2020 Penn commit Andrew Laczkowski is a 6-6 shooting guard who plays for St. Marks high school in Dallas, Texas. He is a deadly shooter who can run the floor and will add another weapon to the Quakers offense. He talked with Philly Sports Network about his Penn commit and more.
LJ: What made the Quakers the best program for you?
Andrew: So many things at Penn fit together perfectly for me on and off the court. On the court, I love the style of ball they play. Lots of movement and reads, just a free-flowing offense. They are heavy in analytics, something that I really love about the game. I watched both practices and games and could really envision myself playing in their system. They also love shooting threes, something that I do well. Off the court, nobody can beat Penn’s academics, and I really like to challenge myself in the classroom. The campus is beautiful, the city is great, the community is amazing, and the connections you make at a place like Penn cannot be beaten. It was really a no brainer for me.
LJ: What do they like about you? How do they expect you to impact moving forward?
Andrew: What the coaches really liked about me is my ability to shoot. On my visit, I sat down with Coach Donahue and he walked me through how they see me fitting into the system. He liked how I was able to move off the ball and be ready to shoot at all times, things that reminded him of his past players like Ryan Betley. I watched a lot him this year and I know I have some big shoes to fill.
LJ: What other teams were recruiting you hard before your commitment?
Andrew: I had offers from several mid-major programs. I also had some Big 12 and Big 10 schools that wanted me to wait until the second signing period to commit but I wanted to a school that was interested in me being a primary contributor to their program. I narrowed my choices to Penn, Northeastern, and Rice. I felt that Penn was the perfect fit and was excited to commit.
LJ: What do you think is the strength of your game that allows you to stand out?
Andrew: It is my shooting. I have worked really hard to turn my shot into the most elite weapon it can be, and I think that will translate very well to the college game. Other than my shooting, I think how hard I play, even in practice, makes me stand out. I treat every moment on the court like it’s a championship game and I think that mentality pushes me to be the best I can be.
LJ: When you visited Penn what impressed you?
Andrew: Honestly, everything did. Walking around the Palestra and learning about all the history and culture the basketball program at Penn really made me excited for the opportunity to play there. I loved walking around campus, seeing just how beautiful it was. I enjoyed being and playing with my future teammates. Coach Donahue and the entire coaching staff were great during the process and after I committed. I am excited to play for them. One of the highlights though would have to be the conversation my family and I had with Reverend Howard. He helped put my entire situation in perspective, how lucky I am to be where I was. In that conversation, I saw just how amazing the support system at Penn is. Knowing that there that type of system to help me through college really impressed me a lot.
LJ: Which coach on Penn recruited you?
Andrew: Coach Montgomery was the first coach that reached out to me and we’ve struck up a great relationship ever since. He sold the program really well over our first few phone calls and was hot on me from the start. He would text me every other day. He asked me to come up on an official visit pretty early on. Once I showed interest and agreed to a visit, Coach Mihalich became highly involved in my recruitment. Both of them were huge in the process. My relationships with them were a big reason in my decision to commit. Since then, I’ve built a relationship with every coach on the staff, and I’m really looking forward to playing for them in the coming years.
LJ: What player do you watch in the NBA that you model your game after?
Andrew: I most closely model my game after elite wing shooters, players like JJ Redick, Kyle Korver, and Joe Ingles. I watch their form, their techniques, and their off ball movement closely to see how I can become a better shooter like them. The more I watch them, the more I learn to improve my game and my shot.
LJ: Penn plays in a competitive Big 5 conference. Have you heard about that tradition? What do you think about playing that type of competition?
Andrew: I had not heard about the tradition prior to my visit to Penn, but once I learned about it I was extremely interested in it. I love traditions and the history of basketball, so it made me really excited to hear about the rich culture that exists at Penn. The level of competition in the league is no joke either. Playing the Big 5 and the Ivy were definitely was a big part in my decision. Every year I get to play against some of the best teams in college basketball. My dad, younger brother, and I made it up for the St. Joe’s game at the Palestra this year. It was a great atmosphere and I cannot wait to play in those games.
LJ: Have you gotten a Philly Cheesesteak yet? Where did you go? What did you think?
Andrew: Yes, I have gotten a Philly Cheesesteak. The coaches took me to Abner’s Cheesesteaks, a place close to campus. I really liked it. I have heard there are others I need checkout. Hope to have many more as I spend more time in Philadelphia.
LJ: What can the Ivy League expect from Andrew Laczkowski?
Andrew: The Ivy League can expect me to make the most of every opportunity I get. I think my style and game fit well for me to be successful in the league. I always play hard at both ends of the floor. I am a competitor who hates to lose. I have always been on a successful, winning team and I expect that to continue while at Penn. I will do whatever I can to help the team succeed so we can win the Ivy League and get to the tournament.
Derrick Raheem”Leader” Johnson is one of the fastest rising young talented writers out. He writers for Scout.com for Villanova sports, NBA draft for nbadraftroom.com, and he is the lead college writer or Philly Sports Network. Johnson also does interviews and reports news on his personal blog page on facebook titled Leader Johnson. Johnson was Born in West Philadelphia, PA and was raised in southwest Little Rock, AR, he is known as Mr. 1on1 for always getting many 1 on 1 exclusives with some of the top athletes in high school and college, Leader also started the Success series and Villanova rundown for VUsports.com along with the Prospects Corner and Prospect Watch on nbadraftroom.com. Leader also does 1 on 1’s called the legacy series in which he interviews young athletes who parents were infamous athletes such as NBA great Ron Artest(Jeron and Ron Artest) etc. Leader has recently started the PSN college game balls given to the best performances among the chosen Philly and Pennsylvania schools and PSN NFL game balls given to best philadelphia pro team performers. The name Leader comes from Raheem setting his own standard as a writer while appreciating the writers before him.