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Kara Lawson

Kara Lawson began her legendary career with USA Basketball in 1988 with the bronze-medal USA World Youth Games Team. Through her tenure as a player, Lawson captured gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and the 2001 World University Games. Lawson is also the U.S. Olympic women's career record holder for 3-point percentage after shooting 57.1% from 3-point (8-of-14) in the 2008 Olympics.

Currently, Lawson serves as an advisor for USA Basketball 3x3 teams since 2017, she has guided USA squads to six 3x3 titles including three-straight for the U18 women (2017 and 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup and 2018 Youth Olympic Games) and the first ever title for the U18 men at the 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup. She also served as the athlete representative on the 2017-2020 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee, which selects coaches and athletes for USA Basketball college-aged competitions, such as the FIBA U19 World Cups FIBA Americas U18 Championships World University Games and Pan American Games.

Lawson shifted from broadcasting to coaching and spent much of the 2019-20 as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics before taking the head coach position for Duke women's basketball in July 2020.

USA Basketball Notes:

  • Gold Medals:2008 Olympic Games, 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, 2001 World University Games.
  • Bronze Medal:1998 World Youth Games.
  • International Invitational Titles:2008 FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament
  • International Invitational Second Place Finishes: 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament, 2007 FIBA World League Tournament.
  • Named as a finalist for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team on Feb. 13, 2012.
  • Named one of 14 finalists for the 2010 USA Basketball World Cup Team; aided the U.S. to a 3-1 exhibition record, started one game and averaged 10.3 points and 1.5 assists per game.
  • Participated in the USA's April and July training camps in 2010.
  • Attended, but was unable to participate in the 2009 USA National Team's fall training camp due to an injury.
  • Named to the 2009-12 USA National Team on Aug. 17, 2009.
  • Member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that captured the USA's fourth consecutive gold medal with a perfect 8-0 record and qualified the U.S. for the 2010 FIBA World Cup; averaged 7.0 points and a team-high 3.0 assists per game.
  • Capped the Olympics with a team-best 15 points against Australia in the gold medal game on perfect 5-of-5 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the line.
  • Aided the USA to the 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball Tournament gold medal and a 3-0 slate prior to the Olympics against Latvia and eventual Olympic bronze and silver medalists Russia and Australia, respectively.
  • Aided the USA to a 4-2 mark and the silver medal at the 2008 Good Luck Beijing Tournament, joined the team after her honeymoon and played in the USA's final four contests.
  • A member of the USA's 2007 College Tour team that went 8-0 against NCAA teams from across the country.
  • Aided the 2007 USA Select Team to a 3-2 record and the silver medal at the 2007 FIBA World League Tournament in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
  • Member of the 2007 USA FIBA Americas Championship Team that competed in Valdivia, Chile, posted an unblemished 5-0 slate, captured the gold medal and qualified the U.S. for the 2008 Olympics.
  • Prior to the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, aided the USA to a pair of victories against the Australia National Team.
  • Member of the 2006 USA National Team that won the Australia-hosted 2006 Opals World Challenge and finished with a 4-1 slate.
  • Member of the 2006 USA National Team for the USA's first 2006 European Tour and aided the USA to a 3-0 record against professional teams in Hungary and Poland.
  • Member of the 2001 USA World University Games Team that captured the gold medal with a 7-1 record in Beijing, led the U.S. in assists (2.0 apg) and steals (2.0apg), and was the team's third leading scorer (12.0 ppg.).
  • Came off the bench as a freshman at Tennessee against the 1999-00 USA National Team to score 14 points, including a driving layup in the final seconds to upset the USA National Team, 65-64, on Nov. 7, 1999.
  • Member of the bronze medal winning 1998 USA World Youth Games Team that compiled a 5-1 record in Moscow, Russia, finished as the team's second leading scorer and ranked first in assists and steals.
  • As an advisor for USA Basketball 3x3 teams since 2017, she has guided USA squads to six 3x3 titles including three-straight for the U18 women (2017 and 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup and 2018 Youth Olympic Games) and the first ever title for the U18 men at the 2019 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Cup. Lawson also helped the USA 3x3 men’s and women’s teams to gold at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.
  • Serves as the athlete representative on the 2017-2020 USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee, which selects coaches and athletes for USA Basketball college-aged competitions, such as the FIBA U19 World Cups FIBA Americas U18 Championships World University Games and Pan American Games.

Professional Notes:

