Jermaine Lawrence to Debut Thursday (UPDATED)

After missing half the season with a hand injury, Jermaine Lawrence will make his season debut Thursday night when Pope John XXIII host Morris Hills.

The addition could have major implications for the New Jersey North Non-Public A bracket come state playoff time.

“Got my first game tomorrow!” the 6-foot-10 Lawrence was cleared Wednesday when he was cleared to play.

That happened one day after he worked out for Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin at the school.

He is considering Cincinnati, St. John’s and UNLV, and will now visit St. John’s in mid-February, the New York Post reported. St. John’s only home games next month are Feb. 8 (UConn), Feb. 20 (USF) and Feb. 24 (Pitt).

“It’s going to be great to see him out on the court for a lot of reasons but first and foremost for his own psyche,” Pope John coach Jason Hasson told

“It’s been really hard for him not being able to go out and compete with his teammates. He loves this team and his teammates and I’m really happy he is going to get to join us tomorrow.

“With our second-leading scorer, Matt Zignorski, still out with an injury, it will be good to get another scoring option on the court and from a team-leadership perspective, the kids all look up to him so to be able to step on the court will be big for the direction of the entire team.”

“But mainly I’m just happy for him to to have the opportunity to go out and enjoy being a senior and playing high school basketball and all that goes with that.”

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