The name “Avery” stands for basketball coaching excellence in Lynn.
Ten-year-old Marquese Avery’s father, is Marvin Avery, the former Lynn Tech coach who led the Tigers to a state championship in 2002 and sent several players on to college basketball, most notably Memphis star Antonio Anderson, who also played in the National Basketball Association.
But there is some baseball brilliance in the family, too. Marquese’s mother is Traci L’Italien, whose brother, Tom L’Italien, coaches baseball at Pentucket and runs the Sachems Baseball Camp in West Newbury.
“Marquese has been going to my brother’s baseball camps since he was real young,” said Traci, who grew up in Groveland.
While Marquese, a fifth grader at the Lynn Woods School, has been excelling in basketball for coach David Brown’s highly successful AAU team, it’s his baseball-playing abilities that are causing people to stand up and take notice.
Last week, Marquese shook up the District 16 10-year-old tournament by slugging a grand slam home run out of Forest River Park in Salem. The prodigious blast carried 230 feet, well beyond the left field fence. And oh by the way, Avery’s four RBIs tied the game at 6-6 and propelled Wyoma on to a 10-6 victory.
“It was a fastball right down the middle and I pulled the ball,” said Marquese, a member of the Wyoma Major League As. “I knew when I hit it was going to be far. I was so excited because it tied the game up. It was my first home run.”
Wyoma teammates gave him an enthusiastic reception as he arrived at home plate.
Wyoma coach Michael Marks said the grand slam was a little unexpected but entirely welcomed.
“We were down 6-2 in the fifth inning and had three runners on base – and Marquese crushed it over the left field fence,” said Marks. “There’s an 8-foot fence and the ball cleared it and soared in to the parking lot well beyond the fence. Marquese’s an excellent ballplayer who can play every position. We have a great group of tens (10-year-olds) on this team.”
While Marquese is primarily an infielder, he displayed his versatility in the grand slam game by playing catcher. His favorite Major League ballplayer is David “Big Papi” Ortiz, the Red Sox’ designated hitter who has 480 career home runs.
For the record, Marquese’s bat of choice is an Easton Mako 30-incher.
While Marquese enjoys baseball a lot and credits his father, his uncle, and the Wyoma coaches for teaching him how to play the game, his mother said it’s up to Marquese which sport he desires to focus on in the years to come.
“Whatever sport Marquese
wants to play is fine – his father and I just want him to be a good kid on and off the field, be a good teammate, and do well in school,” said Traci. “We’re very proud of him. He’s worked hard. ”
Marquese has an older brother, Tyrone, 17, and a younger brother, Marvin, 7, who also plays baseball in the Wyoma Little League. Marquese and Marvin are winding down their baseball year and will soon begin practice for the Pop Warner football season.
And the word is that little Marvin is ready to follow in Marquese’s big footsteps.