  • Drafted: No. 5 by the WNBA Detroit Shock in 2003; traded to the Sacramento Monarchs five days later; following the folding of the Monarchs, signed by the Connecticut Sun on Feb. 2, 2010; acquired by the Washington Mystics on March 12, 2014.
  • WNBA title:2005
  • WNBA Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award: 2009
  • On Jan. 12, 2017, called her first nationally televised NBA game as an analyst.
  • Helped Sacramento in 2005 to the WNBA crown and to the 2003 and 2004 Western Conference Finals.
  • Aided the Monarchs to a 25-9 record in 2005 for a first-place finish in the Western Conference and averaged 8.0 ppg. and 1.5 apg. before helping Sacramento to the WNBA championship, upping her numbers to 11.2 ppg. and 2.2 apg. in the playoffs.
  • Averaged 7.0 ppg. and 2.5 apg. to help lead the Mystics to the 2014 WNBA playoffs. 
  • Averaged 8.8 ppg., 2.1 rpg. and 2.5 apg. through 25 games before being sidelined for the remainder of the 2009 season by right quadricep tendinitis.
  • In 2008 helped the Monarchs to an 18-15 record and the WNBA Western Conference Playoffs, averaged 12.2 ppg., 2.6 rpg. and 2.1 apg.
  • Was injured and saw action in just nine games in 2013.
  • Averaged a career-high 15.1 ppg. as well as 4.0 apg. for the Connecticut Sun in 2012. 
  • In her first season with the Sun, averaged 8.3 ppg., 2.6 rpg. and 3.5 apg. in 2010.
  • Made an WNBA All-Star appearance in 2007.
  • Aided the Monarchs to a 19-15 slate in 2007 and the WNBA Playoffs, averaged 11.0 ppg. and 2.0 apg.
  • Scored a career-high of 24 points versus Los Angeles (Jul. 31, 2003), eight assists versus Minnesota (Sept. 19, 2004) and 11 rebounds versus Houston (Aug. 5, 2003).
  • A member of the 2003 WNBA Select Team that finished second in the FIBA Club World Cup, averaged 8.4 ppg. and 5.8 rpg.
  • Was named as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics in the 2019-20 season.

Collegiate Notes:

  • In her four years (2000-03) at Tennessee, helped the Lady Vols to a 126-17 (.881 winning percentage) record, four Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season titles, the 2000 SEC Tournament crown, and four NCAA Tournaments where UT advanced to the 2001 Sweet Sixteen, 2002 Final Four and 2000 and 2003 championship games.
  • Recipient of the 2003 Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete award presented annually to six college athletes who demonstrate excellence in academics, athletics and community service.
  • Earned the 2003 Francis Pomeroy Naismith award as the top player under 5'8" and was a finalist for the 2003 NCAA Woman of the Year.
  • Named to the 2001 and 2003 SEC "Good Works" teams for her involvement with the local community.
  • Collected 2003 Academic All-America first team and 2001, 2002 and 2003 Academic All-SEC honors.
  • A 2003 Kodak/WBCA All-American, 2003 Associated Press (A.P.) All-America second team, 2002 A.P. All-America third team and 2001 A.P. All-America honorable mention.

Personal Notes:

  • Born in Alexandria, Virginia.; daughter of William and Kathleen Lawson, has two sisters, Susan and Mary Katherine.
  • Attended West Springfield High School (Va.), where she aided the Spartans to the 1997 and 1998 Virginia Class AAA state crowns and perfect 30-0 seasons.
  • 1999 Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Circle of Champions 1998 and 1999 Virginia Player of the Year and 1999 WBCA, USA Today and Parade Magazine All-American.
  • Was an Honorary Executive to the Special Olympics in Washington, D.C., while also tutoring a Fairfax, Va., Special Olympics basketball team.
  • Played linebacker and running back for the Fairfax County Football League, led her squad in rushing, scoring and interceptions.
  • Helped her soccer teams to four (1992-94, 1996) Virginia State Cup titles and was named by the Washington Post All-Metro honorable mention.
  • Worked as a television color analyst for Sacramento Kings and as an analyst for the Washington Wizards and also commentated for ESPN.
  • Is active with Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society.

USA Basketball Statistics

TEAM
G/S
FGM-FGA
PCT
3PM-3PA
PCT
FTM-FTA
PCT
REB/AVG
PTS/AVG
AST
BLK
STL
2010 WCx
4/ 1
15- 23
.652
9- 14
.643
2- 2
1.000
13/ 3.3
41/ 10.3
6
0
1
2008 OLY
8/ 0
21- 32
.656
8- 14
.571
6- 6
1.000
16/ 2.0
56/ 7.0
24
1
8
2008 OLYX
3/ 0
3- 10
.300
1- 7
.143
2- 2
1.000
4/ 1.3
9/ 3.0
4
0
5
2008 WNT
4/ 1
8- 22
.364
4- 13
.308
4- 4
1.000
18/ 4.5
24/ 6.0
16
1
3
2007 COLL
8/ 0
26- 50
.520
6- 21
.286
10- 12
.833
25/ 3.1
68/ 8.5
23
0
11
2007 FWLT
5/ 0
12- 23
.522
2- 7
.286
3- 3
1.000
5/ 1.0
29/ 5.8
2
0
4
2007 TOA
5/ 0
13- 24
.542
8- 17
.471
1- 1
1.000
15/ 3.0
35/ 7.0
11
0
7
2007 WNT
2/ 2
5- 17
.294
1- 6
.167
4- 4
1.000
13/ 6.5
15/ 7.5
6
0
3
2006 WNT
8/ 1
6- 23
.261
4- 15
.267
3- 4
.750
11/ 1.4
19/ 2.4
15
2
4
2001 WUG
8/ 8
34- 77
.442
11- 31
.355
17- 18
.944
26/ 3.3
96/ 12.0
16
0
12
2001 WUGX
3/ 3
11- 34
.324
5- 13
.385
7- 9
.778
9/3.0
34/ 11.3
9
0
1
1998 WYG
6/ 6
33- 66
.500
13- 28
.464
11- 17
.647
29/ 4.8
90/ 15.0
27
0
23
Totals
64/ 22
187-401
.466
72-186
.387
70-82
.854
184/ 2.9
516/ 8.1
159
4
82

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