Lauderdale talks about how he makes time for basketball, school and making people smile

A Balancing Act
Lauderdale talks about how he makes time for basketball, school and making people smile

As a student-athlete, Dallas Lauderdale found out his freshman year that time management was important. He learned how to make time for everything a student has to do attending class, finishing assignments and studying material for exams and everything an athlete has to do making time for practice and putting in extra time at the gym.

Time management paid off for Lauderdale, who averaged 1.8 rebounds per game last year and had nine steals and 15 blocks, while also earning scholar-athlete honors. He learned a lot from former Buckeyes Othello Hunter and Matt Terwilliger, including the system of how to play Ohio State basketball. Lauderdale also learned to make his presence known to his teammates and his opponents.
“He brings an inside presence,” junior guard David Lighty said. “He’s Top 5 in the country in blocks. That’s intimidating for other teams and that helps us out a lot.”
After working on his hook shots and free throws this summer with assistant coach Alan Major, this season the starting forward has averaged 4.8 rebounds and tallied 24 blocks helping the Buckeyes to win their first eight games and hopefully lead the Buckeyes to a Big Ten championship.
“The goal this year is to be Big Ten champions,” Lauderdale said. “I don’t have an individual goal, just a team goal. The individual goal for me is the team goal. We want to be Big Ten champions and make a great run in the NCAA tournament.”
One personal goal that Lauderdale does have is to play in the National Basketball Association after college like his uncle, Jim Chones. Chones played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, winning a NBA championship with the Lakers in 1980.
Lauderdale learned many things from his uncle, but one thing that has stayed with him is something Chones told Lauderdale in his office one day after participating in his basketball camp.
“He would always tell me to use basketball and to never let it use you,” Lauderdale said. “What he meant by that was to use basketball to get yourself a free education or use basketball to provide for your family, but don’t let it consume you to where you are not focused on other things.”
Lauderdale’s cousin, Kaayla Chones, who played for the Los Angeles Sparks, also taught him something about the game. She showed him how to be competitive. She is the second person in the family to play professional basketball and Lauderdale hopes to be the third.
Although Lauderdale is only a sophomore, he is one of the veterans on the team. Embracing his leadership role, he advises the younger guys on the team to always come ready to play.
When Lauderdale is not playing basketball or preparing for class, he is usually enjoying food from a Japanese steakhouse or sleeping.
“I’m usually resting when I’m not playing basketball because with the arduous schedule we have the most important thing right now as a college athlete is getting rest,” Lauderdale said. “That’s another big thing with time management and balancing everything, you have to get rest so that you’re able to be fresh for next day’s practice or game.”
On the court, Lauderdale guards the basket with fortitude and confidence. He is serious, rarely cracking a smile for his opponents to see, but off the court it is a difference story.
“I want to be known as a person who can make someone else’s day better even if his day wasn’t going the best,” Lauderdale said. “By making people smile, singing to them, even if I have a headache or something like that I’ll still sing them a little lullaby or song. I just want to make their day better than what it was before.”
His light-hearted personality off the court does not go unnoticed by his teammates.
“Off the court, he’s just a funny guy,” teammate and friend Evan Turner said. “He has a great personality. He is real kind-hearted and very spiritual.  I go to him all the time just to talk to him. He’s a good guy and a great teammate.”
Within the first two years at Ohio State, Lauderdale has established himself as a great player on the court and a great person off the court. His talent for blocking shots and making people laugh will take him far in the game he loves.
After basketball, Lauderdale sees himself relaxing on a yacht in the Bahamas with family and friends knowing him, everyone on that cruiser will be smiling. 

~ By Leah Abouahmed, Ohio State Athletics Communications