No potbelly and cigars
UDM freshman Lauren Beasley defies basketball, football stereotypes; builds career with own scouting
Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:02
When you think of a scouting and recruiting website, who do you picture running it – a balding, potbellied, cigar-smoking, basketball lifer with a permanent three-day beard and decades in and around gyms, practice fields and locker rooms?
This could not be further from the truth for LPB Triple Threat, a scouting service featuring high school football and basketball players across Michigan.
UDM freshman Lauren Beasley founded the business at age 16.
Beasley admits that her age has taken some coaches by surprise.
"A coach comes up to you and sees a high school girl, so he's expecting you to pass him along to someone else," said Beasley, her large, gold-colored hoop earrings dangling about. "It was one thing being a girl, but 16? It wasn't what they were expecting."
One of her uncles, Terry Beasley, has seen it happen.
"At first, these coaches are probably asking themselves, ‘Who is this little girl calling me?' But then, they start to listen," he said. "First off, when you meet Lauren she is extremely confident. You get an idea for her confidence level. So as a coach or an insider that makes you listen. And then as she starts to give you some information, you realize how much she knows, and want her to tell you a little more."
Beasley started her athletic career as a swimmer. Her love of competition grew quickly, thanks to having "four- and five-sport athletes as uncles," she said.
Her uncle has been witness to her lifetime love affair with athletics.
"She grew up in a sports household, and had five cousins, all males," said Beasley. "She not only played with the boys, but she ran just as fast as they did and could catch better. Her concentration was unbelievable. You could show her once, and then she could do it. That was all it took."
At one swim meet in West Bloomfield early in Beasley's life, her uncle got a glimpse of her intensity.
"As I was walking over to her before her race started, she looked at me and said, ‘Uncle Terry, I'm going to win this race.' That's what she told me."
As it turned out, she wasn't playing around.
"Lauren destroyed that race, absolutely destroyed it," he said. "Afterwards, she hopped out of the water, looked at me and said, ‘I told you so, Uncle Terry.' She always had that confidence."
Beasley's ability to showcase athletes started with one player: herself.
"It really started off as a marketing tool to get my name out there," she said. "I had torn my ACL, so I started to network with coaches for myself. It was mostly just e-mails and scouting reports about myself. I wanted to let them know that I was bouncing back from the injury."
The injury hampered her career as an athlete but allowed her to channel her energy into helping others.
"It's become a full-blown scouting service," Beasley said. "Over 100 basketball and football coaches have had some contact with LPB Triple Threat."
It's one thing to like sports, but quite another to watch them with a discerning critical eye.
Beasley is never hesitant to critique an athlete she deems to be "soft," "lazy" or "a head case."
Al Anderson, the boys' coach at Beasley's high school (Detroit Consortium), felt that Beasley's abilities could prove useful.
"We miss Lauren," said Anderson. "She had a lot of knowledge. She had knowledge of the college game, and importantly she had a lot of knowledge about how to work with NCAA Clearinghouse," an eligibility center that every college athlete must gain clearance from to become eligible to compete in any NCAA college sport.
"Lauren did a lot of work with some of the guys in our junior class to help them play at the next level," Anderson said. "She started off doing film, making sure guys' grades were coordinated with the NCAA, that kind of stuff. We miss her, we really do."
Anderson said that the footprint left by Beasley is hard to miss.
"There is not a college coach aware of our program that doesn't know who Lauren is," he said.
Think you have what it takes to start your own scouting service?
Beasley has some insight as to the most important thing she has picked up along the way.
"The biggest thing is to build a great relationship with the players," Beasley said. "When they are offered, when they're committing, thinking about committing, whatever, I want them to let me know. I tell them all the time to call me, text, e-mail me, when something happens."
Beasley said these contacts enable her to, oftentimes, be one of the first to report a major commitment to football and basketball powerhouses like Michigan State and Michigan.
Beasley's analysis has a tendency to make an impression on people in the industry.
"I was down in Alabama at the Senior Bowl," her uncle said. "A sports agent, Stevie Brown, was talking about a player from Detroit. I gave Lauren a call, and I relayed to Stevie what she was telling me. She really broke this kid down for him. He couldn't believe it."