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Lawson Named to First Olympic Team

Kara Lawson, who enjoyed a standout career at West Springfield and who was named among the Connection’s Top-100 Athletes, was named to the U.S. Women's Olympic Team, USA basketball announced on June 9.

Lawson, a 5-foot-10 guard for the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs is currently averaging 10.5 points and two assists per game and will make her first Olympic appearance. The Tennessee graduate has been especially adept at making 3-pointers, converting at a 41.9-percent (26-for-62) clip.

At West Springfield, she led the Spartans to the 1997 and 1998 Virginia Class AAA state crowns and perfect 30-0 seasons. In college, she led the Lady Vols to a 126-17 (.881) 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.

Lawson was selected by the Detroit Shock fifth overall in the 2003 WNBA Draft. She was traded five days later to the Monarchs. Lawson was a key member of the Monarchs’ 2005 championship team.

Lawson has also been involved in sports broadcasting, becoming the first female to serve as a nationwide broadcast analyst for an NBA game.

Lawson will team with Tamika Catchings, DeLisha Milton-Jones, Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Tina Thompson, Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter on the U.S. Roster. The U.S. women’s team has won three straight gold medals and five of the past six.

Selections were made by the USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team Committee, chaired by WNBA chief of basketball operations and player relations Rene Brown.