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Crossover: Harmonizing with life after Drexel basketball | The Triangle

Crossover: Harmonizing with life after Drexel basketball

Photo by Kasey Shamis | The Triangle

“I guess right now I’m a former athlete, that’s all I am right now,” Drexel Men’s Basketball player and sports business graduate student Lucas Monroe stated. Once the horse blinders are stripped away however, you will discover that Lucas is a Pennsylvania local, a son, a student, a friend, a partner and a young Black leader finding his footing in society.

At first impression he may come off as reserved or shy. He’s a healthy eater with a modest social media presence, someone who is by the book and colors in between the lines. He has a tight and strong support system consisting of his parents and a handful of friends accumulated back home and through sports.

Stemming from the support of his father, Lucas developed a passion for basketball early in childhood, which he views as one of his most successful accomplishments. “You make it to college at all, you’ve made it further than most people that have picked up a basketball. You make it to the D1 level, that puts you at an even higher plateau,” Monroe said.

Being a student-athlete developed his time management skills, and readiness for solving problems under pressure, which helps relieve his chronically racing mind and overthinking. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a coach who hasn’t told me I think too much or over analyze,” which is not always good in sports because “the opposite of doing is thinking.”

Lucas’s father, and his hero Kobe Bryant, instilled in him the belief that hard work leads to the best outcome. Part of this work is mental preparation techniques to familiarize oneself with a desired outcome, his favorite being visualization, which he learned from studies on basketball players who perform better if they visualize making shots rather than doing nothing. “It’s kind of like watching highlights of yourself, which some people might laugh at, but I think it’s an important thing to do, to watch yourself have success.”

He pairs visualization with mindfulness, like his “Right Now Game,” where he takes deep breaths and describes his present physical senses to himself. These help him regain a sense of control, especially since, “success doesn’t always honor hard work.”

When asked about his experience losing to Stony Brook during the CAA tournament, Monroe responded, “It was definitely frustrating. I felt we were a better team, but that’s just how basketball works, they beat us fair and square.” His heart went out to his teammates more than his own disappointment, as he believed in their diligent season practice. “I’ve lost many basketball games,” he said, so “it kind of is what it is.”

After self-reflection Lucas realized there were moments where he lacked boldness and held back from pulling the trigger. “I wish my ego was stronger. I wish I was a more confident person sometimes.”
But his good sportsmanship established his moral boundaries early on. “I’m not much of a trash talker. I think I’ve gotten one tech in my five years of college.” That chemical-X factor of confidence is what he wishes he garnered more while playing basketball. “It’s hard to compete against someone who’s just as good as you, but does think that. They’re going to have more of an edge,” Monroe added.

Prior to Drexel, Lucas spent four years at UPenn as an undergraduate where he made a positive impact as a Quaker basketball player, and through extracurriculars such as senior society and student governing body. His most valuable extractions from college, “ha[ve] not necessarily been in the classroom, more so connecting with different people, and being able to be in different rooms and meet people from all around the world.”

His teeth marks didn’t sink as deep at Drexel, but he admires the appreciation students have for facility members and carries that courtesy in his own everyday interactions. As a guy who is used to playing a supportive role on his teams he recognizes that without the people in the shadows, “there would be no room for the people standing under the lights.”

Despite his considerable presence, Lucas still has room to expand and cultivate his holistic worldview as he aspires to be a lawful servant of the people. He is mindful of insecure individuals who abuse power, driving his commitment towards diversity, equity and inclusion. He also recognizes the versatility of those around him, and gravitates towards kind souls. He strongly values generosity and reciprocation, saying if you think, “Oh yeah, Lucas would do that for me for sure, then I would expect you to do it for me.”

During his self-discovery, multiple identities have revealed themselves from the wardrobe of life, most recently by wrestling the sweaty well-worked jersey off for something new: a pressed suit that welcomes him court-center as a professional, although he anticipates basketball will call him back for his contributions later in life.

After some time pondering law school, Lucas expects to work in a law firm in DC as a paralegal to begin his professional career. He will have the opportunity to perform litigation work on his own cases and collaborate with attorneys. He has two years to trial this position to see if he likes the fit or exchange this identity for a new one while he is still young.

I asked if he did his best, and he declared excitedly, “Yeah I always do my best, yeah!”

“If it’s something you really want, don’t give up,” stated Monroe.