Sometimes the stress, the waiting and doubting is not worth chasing a dream. Sometimes when others don’t believe in your dream. It’s hard to keep dreaming. But there are still those kids and families who bet on themselves . Their not willing to settle. They will not send there dreams to that place were more dreams reside than any other ;place. The graveyard , where so many dreams lay a unrestful sleep, it’s a resting place for dreams that have never come true. LAYLA LAWS COULD NEVER SEE HER DREAMS DYING. She could only picture the the joy of making her dreams come true. Last night she made her dreams officially come true.. When she committed to Division ! Northeast Conference powerhouse, ST. Francis of PA.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. They say it takes a village to make a basketball player. But I’ve seen some bad villages along the way. Layla Laws only knows beautiful villages. She is a great example of what happens when a child is loved, not spoiled. Rather than being given toys and goodies , she was given expectations and goals. Layla and her sister Jada were adopted at the age of 22 months. It just didn’t become official until they were 4 years only. Just like Layla becoming a Division one player took 4 years. The odds said Layla Laws should not be were she is today. But odds don’t take into account a loving but stern mom and wonderful, caring, supportive dad. A former basketball player herself Adrienne Laws searched high and low looking for the right road for her child to be successful. She brought everything to Layla Laws table a kid could ask for. She brought her mentors, teachers and surrounded her with support daily. She gave Layla tough love, kindness and understanding. She allowed people in Layla’s life that could help her grow as a athlete, person and student. Today Adrienne, her husband Jake and Layla’s twin sister Jada have been rewarded.Now Layla is part of that 1.8 percent of the population that plays D1 basketball. It’s a small and rare group that gets to make this dream come true. But Layla Laws is rare too folks. She is rare because the odds were against her the day she and her sister were born.. But they had angels looking over them, that gave them a family and a beautiful Village.
Layla Laws has had every obstacle thrown in her way over the years. She started out at Donovan Catholic and quickly realized she needed a more competitive environment. So she left for powerhouse St. Rose. There she was force to sit 30 days and lost most her her sophomore year. Then as a junior, she played a small role off the bench and was forced to watch older D1 players. When she forced to change AAU teams, it broke her heart and had her wondering what could possibly next? What that next was… was Covid! It took away her chance for her to be seen by D1 college coaches for over a year. Most kids facing these road blocks would’ve long given up at that point, checked out. Taken one of the many D2 offers that Layla had. Most kids would’ve thought, it was not in the cards and walked there dreams into the graveyard of dead dreams. But Layla is not like other kids. She has been countered out and left out in the cold to many times to remember. She just wanted a chance to prove she belonged on the big stage. To prove she was among the best. This year she found that chance and the big stage at St. Rose. She had to wait as she often has had to do her entire career to be rewarded. She had to listen to the whispers that she was not a D1 player. She had to believe In herself because few outside of her family did.. But somehow she found a Army of people who believed in her and gave her love. They formed a Village of love and dreams.
It was John Truhan who started training her when she was 9 years old. Giving her a foundation and work ethic. Walter Welsh, well he brought people like Ron Harper in to speak about the work ethic needed to make dreams come true.His zooms with current basketball players allowed her to see what it takes to get to the next level, he called soo many coaches during covid not to mention the hours of training, practice and video watching. Elijah Allen worked on her handle, teaching her the importance of stopping on dime and made her play every position as a member of the Shoreshots. She became more versatile to college coaches. His impact on Layla could not be put in words. Kerry Foderingham sharpen her skills, teaching her that attack mentality and put her up against college players and gave her confidence. Steph Curry is her favorite NBA player. So when she was chosen last year to compete in the underrated player event for the east coast. She was excited but the day before the event it was postponed due to covid. But it Curry and the association that made sure to send her gear for being chosen and an autograph along with a box of goodies to ease her pain. These are just some of the people who allowed her to dream and believe that she could make her dreams come true, even during tough times.
I had a conversation with Layla Laws during covid. I told her that she had to focus on getting better. I told her to stop trying to prove she was a three point shooter. I told her to make the sacrifices a great teammate makes. I told her to do the dirty work at St. Rose. Play defense, rebound, set screens, make the extra pass. Do all the things that only coaches love. St Rose was great this year. Layla Laws was one of the biggest reasons why. She did all the things nobody writes about. She also did something else nobody wrote about this year. She played her best on the biggest stages vs the best competition. It’s why Coach Chambers wishes she would have coached Layla Laws for 4 years. Because St. Francis is getting a player who has barely scratched the surface of our ability. They are getting a player who has always done more than anyone ever expected. It also why her journey has been so sweeter!
There is a wonderful journey ahead for Layla Laws, an exciting journey. Like playing in a NCAA tournament. St Francis of PA is always a favorite in the NEC. Layla will be meeting new friends and starting a new basketball and educational journey that she has worked so hard to achieve. These are things all kids dream about. These are things parents dream about for their children. Layla Laws has made her dreams come true. She did it while overcoming every obstacle a kid could face. She searched high and low for a AAU TEAM that would truly give her love over the years. She finally found that with Team Miler at the end. But she made friends along the way with the SHORESHOTS and NJ BELLES. Layla Laws has always played with the best. Now she is one of the best. Just like when she was adopted by two beautiful parents. Layla Laws has always ended up smelling like Roses. No matter how many road blocks were in the way. She seemed to always make things right.. and going to St. Frances of PA, SEEMS SO RIGHT… congratulations to Layla Laws and her Village… well done!