By Ray Hamill — Lane Thrap is hanging out in some pretty elite company these days.
The St. Bernard’s standout closed out his junior campaign on the basketball court last weekend, and is fast building a legacy at the school that will be hard to top.
“I can only wait to see what he does as a senior,” St. Bernard’s assistant coach Zach Davis said.
Davis has been watching Thrap for a long time and believes the Crusaders star is about as good as any player he’s seen at the school in recent times.
The statistics would appear to back that up.
Thrap closed out the season with a career average 22.8 points per game, moving him up to second all-time in school history.
That’s a remarkable stat by any standards, but especially for a junior.
He now trails only the legendary Gary Mendenhall, who starred for the Crusaders back in the 1970s and averaged 25 points a game.
“Lane is one of the best basketball players that has come through here in recent years,” Davis said. “He deserves to be compared in that category.”
The junior star was inspirational for the Crusaders all winter, averaging a double double in scoring and rebounds, and finishing with two triple doubles.
Thrap’s big season saw him pass two school legends on the all-time career average list — his father (and current head coach) Steve Thrap, as well as Joe Rogers, another 70s star who averaged 22.7 in his time at St. Bernard’s.
“The one thing I would say about Lane is he’s got a motor like Vince Ayala and Andrew Ayers,” Davis added, comparing the junior to two of the more dominating Crusaders of this millennium.
Ayala graduated in 2006 and Ayers three years later.
But Thrap brings more than just his scoring prowess to the team.
“He’s got that silent leadership,” the assistant coach said. “All the boys look up to him, and what he wants to do is win every time he steps on the court.
“He’s definitely the type of player that makes everyone around him on the court better.”
His drive is what has impressed his coaches the most.
“It’s that motor. He’s never tired,” Davis said. “He finds a way to get that extra rebound. He wills himself to score.”