November 15, 2013

Seyranian headed to Aggieville

Kevin McCarthy

The line would be lengthy of basketball players willing to walk a mile barefoot on broken glass to own this analysis: “Nice body, athletic build, runs the floor, 3-point stroke, good on-ball defender, great court vision, finishes at the rim with contact or dropped several dimes.”

photo of Lauren Seyranian

It's of Piedmont High's Lauren Seyranian and she's taking her skill set to the Big West Conference.

A 5-foot-11 senior, Seyranian has given a verbal to UC Davis and Coach Jennifer Gross, herself an Aggie graduate who owns school records for career assists, steals and three-pointers.

The remarkable element to this achievement is that not all that long ago, Seyranian was “playing for fun. ” The enjoyment she received from her involvement with basketball kept her participating. Earning a scholarship to any school, let alone a University of California one, wasn't even on her radar. “I wasn't even thinking about that [a scholarship] last year,” the self-effacing Seyranian said.

Earlier in her life, she was a you-name-it, she-played-it sports enthusiast. “In the eighth grade, I was playing almost every sport. But I stuck with basketball. I put more time into it, coming to open gyms. My high school coach [Bryan Gardere] encouraged and inspired me.”

Now, Seyranian is ranked No. 26 in the NorCal Preps 2014 Girls Basketball Top 40.

So why the decision to head up the road a bit?

“I really liked the coaches,” Seyranian explained. “They came to all my AAU games and seemed dedicated to me. The team is like a family.”

Expectations are that she will play the two guard at the next level in order to use her shooting and attacking prowess.

Seyranian is undecided about her major but “something along the lines of psychology” is attractive to her. Nursing also has Seyranian's interest.

New Mexico, UTEP and Oregon State were her other finalists.

Seyranian sees her shooting prowess as the top element of her skills set and cites her father and high school coach as her biggest basketball influences.

“When my mom died while I was in the fifth grade, my dad and I used basketball as a coping mechanism and as something to distract our minds. I decided on basketball among the other sports I was playing because of my dad's dedication and willingness to do anything to make me the best I can be at the end of the day and also because of the encouragement and confidence building I received from Bryan when I used to workout with him in middle school.”

Piedmont is coming off an overall 23-10 record, 8-5 in the West Alameda County-Foothill Conference. The Highlanders lost 53-43 to Salesian High, one game short of the Division 4 state championship matchup last season. In that contest, Seyranian posted a 17 point/11 rebound double-double.