The time has come for the youngest Drew brother to shine on the court

Eric Sondheimer
Contact ReporterVarsity Times Insider
Since 2004, there has been a Drew brother playing point guard in the City Section

One of the most memorable basketball streaks in City Section history is coming to an end.

It started in the fall of 2004 with the arrival of freshman Larry Drew II at Woodland Hills Taft. Then came brother Landon four years later. And now there's brother Lindsey at Fairfax.

"The last of the Mohicans," is how their mother, Sharon, puts it.

For 11 consecutive seasons, there's been a Drew playing point guard in the City Section.

Lindsey was 7 years old when he'd hang out in the bleachers at Taft or be seen dribbling a basketball during halftime of Toreador games.

Now he's all grown up, having spurted to 6-foot-3, and could be on his way to becoming the best brother of all.

"The time did go by fast," Lindsey said.

Larry led Taft to a City Section Division I championship in 2008, was a McDonald's All-American, played at North Carolina and UCLA, and is playing in the NBA D-League. Landon made All-City at Fairfax and is a junior point guard at Cal State Northridge. Last season as a junior, Lindsey became the third Drew to receive All-City recognition.

"Of the three, if you had asked me which one isn't going to gravitate to basketball, I would have chosen Lindsey," said their father, Larry Sr., a former NBA player who's an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. "He had been the shortest for so long, and he has outgrown us all."

The last Drew brother was the only one not to play varsity as a freshman when he arrived at Fairfax. He was 5-10, weighed 135 pounds and was so weak that opponents could take the ball from him even when he had two hands around it.

The family genes and basketball instincts finally kicked in between his sophomore and junior years. He grew four inches and got stronger.

Last season, he led Fairfax in blocks, with his long arms and good vertical leap, making him a force on defense. He averaged 10 points a game, was one of the Lions' best rebounders and made precision passes like his brothers. He began to develop his three-point shot, and his drives to the basket started to result in points instead of turnovers.

"He does a lot of things well," his father said. "I'm proud of him."

Going into his senior year, with scholarship offers from Texas-El Paso and Fresno State and a recruiting visit to Arizona State this past weekend, Lindsey is showing that he's a late bloomer with immense potential.

"Lindsey, because of his size, has the opportunity to be the best of all of them," Fairfax Coach Harvey Kitani said.

So much has changed from the days Lindsey was the baby in the family.

"When we play pickup games, Larry is the shooting guard, Landon the point guard, and I'm the center," he said. "It's a cool experience. They still say I'm the young one, but I'm able to post them up. Before, it was them punking me. Larry used to pass me the ball and tell me to shoot. Now I'm able to get him open shots. They call me a string bean."

All three brothers were born during a 10-year period when their father was either playing or coaching with the Lakers, making them "Laker Babies." When their father was hired as the coach of the Washington Wizards, the family moved to the East Coast, and the boys went to private schools. But when the family moved back to Los Angeles, Larry II decided he wanted to go to a public school, and the brothers followed.

Lindsey has learned from watching his older brothers go through many experiences, such as college recruiting and the challenge of performing well in big games. It's added to his basketball resume and given hope to those who believe he hasn't come close to fulfilling his potential as a player.

"The three of us are totally different players," he said. "People say I'm supposed to be the best. I think I can play with anybody, but I don't want that getting in my head."

When the high school season begins next week, it's going to be a season to remember and savor for the last of the Drew brothers.

"Coach says each year, don't play at your age," Lindsey said. "One thing I want to do is start playing like a college player."

Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

Twitter: LATSondheimer

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