Kara Lawson joined ESPN in 2004 as a women’s college basketball analyst while playing point guard for the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA. She has served in a variety of capacities – game and studio analyst, play-by-play and sideline reporter while covering men’s and women’s college basketball as well as the NBA. Most recently, in 2010, she began working as an analyst on men’s college basketball games.
In 2006, Lawson became a studio analyst for regular-season women’s college basketball games and the NCAA Championship, including the last six Final Fours. She also served as a member of the commentating team for the 2004 and 2005 WNBA Drafts. Lawson began at ESPN as a color analyst during the 2004 and 2005 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. In 2017, she joined the Women’s Final Four telecast as a game analyst.
Lawson joined ESPN’s NBA coverage for the 2006 and 2007 seasons as a courtside reporter. On Jan. 12, 2007, she became the first woman analyst to call a nationally televised NBA game, replacing analyst Tom Tolbert.
Lawson began her broadcasting career shortly after graduating from college and worked as a studio analyst on the Sacramento Kings’ local broadcast on Comcast Sports Net from 2004-07.
At the University of Tennessee she played under the late legendary coach Pat Summit and was part of the team that defeated the U.S. women’s national team that went on to win gold in Sydney in 2000. A two-time all-American, she led her team to three NCAA Women’s Final Four appearances in 2000, 2002 and 2003. Lawson is only one of three players in Tennessee history to garner first team All-SEC honors in all four years.
An Academic All-American, she graduated with a degree in finance. As a senior she won the Torchbearer Award, the highest undergraduate honor at UT. Lawson was the recipient of the NCAA’s Top VIII Award, which recognizes the top eight student-athletes across all divisions and all sports for their contributions athletically, academically and in their communities.
In seven seasons with the Monarchs (2003-09), Lawson started at point guard, leading the team to the WNBA title in 2005. She was a 2007 WNBA All-Star and the recipient of the 2009 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. In the 2003 WNBA Draft, Lawson was selected by the Detroit Shock in the first round (fifth overall) but five days later, was traded to the Monarchs.
Lawson joined the Connecticut Sun for the 2010 season as a free agent and remained with the team through the 2013 season. She was traded to the Washington Mystics in the 2013-14 off-season.
Lawson was a member of the Women’s Basketball Olympic Team, which won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and she captained the US Team to a gold medal in the 2011 World University Games.
Off the court, Lawson is a passionate advocate for fitness and personal health. She is a member of the Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign, is active with Race for the Cure and also volunteers for the American Cancer Society. In 2010, Lawson began working with carious chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association.