By Tom Rowe
Sun Contributing Writer
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today Norwich Sports Hall of Fame profile on Bobby Lazor is the third in a series of six articles on this year’s induction class. This year’s banquet is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at Canasawacta Country Club.
Although 15 years removed from Bobby Lazor’s birth in 1976 and Ricky Nelson’s top-selling single ‘Travelin’ Man’ in 1961, there are similarities between Lazor’s life and that of Nelson’s protagonist, known for his sojourning ways. As the opening line to Nelson’s ditty notes, “I’m a travelin’ man, made a lot of stops all over the world….” That, in essence, could be Lazor’s anthem, too. But while Nelson’s wayfaring hero of song was winning the hearts of girls to and fro, Lazor was dazzling basketball aficionados on three continents – Asia, Europe and North America.
Born in Phoenix, Bobby was four years old when his family moved to Norwich in 1980. Norwich would continue to be their home for the next 14 years, until Bobby matriculated at Syracuse University, while his family relocated to Cincinnati. After two years at Syracuse, Lazor transferred to Arizona State University in Tempe, while his family picked up roots again and headed to Rio Verde, just northeast of Scottsdale.
Following an exceptional two years with the Sun Devils, Bobby was on the move once more as he began a nine-year professional career that would touch down on those aforementioned three continents. In Asia, he played for teams in Japan and South Korea, while suiting up for European clubs in France, Germany and Italy. His North American stopovers included Puerto Rico and a pair of CBA (Continental Basketball Association) stints in Albuquerque, NM and Bismarck, ND.
By now I think you get the picture – Lazor was indeed a world traveler when it came to his time on the hardwoods. And when his career ended in 2008, he hung his hat in Gilbert, AZ, a fast-growing community southeast of Phoenix. He has come full circle back to his roots, where appropriately enough he is a licensed real estate salesman. But it is his longest stint anywhere – Norwich – that has earned him a spot in the Norwich High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of its third induction class.