Salem Capitals

Lawrence honored

Domo Lawrence shows off the framed, personalized Pokémon card he was presented in honor of receiving the 2022 TBL Spirit of the Game award on March 10 at the Salem Armory Auditorium. (JOSHUA MANES/Keizertimes)

“Where the spirit of the game lives,” that’s the tagline for The Basketball League. And for this season, the spirit of the game resides in Salem.

Prior to the home opener on March 10, Capitals team owner Jason Conrad announced to the crowd that Domo Lawrence was the recipient of the league’s Spirit of the Game award, honoring community outreach. 

And in honor of the award, Conrad and the team presented Lawrence, an admitted Pokémon obsessive, with his own personalized Pokémon card.

“That right there, I don’t know if I was crying more for the award or the Pokémon card,” Lawrence said. “It was just so cool, nothing’s better than that type of stuff. I was speechless, I couldn’t even take the mic, I was going to cry if I talked.

“It makes so much of the grind worth it. I was trying to stop myself from crying because just hearing everybody and seeing everything, having my little brother in the stands with my jersey on, it was just so many things in that moment that went full circle. There are no words, just a lot of emotions.”

Lawrence was one of five nominees for the 2022 Spirit of the Game award. And for him, just like on the court, it was a group effort for him and the community as a whole, as he just tries to repay the love that they have shown him.

“We won that award,” Lawrence said.

Community has always been a key for Conrad and the Capitals since last year’s inaugural season. #CommunityCulture is emblazoned across the chest of one of this season’s jerseys.

“Domo is the epitome of community culture,” Conrad said. “This is the community’s team, and the fact that we had someone like Domo playing for us is really special.”

And maybe Lawrence is looking for a repeat victory, because his time out in the community hasn’t slowed. 

His favorite part, getting to go and speak with the kids. Earlier in the week he took part in a kindness assembly at Whiteaker Middle School.

“That was huge to see all of those kids out there and to talk about something important, kindness. Kindness is the new currency. It was just cool to see an assembly like that, we didn’t have that.”