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Kara Lawson excited for chance to coach at Duke

Kara Lawson has all the time sought after to train at Duke — a truth the first-time faculty trainer hadn’t shared with many of us.

As soon as the task spread out previous this month, the Boston Celtics assistant jumped on the alternative.

“I knew that if it ever got here open I’d try to put my very best foot ahead and check out to safe the placement. That’s how extremely I considered the establishment and the task,” Lawson mentioned on an introductory Zoom name Monday. “I had no thought it might occur a 12 months once I went to Boston. It wasn’t within the plans so that you could talk.”


Lawson mentioned that her mother, Mary, had sought after her to wait Duke as an undergrad, however she ended up opting for Tennessee and having an illustrious enjoying occupation for the Woman Vols below Corridor of Status trainer Pat Summitt.

“Mother used to be the person who sought after me to visit Duke,” Lawson mentioned. “Dad sought after me to visit Stanford. I picked Tennessee.”

Lawson identified that her mother used to be at the Zoom name and dressed in Duke blue.

The 39-year-old trainer mentioned that she is aware of Summitt could be excited for her.

“She knew a function of mine used to be to turn out to be a trainer. I sought after to turn out to be a trainer and be informed from the most productive and that led me to Knoxville,” Lawson mentioned. “She’d be lovely excited. I have no idea if she’d be dressed in blue.”

Lawson seemed in 3 Ultimate Fours at Tennessee after which performed within the WNBA from 2003-15, successful the 2005 championship with Sacramento. She additionally used to be a part of the U.S. Olympic staff that gained a gold medal in Beijing in 2008. She had additionally labored as a TV commentator for NBA and faculty basketball video games ahead of the Celtics employed her in June 2019.

“It’s been an emotional 3 days, it’s been tricky,” mentioned Lawson, who’s within the NBA bubble in Orlando. “I feel it is the relationships that makes basketball particular. I’ve constructed numerous deep relationships with those guys. Any trainer that’s leaving a spot and going to some other position is aware of that feeling. It’s laborious to go away.”

Lawson inherits a Duke program that hasn’t gained a league name for the reason that ACC added nationwide powers Notre Dame (2013) and Louisville (2014) to what used to be already a top-flight convention. She replaces Joanne P. McCallie, who led Duke to a minimum of a percentage of the regular-season name 4 instances and 3 ACC Event titles whilst additionally making 10 journeys to the NCAA Event, together with 4 directly journeys to the Elite 8 from 2010-13.

However the Blue Devils have failed to complete within the height 3 of the league regular-season race in 4 of the previous seven years since the newest wave of league growth.

Lawson is aware of one in every of her first duties can be to rent assistants. What she’s on the lookout for is inconspicuous — enjoy.

She’s already reached out to lots of the Duke alums, a few of whom have been former teammates or fighters of hers within the WNBA.


“The legacy at that program that I do know she desires to uphold and create her personal adventure and effort,” mentioned Sparks guard Chelsea Grey, who starred at Duke from 2010-14.

“She’s a really perfect basketball thoughts. They did a very good task opting for Kara. … I am excited for the following bankruptcy at Duke and so they picked a really perfect particular person to guide them in that adventure.”

Duke is the second one Atlantic Coast Convention program this offseason to rent a Black feminine head trainer. Notre Dame employed Memphis Grizzlies assistant Niele Ivey — a former Preventing Irish participant and assistant — to switch Corridor of Famer Muffet McGraw in April.

“I’m excited for all the ones ladies with their alternatives,” Lawson mentioned. “I spoke with Niele the day past, Break of day (Staley) this morning, Tina Thompson over textual content. Folks I’ve identified for a very long time.”

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