Duke University on Saturday officially named Kara Lawson head coach of the Blue Devils’ women’s basketball program.
And though her time with the Boston Celtics was short, the franchises’ first-ever female assistant coach left quite the legacy.
“First of all, we’re thrilled for her,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Sunday, via The Athletic’s Jared Weiss. “I don’t want to take away from her press conference tomorrow, but I can’t say enough good things about Kara. She’s a terrific person, a terrific coach and she’ll be a great fit at Duke with their tradition.”
Lawson has been praised by Stevens time and time again, and for good reason.
The former point guard learned from one of the best, playing at the University of Tennessee for legendary coach Pat Summitt before going on to win an Olympic gold medal in 2008. She’s also served in a variety of broadcasting roles with ESPN.
Marcus Smart, the longest-tenured Celtic, spent lots of time with Lawson after she chose to work with him specifically over the course of this season.
“This is why our bond has been strong, she had the option to work with anybody,” Smart told reporters Sunday, via MassLive’s John Karalis. “When she told Brad the reason why, she just liked the way I play my whole game. So that really hit home for me and it meant a lot.”
Added Smart, “It’s family. I know I can speak for everybody on this team, we’re excited for her, we’re proud of her, and we love her.”
“Kara is always known to put a smile on players’ faces,” center Robert Williams said. “We’re going to miss her, but she’s going on to bigger and better opportunities.”
Now, Lawson has a chance to show the impact she can have leading a program.