Lorenzo Griffin, a former professional basketball player in Germany as well as a coach for the University of La Verne Leopards, was announced as the newest addition to the women’s basketball coaching staff for the 2023-24 season.
Griffin’s experience in the sport runs deep from his roots playing at the YMCA and Riverside Poly High School to getting buckets as a Waldorf University Warrior. His competitive career culminated in a trip to Europe where he both played and coached for multiple clubs in Germany from 2012 to 2021.
His mother first introduced him to the sport. After his first season playing at the YMCA, he realized he was deeply passionate about improving as a player and competing against others in his future.
He continued to play ball throughout his childhood and high school days, eventually planting his feet at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. After graduating from Waldorf with a Bachelor of Arts in business marketing, Griffin moved to Germany in 2012 to further pursue his athletic career.
According to Griffin, playing basketball at the college level is one thing but playing professionally in unfamiliar territory is a whole new game.
“The playing style in the U.S. can be more one-on-one base,” Griffin said. “When I went to play basketball in Europe, it was more team oriented. They don’t want you to pound the ball 15 times. I was humble enough to balance both worlds in when I needed to know how to get a bucket one on one, I was able to do that.”
While playing professional basketball aboard was a huge challenge, adjusting to a new environment off the court is daunting as well. Griffin shared more of his off-the-court experiences in Germany and how he adjusted to life.
“I went and took a language course because I believe wherever your feet are planted, you should really try to embrace the culture,” Griffin said. “I wanted to have a better experience for myself and help the others around me have a better experience too. Now it was difficult, but basketball kept me busy enough to where I didn’t have time to be home sick.”
Since his arrival at CPP in early August, Griffin has embraced working with women’s basketball head coach Danelle Bishop .
“I was looking for a place where I can continue to grow,” Griffin said. “Coach Bishop has a legacy here at Cal Poly Pomona. Having the chance to be underneath her wing, that was also very appealing to me as well as getting the opportunity to learn.”
Bishop has guided the women’s basketball team to success both within the CCAA and beyond. Since her arrival in 2010, the team has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances in a 13-year span and won the NCAA West Region Championships twice.
“That’s shooting a high percentage,” Griffin said.
Sophomore point guard Kayla Keshmeshian, who joined the Broncos over the summer after competing for one year at Nicholls State University in Louisiana, is looking forward to what Griffin brings on the court and is hoping he can develop her into more of a leader this season.
“I was excited when I saw the news,” Keshmeshian said. “I’m hoping to see how he can improve my game especially since he was also a guard.”
CPP is looking to have another monster year once their season begins in November, and Griffin is ready to have a huge role in their success. People who want to keep up with Griffin and the team can visit the BroncoAthletics website to see the team’s schedule once it is announced in October.