By JOE GILROYError, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 15)
1,834 – That was the bar set by Fort Loramie’s Tom Brandewie all the way back in 1989.
Now fast forward 28 years and Nathan Lessing, Fairlawn’s standout basketball player, has toppled the Shelby County Athletic League scoring record. A record that many in Shelby County thought would never seriously be challenged until Lessing came on the stage as a freshman sensation and quickly made a name for himself.
“I honestly never was focused (on breaking the record)” Lessing said. “I know it is a great accomplishment and that there have been many great players come through the SCAL, but I do not want it to effect the way I play or how my team plays. My mind is focused on what I need to do to help the team win, this includes playing tough defense and rebounding. However, I am proud to bring this accomplishment to the Fairlawn school and the community.”
Along the way there was a lot of work being put in by Lessing when nobody was around to see it. That is what paved the way for his future success. When other kids were going to the swimming pool, on vacation, and to Cedar Point – Lessing was honing his craft and working on his conditioning.
It is that dedication to bettering himself that led to him being one of the top scorers in the state and uniquely qualified him as a leader on his team. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t put in the extra work, others won’t follow you.
“Nathan is a great kid, watching him develop over the years has been really special,” Fairlawn coach Justin Tidwell said. “Seeing all of his hard work pay-off is a lesson that can be learned by many people. Nathan is one of our captains and he really does lead by example.
“Nathan is an asset to our program, he was able to show that working hard and being committed to your craft will pay off. I believe that is something that is missing in kids today, they think success happens overnight and this is proof that is doesn’t.”
The feelings of admiration are mutual between Coach Tidwell and Lessing who is quick to deflect any accolades he gets for his success. He prefers to point to those who he has surrounded himself with for his achievements.
“I could not have accomplished what I have without my coaches, teammates, and family,” Lessing said. “I really enjoy playing with my teammates and they have been so supportive of me. I also have had wonderful coaches along the way who have developed me into the player I am. Also, my parents and family have always been a big part of my development, through supporting me and making
available any opportunity to learn and get better.
“My mother and father have been big influences on my development, they began teaching me basketball fundamentals in preschool, where I played at the YMCA and in the driveway at home until eventually driving me to and from Columbus for AAU practices and tournament travel. They have instilled in me a work ethic that I will carry with me into adulthood.”
With the record, out of the way Lessing remains focused on what has always been his biggest goal this year, which is to win the SCAL and make a run in the tournaments.
“My goal for basketball is to the win the SCAL and to make a long run in the tournament. We are working hard in practice to try and achieve these goals.
After the season is over and the last goal has been reached, it will be a bittersweet moment for Lessing and his coach. While they have enjoyed much success it will be time to move on and chase other goals as well as beginning a new chapter for Lessing, where he will go on to play for UNOH.
“I am looking forward to starting my college basketball playing career at UNOH and am working hard on my own to prepare to play at the next level.”
Coach Tidwell will surely miss Lessing, but he has no doubts that UNOH will be getting a good product in Lessing.
“Breaking the SCAL record is an amazing feat and something that he should always be proud of. The SCAL has produced some great players and knowing that Nathan ranks right up there with them is amazing,” Tidwell said. “Coaching a player like Nathan is nothing short of special. We can always count on him to score a basket when the offense is breaking down, coaching him is truly has been a blessing.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 15)