LAWSON, A LONGTIME COLLEGE BASKETBALL AND NBA ANALYST, TO CALL LIVE GAMES ALONGSIDE PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCER STEVE BUCKHANTZ
WASHINGTON-AREA NATIVE IS A FORMER WNBA MYSTICS AND UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE STAR
PHIL CHENIER, DREW GOODEN TO SERVE AS SECONDARY ANALYSTS FOR SELECT GAMES
BETHESDA, Md. (Sept. 27, 2017) – CSN Mid-Atlantic announced today that Kara Lawson has been named the primary analyst for Washington Wizards’ games. A native of the Washington, D.C., area and a former member of the Washington Mystics and University of Tennessee Lady Vols, Lawson has covered college and professional basketball for 14 years. She will serve alongside play-by-play announcer Steve Buckhantz to lead CSN’s 2017-18 live Wizards coverage.
Lawson, Buckhantz and courtside reporter Chris Miller will be joined during live coverage by secondary analysts Phil Chenier and Drew Gooden, who will be used for select games.
“We are thrilled that Kara is joining the CSN Mid-Atlantic team,” said Rebecca Schulte, President and GM, CSN Mid-Atlantic. “She has tremendous experience as a broadcaster and standout former player. We look forward to Kara bringing her insight back home to Washington and joining our broadcast team of Buckhantz, Chenier and Gooden.”
Lawson is a longtime ESPN game and studio analyst for men’s and women’s college basketball and the NBA, and she will continue to contribute to ESPN broadcasts in addition to her new role with CSN. Initially much of her broadcasting assignments overlapped her playing career, and she has covered some of the sport’s biggest events, including the NBA playoffs and the NCAA Women’s Final Four and championship. On Jan. 12, 2007, she became the first female analyst for a nationally televised NBA game, which coincidentally featured the Wizards.
“I’m ecstatic to return to my hometown and be a part of the coverage for the franchise I rooted for with growing up,” Lawson said. “There are not many times in life when you are offered an opportunity that fits on so many levels. To cover the NBA on a day-to-day basis, as part of a team, is a dream come true. I look forward to working with everyone on the CSN Mid-Atlantic team and the Washington Wizards.”
Lawson started with ESPN as an analyst for the 2004 and 2005 NCAA women’s basketball tournament and WNBA drafts. She joined ESPN’s NBA coverage as a courtside reporter in 2006 and started serving as a game analyst for men’s college basketball in 2010. Her first broadcasting role was as a studio analyst for regional coverage of the Sacramento Kings for three years, from 2004 to 2007, when she was a member of the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs.
As a player, Lawson earned numerous accolades at the professional, international, college and high school levels. She spent 14 seasons in the WNBA, appearing in 377 games for Sacramento, Washington and the Connecticut Sun from 2003 to 2015. She led the Monarchs to the championship in 2005, was a 2007 WNBA All-Star and was the recipient of the league’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2009. She spent her final two seasons, 2014 and 2015, with the Mystics.
Lawson represented the United States in 59 international games in tournaments, including the Olympics, FIBA World League Tournament, FIBA Americas Championship and World University Games. She was a member of the team that captured the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Overall, Lawson earned five gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze medal in various competitions as a member of the USA Women’s National Team.
At the University of Tennessee, Lawson played for legendary coach Pat Summit. During her collegiate career, Lawson led the Lady Vols to four Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular-season titles, the 2000 SEC Tournament championship and three Final Four appearances. Among her many academic and athletic honors, Lawson was a four-time All-SEC and two-time SEC All-Tournament selection, 2003 Academic All-America and three-time Academic All-SEC selection. She was also a recipient of the 2003 Woody Hayes National Scholar-Athlete Award.
Born in Alexandria, Va., Lawson is a graduate of West Springfield (Va.) High School, where she led the Spartans to consecutive Virginia Class AAA state basketball championships. In 1999 she was named the Naismith High School Player of the Year and The Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year, one of her three All-Met honors.
Lawson is active in the community and an advocate for fitness and personal health issues. She is a member of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign and actively supports several charitable organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society and Race for the Cure.
In addition to Lawson, Chenier will appear as a second analyst in select live games and contribute regularly on CSN’s Wizards pregame and postgame coverage as well as other Wizards-related programming. He also has additional roles with the Wizards organization and Monumental Sports Network. Chenier served as CSN’s primary game analyst for 33 seasons, beginning with the network’s first full season in 1984, following a playing career that included nine seasons with the Baltimore-then-Washington Bullets.
Gooden joins CSN this season to contribute to live-game coverage. He spent the final three seasons of his 14-year NBA career with the Wizards, helping the team to the conference semifinals in 2014 and 2015. Since his retirement from playing, Gooden has served in an ambassador position with the NBA and has appeared regularly on ESPN, FS1, NBATV and SiriusXM Radio. He recently graduated from the University of Kansas, where he starred from 1999 to 2002.
CSN Mid-Atlantic, part of NBC Sports Regional Networks, is the official sports network of the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, NFL’s Washington Redskins and ACC. CSN Mid-Atlantic – the leading multiplatform sports media organization serving the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia – delivers more than 400 live events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis, and entertainment programming. CSN Mid-Atlantic’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNmidatlantic.com, is the region’s top source for written, video and interactive sports content.