Duke basketball coach grabs another Olympic gold medal in career

Duke basketball head coach Kara Lawson wins a gold medal (Photo by Ina Fassbender / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Kara Lawson wins a gold medal (Photo by Ina Fassbender / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

A Duke basketball coach led the United States of America to a gold medal on the court. 

It was hopefully the first of three gold medals for the United States of America in basketball at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and there was a Duke basketball flare to the latest medal for the Americans.

Team USA defeated the Russian Olympic Committee in the 3×3 Women’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday morning as the team is led by head coach Kara Lawson.

Lawson, the women’s basketball head coach at Duke, saw her squad go 6-1 in the preliminary rounds with its only loss coming against Japan but racked up two massive wins in the semifinal and gold medal matches on Wednesday.

The Americans defeated France in the semis, 18-16, in the very early hours of the morning on the East Coast before downing the Russian Olympic Committee, 18-15, just hours later in the gold medal game.


Team USA had some last-minute roster adjustments as former UConn star and current Seattle Storm forward Katie Lou Samuelson had to be removed from the team after testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the games.

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Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young replaced Samuelson on the roster as she teamed up with her WNBA teammate, Kelsey Plum, as well as Allisha Gray of the Dallas Wings and Stefanie Dolson of the Chicago Sky.

Duke basketball head coach accustomed to winning gold medals

Despite not physically receiving a medal since she is a coach, this is the third time Kara Lawson has been with a team that won a gold medal.

Lawson was a player on the women’s national team that won gold at the 2008 Olympics as well as a member of the Team USA that won gold at the 2001 World University Games.

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Kara Lawson is hoping to complete her first full season as the head coach of the Duke women’s basketball program as the Lady Blue Devils’ season was canceled last year due to concerns over COVID-19.

The Duke basketball program still has two more chances to win a gold medal on the court in this Olympics with Jayson Tatum playing for the men’s national team and Chelsea Gray competing with the women’s national team.

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