Sunrise’s Lourawls Nairn orally commits to Michigan State’s basketball program
When Sunrise Christian senior Lourawls Nairn, one of the nation’s top guards, announced his decision on Thursday to sign with Michigan State for basketball, he did it in front of a gym crowded with classmates, teammates, coaches, teachers and administrators.
And after the announcement was over, Nairn hugged one person after another. And then he hugged more.
“I know they’re going to love him,” Sunrise coach Kyle Lindsted said of Michigan State. “He’s kind of one of those guys who kind of endears himself wherever he’s at. He kind of digs in and gets your heart.… He’s a special kid.”
Nairn, whose nickname is “Tum Tum” after a character in the movie “3 Ninjas,” is a four-star player and rated the No. 62 senior in the country by Rivals.com.
Nairn (5-foot-10) chose Michigan State over Indiana, Oklahoma and Minnesota.
“The thing that stood out at Michigan State with me is that it’s a big family,” said Nairn, a native of the Bahamas, who has been at Sunrise since his sophomore season. “Coach (Tom) Izzo is a great dude. He said one thing that stood out to me when we were talking up there — ‘Tum, I want to make you a better person.’ That means a lot to me. I’m a human being before I’m a basketball player.”
Sunrise, located in Bel Aire, has an academy team allowing it to recruit as well as take players placed there by colleges. It doesn’t compete in the Kansas State High School Activities Association postseason.
Nairn left his family and the Bahamas at age 13 to move to Florida where, he played for South Florida Prep.
“It was really hard,” Nairn said of leaving his family. “My mom and my dad trusted me. They told me to go out there and do what I got to do. It’s the trust factor. I wanted to do it. I’m hungry. I’m not chasing anything but success. The United States of America is a land of opportunity, and I don’t have much opportunity at home.”
The opportunity was basketball. He knew he needed to come to America to play Division I basketball and have a chance at playing in the NBA.
“That’s my dream,” he said. “I love back home. I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world. There’s just more here.”
Nairn visited Indiana after Michigan State and said he tried to have an open mind with the Hoosers.
“As soon as I stepped foot on Michigan State’s campus, I knew it was the right place for me,” he said. “I knew it was where I wanted to go.”
Nairn, a speedy guard, will fit in well with the Spartans’ system.
“He can get by anybody,” Lindsted said. “He can get in the paint at will. He can get his teammates shots. He can get his own shot, too, but he’d rather get his teammates shots.”
Lindsted noted his speed, toughness and leadership as keys to Nairn’s success at Michigan State, even likening him to former Spartan Mateen Cleaves.
“(Nairn’s) a heart and soul leader,” Lindsted said. “… He called Coach Izzo this morning and said, ‘Coach, I’m coming to Michigan State and we’re going to win a national championship.’ He’ll fight until the day he dies until that happens.”