell in love with the work to win the state championship,” said Layssard. “I was like we gone get one before I leave.”
Layssard has been the key piece to the Gators’ offense and defense throughout his high school career. He is known for his daring dunks and knocking down threes from anywhere.
When it came down to the semifinal game against St. Martin’s, he and Coach Tinsley said they knew it was time for him to make the last ones count.
“I started to work harder, and I feel like we started to get better,” said Layssard. “As a person, I got better, and I got more motivated for the things I wanted to do.”
Layssard was laser focused in the championship game from the second tip-off to the final minutes.
He finished with a season-high 34 points and 11 rebounds, which earned him the Most Outstanding Player award along with being named a state champion with his teammates.
Being named the Most Outstanding Player for your performance on the hardwood is something a player dreams of, but for Omarion, there is more than what is on the outside.
“Diddy is real, and I love that about him as a person,” said Tinsley. “He is driven, and he is quiet, but driven. His fire is inside of him, and when he gets on that court it explodes.”
Layssard has received multiple accolades for his success on the hardwood, but in the moment of becoming state champions, he and his teammates said that did not matter because their dreams became a reality.
“We didn’t even make it off the court yet, me and him were hugged up,” said Gators’ senior guard Jonathan Barron. “We have seen each other grow up and go from playing in the park. It doesn’t feel real.”
“It is still crazy, I couldn’t even believe it,” said Layssard. “I still don’t believe it, I think about...we really just did this.”
For his consistent drive for the game, Omarion Layssard is this week’s ACA Athlete of the Week.
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