BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The storied Hoopcat career of Anthony Lamb will be recorded like this: more than 1900 points, good for fifth in program history. Two America East Player of the Year Awards. Four straight America East regular season titles, the only time that's happened in league history. Four trips to the conference tournament title game, with two wins...and a cancellation.
"It was definitely tough," Lamb said. "In the locker room when they announced it to all of us, we sort of celebrated winning, but like everyone in the locker room wanted to play."
Lamb and his fellow seniors Everett Duncan and Daniel Giddens were looking forward to their opportunity to add another March moment to match TJ Sorrentine's shot back in 2005, but they never got the chance as the NCAA Tournament was cancelled as well.
"I wanted to be able to win games in the tournament. I always wanted to and now I'll never get that chance, I'll never have that opportunity...and it wasn't because we lost. I think that's the hardest part."
As hard as it is, Lamb has accepted the reality of the coronavirus situation.
"That's the humbling part, this is like so much bigger than basketball or bigger than me or bigger than anything going on. I guess it's hard to be selfish with it," he said.
For the vast majority of players to come through the Vermont men's basketball program, the NCAA Tournament represents the absolute peak of their playing career, the biggest stage they will ever play on. But that might not be the case for Lamb. The senior forward is widely considered one of the best pro prospects the school has ever produced. But the coronavirus has made the process a little harder for him.
"My opportunities are limited to showcase what I can do. So basically there might not be any combine workouts or anything like that. Or those pre-draft workouts where I could, being from a midmajor school, it's harder because I can't go to workouts and outperform other people which I know I would have."
So he has to get a little creative in his preparation.
"Went down to the water and sort of worked out down there a little bit, but I've been keeping it real chill for now until I have a little bit more of a play going forward."
No Vermont alum has ever appeared in an NBA game...but Lamb is determined to do just that and give back to Catamount country for all the support they've given him over the last four years.
"It would be unbelievable. I would be so happy and I'd be so grateful to give that back to Vermont and to the fans that have supported me. And I guess allow them to see me continue playing I guess on the bigger stage would be really cool. And I'd be very grateful for the opportunity and I would definitely capitalize the best I can to play as long as I can in the NBA. The people really make here and it's really the people that got me through all my times. It's the people that supported me, it's the people that pushed me. It's the people that came to the games and showed support, to show love after the games and like any chance I can get to make them happy or make their day or make their life a little bit better, I think that's why I've been able to be so successful at Vermont. The support and the love they've given me is sort of what I try to reciprocate back to them. So if everybody can understand that interaction, just like a little bit can make your life better, I think you'll understand Vermont and understand what they've done for me in my time here."