Capitals player wins Spirit of the Game Award two years running 

Dominique “Domo” Lawerence receiving the Spirit of the Game Award from Capitals franchise owner James Conrad 

Dominique “Domo” Lawrence has won the Spirit of the Game award for a second year running. 

The Spirit of the Game award signifies his continued dedication to Capitals fans as well as the community at large. 

This year the player received a ring while last year he received a personalized Pokémon card. 

His now-famous nickname came from a cousin at an early age though he did not start using it until his teenage years amongst friends. 

Originally from Las Vegas, Domo went to high school at Desert Pines High School then spent the next 12 years chasing his degree as well as opportunities to play basketball. 

He first went to play basketball for Lane Community College in Eugene though due to a miscommunication that affected nearly 50 other student-athletes, the offered scholarships never materialized, causing him to spend his first year in Oregon living with others in a dorm at Lane Community college. 

Domo described it as getting to live a college student’s life without having to attend class. 

He also attended the College of Eastern Utah, for which he still represents out of respect for his teammates and coach who he said inspires him to this day. 

While at a practice, Domo described how, while waiting for their coach to show up, they began to come up with wild theories as to why the coach was late such as possibly getting arrested. 

When police officers eventually did come to explain though, they revealed that, Brad Barton, then head coach, had passed away. 

“We all went and dealt with that how we dealt with it and to this day I’m locked in with all those guys,” Domo said. 

He noted that Barton still empowers him to always go out and do that little extra, which likely led to his being a second year spirit awardee. 

“I clung to that, especially after he passed. I’m not letting that die. I’ll never not play as hard as I can.” 

Afterwards, Domo found himself at both Chemeketa Community College and University of Mobile in Alabama where he played in collegiate leagues from 2013-2016 

After a stint as a coach, Domo also played for Corban University for the 2019-2020 season. 

Basketball was not the only thing Domo walked away with from his college experience as he earned degrees in Kinesiology and communications as well. 

On the Capitals, Domo has become a public fixture in the Salem-Keizer community and earned his recent award. 

He has conducted speaking tours of Salem and Keizer schools, such as Whiteaker Middle School and Keizer Elementary, encouraging children to try and succeed but never to forget that the little things matter as well as relay his self-described fandom of Pokemon. 

“I value being able to speak with those kids. They don’t care if we won or lost. They want to share their love for Pokemon with me because they know I love [it],” Domo said. 

In addition, Domo noted that the people you surround yourself with is equally as important for not just children but adults as well. 

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” Domo stated, also noting that he must be on his way to being a professional something as all of his friends are professionals in their respective fields. 

The last piece of advice from the Spirit of the Game recipient is to be yourself, regardless of what others think. 

Uniqueness will not only help someone stand out but also show them to those who care about them most, according to Domo. 

And doing all of this is easy for the 31-year-old athlete because they do not support the scoreboard, they support the people, though Domo noted that if finds a way to add more height to his towering 6’5 frame, Salem-Keizer fans could be left wanting. 

“If I ever was 6’6, you all wouldn’t know me. You wouldn’t know me personally at least,” Domo joked. 

When asked if the Salem team was his last destination, Domo replied, “I’ll never not be a Capital.” 

As for coaching, Domo noted that he wants to take a break after a three-year stint but still intends to interact and visit children within the community in his capacity as a player. 

The most recent book he has picked up was his shadow work journal, a concept where people feeling negative emotions write them down as a way to express themselves in a judgment-free way. 

The most recent video game he picked up was Pokemon Sapphire, a monster-capturing game for hand-held devices. 

The last piece of advice Domo gave, and perhaps the most important, is how others can reach their own version of success. 

Meter your expectations in that you need to find what makes you happy, regardless of what that is and pursue it. 

“Just try to be self-aware,” Domo said. 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-105

SUBSCRIBE TO GET KEIZER NEWS — We report on your community with care, depth, fairness, and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more