ELKIN - Elkin senior leader Sam Lane reached an historic milestone Tuesday night.
Lane, the heart and soul of the Buckin’ Elks, scored his 1,000th career point in an Elkin uniform in the third quarter on his patented turnaround jumper against North Wilkes.
“I just worked hard,” he said. “It’s a build up from all the years I played since I was 5 years old, and playing AAU and traveling around. It all led to this, so it’s a great accomplishment. Great way to wrap up my senior year.
“It’s a great milestone, but I’m just glad we won tonight,” a humble Lane continued. “I was relieved to win and relieved to get my 1,000th point and get it out of the way for rest of the season. I definitely owe it to my teammates, my coach and my parents. It wouldn’t be possible without them.”
Head coach Kenneth Abrams congratulated his leader, acknowledging the rarity of the accomplishment.
“It’s something that a lot of kids who play basketball never get,” he said. “It’s an honor that is rare. He deserved it; he plays hard every night. Coming into tonight’s game, I knew he was a little bit nervous because he wanted to get it over with and get it behind him. I’m looking for him to break out now because he’s already crossed that obstacle.
“It’s a great honor. I played a lot of basketball and I never got 1,000 points. So I don’t know how it feels, but I bet it feels pretty darn good. My hats off to him, he deserves it,” Abrams added.
The second-year head coach said he wishes he had “two or three Sam Lanes” on his team.
“Sam Lane means a lot to the basketball program - he’s a leader,” Abrams explained. “When his game is on, everybody else has a thing where they feed off him. They know if we dump it down low, he’s going to get double-teamed and it’ll free someone else up on the outside. The team depends on him because he’s an inside and outside player; he’s pretty much dominant.
“Unfortunately, this is only my second year coaching him. I didn’t get the pleasure of coaching him the first two years, but it has been fun and been an honor to coach an athlete like that. When you have players like Sam Lane, it makes my job easy and it makes me look good. I wish I had two or three more Sam Lanes,” he added.
When Lane’s shot dropped for his 1,000th point, the stands erupted. The Elkin student section held up make-shift signs that simply read “1,000,” while his milestone was announced to the crowd. Teammates and fans sent out their congratulations Lane on his accomplishment.
Lady Elks’ Bethany Turner said “Huge congratulations to Sam for getting 1,000 points. Great game played with sportsmanship and class.” Hagen Miller, brother of Elkin starter Frank Miller, added “The first I saw Sam play AAU ball, I knew he was special. He is a rare blend of good kid, smart kid and talented kid.”
Former Elk Byron Alberto said “It was a pleasure playing with Sam. He was a great athlete, smart kid, leader and a team player. He didn’t hog the ball and still managed 1,000 points.” Noah Carter added “Sam isn’t out there to just play the game, he’s out there to win. He earned his spot in the 1,000 point club.”
Not only is Lane one of the most dominant players on the court, he’s also one of the smartest. The senior ranks first in the 2013 graduating class from Elkin.
Abrams said his intelligence will allow him the chance to play at the next level.
“He carries a heavy load for this team,” he explained. “He’s a smart kid, very smart. He has a bright future. I’m sure there is a program out there to fit his playing style. He’s number one in his class, so we won’t have any trouble going anywhere period.”
Among the schools scouting the senior for basketball include Guilford College, according to Lane, while others are looking at him for football.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.