Vick's mom approves of decision to leave KU: 'We don’t bust a move without consulting God'

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By Gary Bedore gbedore@kcstar.com

Lagerald Vick, who announced his decision to turn pro on Friday morning, is listed as a second-round selection by NBAdraft.net ... in the 2019 pool of players — not the 2018 Draft rapidly approaching on June 21 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

It’s apparent the athletic 6-foot-5 junior from Memphis, who is not included on ESPN.com’s list of top 100 prospects for the 2018 draft, has some work to do to impress NBA scouts and general managers in the next three months.

“The plan is to go to the (NBA) Combine, work his (behind) off, get there, show people you are deserving,” Vick’s mom, Lauressa “LaLa” Vick, said Friday in a phone conversation.

She was contacted by The Star after her son announced he was leaving KU after his junior campaign — one in which he averaged 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a game for the 31-8 Jayhawks.

“I honestly feel Lagerald will be OK, in spite of what some people are saying, that he’s not NBA material or he’ll have to go overseas. Wherever he lands, I feel is God’s plan. We don’t bust a move without consulting God. He’s all we have."

Vick was not included in ESPN’s current list of the top 100 prospects for the 2018 NBA Draft. He’s also not listed in SI.com’s mock draft. However, to be fair, it was not known he’d be turning pro for sure until Friday. His name may yet show up in some mock drafts.

“I don’t want to go to Europe. I’m kind of being selfish now,” LaLa Vick said with a laugh. “If he goes to Europe, I’ve got to go to Europe. I’ll not send him by himself.”

She said her son’s decision to turn pro — which is "100 percent final” — was “selfless, not selfish” in many ways.

“I think he made his decision based on what he feels is best for him and his daughter. He has family to support,” LaLa Vick said of 5-year-old Markayla Moss-Vick. “He knows the struggle. We’re not from a family where he had a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s never seen me struggle, (but) the move is a family thing.

“He played for one of the greatest teams there is. Now it’s time for him to move forward. You can’t go to a place and stay. You go, handle your business and move on to something different and allow another kid to move into your spot. You can’t block somebody else by being selfish. I look at him being selfless; somebody else will come in and take his position.”

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KU, which also will lose guards Devonté Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk to graduation and Malik Newman to the pros, has signed McDonald’s All-American guards Devon Dotson and Quentin Grimes in recruiting.

“I think his decision is a good one. It’s what he wants to do,” LaLa Vick said. “I sent him to Kansas to get better at ball. He’s always been the greatest to me, my baby.”

She said she was not sure if Lagerald would move back to Memphis and complete his coursework online or stay at KU the rest of the semester.

“We’ll talk to get it all situated,” she said. “If he comes home to do online, I’ve got to make room. I gave his room away,” she added, laughing.

She said there’s no need to sign an agent right away.

“We’ll see how things go and worry about that later,” she said, noting the immediate plan was to get ready for individual NBA workouts and the Combine. Players must be invited to work out at the Combine.

“His quote was, ‘This is the life we’ve chosen. We can’t walk from it.’ Now he has to live with those words as a man.”

LaLa Vick thanked KU’s coaching staff for their efforts the past three years.

“I appreciate coach (Bill) Self and the entire staff. They’ve treated him well and treated me well," she said. "They’ve allowed me to be myself. I’ve always been myself in front of them. It’s impossible for me to change. I am LaLa, nobody else, and they’ve been one with me. Even a lot of fans. They call me, text me, check on me."

Vick’s decision gives KU one available scholarship in recruiting. KU is hoping to land Romeo Langford, a 6-5 senior guard from New Albany, Ind., who is considering a final three of KU, Indiana and Vanderbilt.


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