UConn's Lawlor has found her calling
The final regular season home game in Lawlor's career will come against the Tigers in what figures to be a sold-out Gampel Pavilion. Although UConn could play as many as seven postseason games in the state of Connecticut including two at Gampel in the NCAA tournament, Saturday will be the time for seniors Saniya Chong and Lawlor as well as senior team managers, cheerleaders, dance team and band members to be recognized.
Lawlor will be the first Connecticut native to get a jersey presented to her by UConn coach Geno Auriemma on Senior Day/Night since Heather Buck in 2013.
Lawlor would prefer to leave the spotlight for others. After a recent practice Lawlor finished up the longest question and answer session with the media when she looked at UConn women's basketball sports information director Pat McKenna and expressed amazement that she was the last one there conducting interviews. She will be front and center around 4:30 p.m. during the pregame ceremony with so many people who watched her as a three-sport athlete at Ansonia High School.
“I think they will be very proud," Lawlor said. “They have supported me all four years, which is great. Every time that I go home they are always asking about basketball and that kind of stuff. It is a lot of fun to have that kind of support.”
Lawlor's support system will also be there when she leaves basketball behind at season's end for the next stage of her life.
“My degree is sustainable farm and ranch management,” Lawlor said. “Eventually I want to have my own farm. After school I want to get some hands-on field experience. Then I will go from there.”
When she said that, it really piqued my interest. I grew up on a farm in New Hampshire or at least until I was 8. One of the most unforgettable moments is being woken up by my brother when I was 6 or 7 because one of our horses was giving birth. I told her that story before asking her what her best memory was in working with animals either at home or during one of her internships.
“They calve year round over here at the Kellogg Dairy Center,” Lawlor said. “My summer internship like the first week I had to help pull a calf. I had never done it before. When we worked nights, we would have to pull calves if they were calving at night. It is a great experience. It is eye opening and it is a lot of fun to be a part of. I love bottle feeding calves."
“I have had labs,” Lawlor said. “I think the hardest part was schedule-wise in terms of practice and basketball activities and school. We figured that out. I was able to take all the classes I needed which was great. I enjoyed it. I love learning about something I really like."
Lawlor, who originally planned to major in engineering, wants to own a farm.
“I knew I wanted to do animals,” Lawlor said. “I worked at a horse barn in high school. I actually came in here in engineering, but I didn’t like it and I switched to animal science right away.
“At home it was just horses. Here I worked with dairy cattle, beef cattle, sheep, chickens. I wanted to do something different and broaden my horizons a little bit.
“I don’t really have a set plan yet, but I like to be outside, I like to get my hands dirty, and I love animals,” Lawlor said. “Those are three things you need to be a farmer so I am pretty excited.”