Alab Pilipinas’ Lawrence Domingo: ‘My mom is my biggest motivation’
Ceej Tantengco on Jan 12, 2017 11:07 AM
“I'll never be able to repay her for everything she's done for me, so I'm going to be working to keep her happy for the rest of my life,” says Domingo on Instagram.
There isn’t much space in Lawrence Domingo’s studio condominium in Taguig, but what space he has, he fills with the things close to his heart: stacked boxes housing his sneaker collection, posters of “The Goonies” and “American History X,” and, tucked neatly in a drawer, a hardbound photo book that his mother Kathy filled with pictures from his childhood.
Domingo wouldn’t be here if not for her. In a literal sense, it was his mother who led him to the sport. “When I was three years old, I took a liking to the sport, but it was just playing for fun. When I was in 5th grade, my mom put me in basketball [programs] so I could have an outlet,” he shares.
He opens the book to the first page, which shows an adolescent version of himself, smiling in a yellow jersey. “I was so chubby!” he laughs. “I wasn’t very good for a long time, but she made me stick with it.”
As Domingo matured, he became aware of the challenges his mom was facing. He knew she wouldn’t be able to afford a college education for him. “So the next best bet was I needed to get a scholarship,” he recalls. Despite describing himself as the least likely among his friends to make it to the pros, he pushed on.
Domingo moved to Los Angeles as a high school sophomore, moved in with a coach who would train him every day, and kept his eyes on a shot in the NCAA. “I worked real hard so that one day, I could give that to my mom: ‘I’m going to college and you don't have to pay for it,’” he shares.
And he did. Domingo received a basketball scholarship from Eastern New Mexico University, where he studied public relations. “And then the idea came that maybe I could play pro basketball,” he continues.
From the simple goal of completing his education, Domingo realized what a career would do for his family. It hadn’t even crossed his mind until other people suggested it after seeing him play. “When they told me that I was like, ‘hey, I could take care of my mom.’”
Domingo is now based in Metro Manila, playing for Alab Pilipinas in the ASEAN Basketball League. This time, he’s hoping it will lead to opportunities in the PBA.
The mother and son are the farthest they’ve ever been from one another—she still lives in America, while he’s playing around Southeast Asia. Lawrence admits dealing with the distance was harder than he expected, but the bright side is he’s met his family in Laguna for the very first time. “They’re very loving. It’s like they’ve known me my whole life,” he says.
And if he’s being honest, the struggle makes his drive stronger.
“Honestly, my mom’s been my biggest motivation, along with all my little brothers and sister,” he says. “I want to set an example by showing how far I’d go to achieve what I wanted.”