Eastside basketball coach Patrick Damron announced Wednesday that the 6-8 Lawson has committed to continue his basketball career and education at NCAA Division I UNC-Asheville.
The announcement comes just a couple of weeks after Lawson said he would be playing at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. But Lawson rescinded his commitment after there was a coaching change at the school.
Lawson said recently playing basketball at a DI school is a dream come true for him. He said he can remember watching college games on TV and thinking “one day, I’m going to be doing that.”
“It’s been a great experience for me. It’s just really cool,” Lawson said.
Lawson guided Eastside to its best season in school history this year. The Spartans won the Cumberland District and Region 1D championship and advanced to the Class 1 state championship game.
The Spartans also played in the Arby’s Classic in Bristol this season, where Lawson won the dunk contest.
He said playing in the Arby’s and in the postseason against top competition was a wakeup call for the type of competition he’ll face every day on the college level.
“I think coach Damron did a great job of putting together a hard schedule for us this year,” said Lawson. “Playing in the state championship game helped me a little bit in understanding how much faster and how much more physical the game is going to be at the next level.”
UNC-Asheville finished with a 21-13 record last season and as regular-season champions in the Big South Conference.
Lawson will play for coach Michael Morrell, a former player at Elizabethton High School.