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Kara Marie Lawson (born February 14, 1981) is a former American professional women's basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and a basketball television analyst for ESPN and the Washington Wizards.[1][2] Lawson primarily played as a shooting guard. She won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Lawson retired from the WNBA in 2015 to focus on her broadcasting career.[3] She is currently an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics of the NBA.

Kara Lawson
Kara Lawson at South Carolina game.jpg
Boston Celtics
PositionAssistant coach
Personal information
Born (1981-02-14) February 14, 1981 (age 38)
Alexandria, Virginia
Listed height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight150 lb (68 kg)
Career information
High schoolWest Springfield (Springfield, Virginia)
CollegeTennessee (1999–2003)
WNBA draft2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5th overall
Selected by the Detroit Shock
Playing career2003–2015
PositionPoint guard
Coaching career2019–present
Career history
As player:
2003–2009Sacramento Monarchs
2010–2013Connecticut Sun
2014–2015Washington Mystics
As coach:
2019–presentBoston Celtics (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

High schoolEdit

Lawson attended Sidwell Friends School her freshman year, then went to West Springfield High School, where she played on the girls' basketball and soccer teams. Lawson was named a WBCA All-American. She participated in the 1999 WBCA High School All-America Game, where she scored twenty points, and earned MVP honors.[4][5]

College careerEdit

Lawson attended the University of Tennessee (UT) and played for the Lady Vols basketball team, coached by Pat Summitt. She enrolled in UT's College of Business, and graduated in 2003 with a degree in Finance. Lawson received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the best senior player under 5 ft 8 in (1.7 m).[6] In 2018, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam named Lawson to the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee, the governing body of the UT system.[7]

Tennessee statisticsEdit


  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Year Team GP Points FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1999-00 Tennessee 37 504 45.8 43.6 81.7 4.1 2.8 1.4 0.2 13.6
2000-01 Tennessee 34 386 43.3 41.3 85.7 3.5 3.3 1.0 0.1 11.4
2001-02 Tennessee 34 512 46.6 33.0 83.5 4.9 2.6 1.4 0.1 15.1
2002-03 Tennessee 38 548 46.9 45.0 88.4 4.9 4.0 1.1 0.2 14.4
Career Tennessee 143 1950 45.8 41.5 84.7 4.3 3.2 1.2 0.1 13.6

Playing careerEdit

On April 24, 2003, Lawson was selected as the fifth overall pick by the Detroit Shock in the first round of the 2003 WNBA draft. But five days later, the Shock traded Lawson to the Sacramento Monarchs in exchange for Kedra Holland-Corn and a 2004 second-round draft pick. Two years later, Lawson would be a key member of the Monarchs 2005 championship team.

In recent years, Lawson has been involved in sports broadcasting during the WNBA off-season, doing commentaries for men's and women's college basketball games and Sacramento Kings games. Lawson was a free agent when the Sacramento Monarchs folded prior to the 2010 WNBA season, but later signed a three-year contract with the Connecticut Sun. On March 12, 2014, Lawson was traded to the Washington Mystics for Alex Bentley, who was originally traded to Washington through the Atlanta Dream.

National team careerEdit

Lawson was selected to be a member of the United States national team team at the 2001 World University Games held in Beijing, China. After winning the opening game easily, the USA team faced Canada and lost a close game 68–67. Needing a win to remain in medal contention, Lawson scored 25 points to help the USA team defeat Japan, and earn a spot in the quarterfinals. The USA team fell behind by 12 points against undefeated Russia, but came back to win the game by eleven points. The next game was against the unbeaten host team China, and the USA team won 89–78. The USA team won their next two games to set up the gold medal game; a rematch against the host team. China would stay close early, but the USA team prevailed and won the gold medal with a score of 87–67. Lawson was the third leading scorer on the team with 12.0 points per game and led the team in assists and steal with 16 assists and 12 steals over the course of the event.[9]

On July 10, 2008, Lawson was selected to represent the United States with the USA women's national basketball team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. She helped the United States capture the gold medal, and led the team in points (15) during the gold medal game against Australia, going a perfect 5-5 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line.

Lawson was invited to the USA Basketball Women's National Team training camp in the fall of 2009.[10] The team selected to play for the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics is usually chosen from these participants. At the conclusion of the training camp, the team will travel to Ekaterinburg, Russia, where they compete in the 2009 UMMC Ekaterinburg International Invitational.[10]

Lawson was one of 21 finalists for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Roster. The 20 professional women's basketball players, plus one collegiate player (Brittney Griner), were selected by the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Player Selection Committee to compete for the final roster to represent the US at the 2012 Olympics in London, United Kingdom.[11] However, Lawson did not make the final roster.

Post-playing careerEdit


Lawson began her broadcasting career while still playing in the WNBA. She served as a studio analyst for the Sacramento Kings, and worked her way up to working in a variety of NBA and WNBA broadcast roles for ESPN.[3] On January 12, 2007, she was the first woman to work as a nationwide broadcast analyst for an NBA game, when the New Orleans Hornets took on the Washington Wizards.[1]

In 2017, Lawson was named the primary television game analyst for the Washington Wizards, replacing longtime analyst Phil Chenier as full-time host. She is one of the first primary female TV analysts for an NBA team, joining Sarah Kustok of the Brooklyn Nets.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

On June 27, 2019, it was announced that Kara Lawson would be joining the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as an assistant coach.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

Lawson is married to Damien Barling, whom she met while working in Sacramento soon after the Monarchs' WNBA championship win. They were married in April 2008. Barling is a radio broadcaster in the Sacramento area for KHTK. He also interviewed Lawson on his show following her officially being named as color analyst.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Kara Lawson:College Basketball and NBA Analyst". April 6, 2010. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Steinberg, Dan (September 27, 2017). "Wizards make Kara Lawson one of the first female primary TV analysts for an NBA team". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
  4. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Box Scores". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  5. ^ "WBCA High School All-America Game Team MVP's". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "Frances Pomeroy Naismith". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Governor announces 10 appointees on revamped UT Board of Trustees". WATE-TV. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Women's Basketball Player stats". NCAA. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  9. ^ "Twentieth World University Games -- 2001". USA Basketball. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "USA Basketball Women's National Team To Tip-Off Training Tomorrow In D.C." USA Basketball. Retrieved October 1, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Twenty-One Finalists In The Mix For Final 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team Roster". USA Basketball. February 13, 2012. Archived from the original on February 16, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Voisin, Ailene (October 28, 2017). "Snubbed by Kings, Kara Lawson gets last word with Wizards. How she's making history". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved April 2, 2018.

External linksEdit