Sport: Women's Basketball
Year: Fourth Year
For some athletes, their sport defines them and is placed at the centre of their world. Spartan forward Lauren Doubroff, however, has learned through triumph and trial that basketball does more than just teach you skills, it teaches you about life.
From as early as she can remember Lauren chalks up her earliest motivation for being involved with sports to her brother and the example he set for her. "The reason I wanted to get into sports in the first place was because of my brother Jason and how much fun he had when he played," says Lauren. She pauses and with a smile continues saying, "he just always had so many trophies around the house and I wanted some of my own!"
While the trophies didn't come right away, Lauren began her sports career when she was in grade five when she was invited to play on the grade 6/7 volleyball team. "I got asked to play because I was super tall for my age," remembers Lauren. "My height definitely opened up a lot of doors for me when I was younger."
One door in particular was the one which led to her basketball career, beginning in grade six. "The first time I ever played organized basketball was in grade six," Lauren says. "But I distinctly remember the day when I was in grade seven and my brother's high school basketball coach came into our computer class and handed out flyers for a basketball camp they were hosting. That camp was pretty much where it all began for me in terms of basketball."
Never having seriously considered focusing on basketball before, the coach that ran the camp encouraged Lauren to develop her skills and talent, laying a solid foundation for the years to come. She transitioned into high school and Lauren continued to play basketball helping her team to two consecutive Fraser Valley Championship berths and when she was in grade nine, was invited to the BC Provincial Camp. "I played in the BC Provincial system for a number of years after that," says Lauren. "But I ended up at the point where I didn't think I loved it as much as other people did. I wasn't entirely sure that I was playing because I actually wanted to or because other people had told me that I should. It was the first time I had ever questioned if this was right for me."
Despite her questions Lauren continued to play and excel, garnering attention from colleges in the US as well as Canada. "As I would meet coaches from these schools, and I got letters from them as well, I began to realize that I could go anywhere I wanted to and that really scared the pants off of me because it was a little too far out of my comfort zone," says Lauren. "I know that fear can immobilize people, but the fear I had was a godly fear because I just knew that He had other plans in store for me."
Lauren had always been familiar with Trinity Western as her father played at here in the early 70's. So when Lauren was recruited by the Spartans during her final years of high school, she jumped at the chance. While everything fell into place so easily in order for her to come to Trinity Western, once she was here hardly anything seemed to go the way she thought it would. "My first year I was the only rookie," recalls Lauren. "I felt like I had lost myself because I had never been the player who had to earn their minutes and there I was totally benched for my first season. My world definitely got rocked during that year and I walked away from it with tons of questions and doubts."
An offer from a school in California came in and as Lauren seriously considered leaving TWU, the school she had been so drawn to and felt so sure about just a year previous, she turned to her Bible and read John 13. "It's the story of Jesus washing His disciples' feet," Lauren explains. "I knew the story inside and out but when I read verses 6 and 7 when Peter asks Jesus if He's seriously going to wash their feet and Jesus replies saying that they don't understand what He's doing now but someday they will. It was in that moment that I got woken up to the fact that while I didn't understand why I was at Trinity, I knew I had to stay."
But just because she stayed does not mean that it was easy. Lauren came back for her second year excited and healthy but as the season wore on, tweaks, pulls, doubts and fears began to return with a vengeance. By the end of the year Lauren realized that she had to take time to get herself grounded and she decided to take some time off of school and basketball. It was during that period that she was given the opportunity to go to Prague with an Athletes in Action tour. "Going to Prague was an amazing experience," says Lauren fondly. "Above all else it helped me to learn how basketball fits in with my life - not the other way around. It also helped me to find the reason why I play - I learned to play for a purpose larger than my own success because I learned to play for the team."
Returning to the Spartans for the 2006/2007 season, and under the guidance of new Head Coach Kerby Court, Lauren felt prepared to handle basketball and life together. "I had never really felt too confident in my abilities before," says Lauren. "But coming back I had a clearer picture of why I was playing and I think that it made all the difference. I was playing for my team and it was such a liberating experience knowing exactly why I wanted to be on the court instead of always wondering if I was doing it because other people had told me that I should."
Now in her fourth season, Lauren's maturity and confidence on and off the court is something that Kerby appreciates about one of his senior players. "Lauren has great confidence and that serves her well," says Kerby. "She continues to grow and develop and from this year to last, I think Lauren has really shown a tremendous desire to do what it takes to maximize the gifts that God has given her. As simple as it seems, not many people actually do that, so her commitment to doing it says a ton about her and her drive to reach her full potential."
As Lauren works her way through her fourth year as a Spartan she is confident that the lessons she has learned along the way have helped to transform her into the player and more importantly the person she is today.
Last Updated: 2008-12-01