Former Marist men’s basketball fan favorite, Isaiah Lamb has signed a professional contract to play basketball for the Aragats basketball team in the Armenia Basketball League A.
“I’ve been waiting for my opportunity to get a chance to play at the professional level, growing up, the dream was to play in the NBA,” said Lamb. “However, throughout the years I’ve learned that it sometimes takes multiple steps to get to your final destination and Armenia is just a stepping stone for me to get to the next level.” Lamb added “I am not satisfied but just excited for the opportunity to travel the world and play basketball,” he said.
Lamb joined the Aragats Basketball team on Oct. 17. “Armenia got in touch with me on that day,” said Lamb. “I accepted the deal and they sent me a plane ticket for the next day, everything happened so fast.”
“When I first graduated college I had many offers to play overseas,” Lamb said. “However, I did not act on those opportunities, so I lost them.” Those offers included, basketball teams in China, Cyprus, Dubai and Germany. “Armenia was a late and final offer so I jumped on the opportunity,” he said.
After getting the call from his agent, Muhamet Mehmeti, the first person that Lamb told the big news to was the person that he was closest to, his mother, Valerie Lamb.
Lamb’s initial reaction to becoming a professional basketball player was “a feeling of relief,” he said. The now professional athlete has been through the fire as he grew up homeless from 9th grade all the way up to his senior year at Dulaney High School. Lamb used to think that struggling to find a place to sleep every night was just a normal way of life.
Once he transferred to Dulaney High School, which was outside of Baltimore county, he quickly realized how he was living was far from normal. While at Dulaney, he began to notice that classmates had things that he didn’t. While a lot of students lived in single family private homes Lamb lived in a car, a laundromat and countless hotels before his family was able to afford an apartment.
“People had iPhones and I didn’t, people had laptops and I never even thought of having my own computer because I went to the library to use one,” said Lamb. “Simple things like that, you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you see it.”
After Lamb played his final game in a Marist uniform in a 71-66 overtime loss to St. Peter’s in the opening round of the 2019 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, Lamb knew that wouldn’t be the last time that he stepped on the court. “I always told myself that I worked too hard for too long in my life to not try to play professional basketball,” said Lamb. “I feel like I owe it to myself to at least give it a try.”
Growing up Lamb didn’t have much, but one thing that he did have was a dream to play professional basketball. “I had that dream for as long as I can remember,” said Lamb.
As a kid from Baltimore, basketball used to just be a way for Lamb to escape from his reality. “When I was playing, I felt like I was in another world and stress-free,” said Lamb. “All I was thinking about was the game of basketball and having fun like kids do when they play.”
As Lamb got older he began to think differently about the game that he loves. “Now Basketball is more of a tool,” he said. “I’m using basketball to take me all over the world, to see and experience things that I may have never been able to do before, and to make money.”
For Lamb he knows that if he wants to get where he wants to be in life, then he needs more than just one stream of income. He is more than just an athlete. “I always saw myself as being a businessman and I’m doing that as well as playing basketball, so that after basketball I have something to fall back on,” said Lamb. “Also my professional career is helping fund all of my business revenues.”
“Outside of basketball I have strictly been working on my personal brand to set me up for the future,” he said. Lamb started his own company, Lo-Lamb. “Lo-Lamb is built around calisthenics, using your own body weight over going to the gym and using machines,” said Lamb. That allows you to workout at home and more often. He is also working on his personal training certificate.
“I don’t go out much and party, I left that in college, it’s time to make real progress and save the partying for later when I am successful,” Lamb said. As Lamb uses his social media platform to market his brand he has also made personal relationships with people as well. Through Instagram, Lamb became good friends with some of the trainers at the Under Armour Facility in Baltimore and he is now able to use their facility to train.
Lamb has accomplished what many have not, going from growing up homeless to becoming a professional athlete, yet he is still not satisfied. “I honestly don’t feel fulfilled inside because to me I didn’t do much yet, until I turn my business into a livable stream of income and I am completely financially free,” said Lamb. “That is the goal.” “Until then, I have a lot of work to do,” he said.
“The one thing I always do to help me stay motivated, is never forgetting my why, meaning the reason why I’m even doing this,” said Lamb. “So when I get discouraged or down, I always remember my goal is to be financially free and never have to worry about money again.” Lamb explained, “When you are financially free you are able to help the people that need to be helped,” he said. “That is another goal of mine, to be put in a position to help others that may be in the same situation I was growing up.”
“I wouldn’t be here without the help of a lot of people,” said Lamb. “I want to give back to my community.” Aside from his mother, other people that helped him the most throughout his journey so far include his father, Donald Lamb, his brother, Dwight Lamb, and his girlfriend Lovisa Henningsdottir.
Lamb is more than ready for the challenge of moving to another country. The biggest adjustment for him will be adapting to a different culture and the language barrier.
Off the court the main thing that Lamb wants to experience is Armenian culture and “to see that side of the world,” he said. Although this is all new and exciting for Lamb, he knows that he is here to do a job. “At the end of the day the goal is to play my best basketball here, rack up some good stats and move on to an even better opportunity,” Lamb said.
The Aragats are coming off a season that they won the Armenian Basketball League A championship in their first season in the league. Heading into this 2019-2020 season Lamb has high aspirations for both his team and himself, Lamb’s main goal is to win a league championship. He also wants to make his mark by winning player of the year honors.
The Aragats roster includes four Americans, five Armenians and two Russian players. With that Head Coach, Tony Jountoyan has to learn all of those languages to communicate with his players.
Lamb’s first game with the Aragats will be on Saturday, Oct. 26, vs Erebuni Basketball Club. The game will be played at the Mika Sports Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia.
Edited By: Sean McGee