Great Britain International and former University of Western Kentucky big man, Ben Lawson has been offered an invitation to this year’s NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The talented 7’1 forward played this past season with Fukuoka Rizing in Japan, where he flourished as a professional averaging 15 points, 10.5 boards and 1.7 blocks in 44 games. He finished in the top five on the team in each of those categories, as well as in steals (1.2) and minutes (34.6).
Having been a rugby player from a young age, he quickly grew too tall to continue to play and switched to basketball at the age of 15. Ben transferred over to Oaklands College from Hitchin Boys School at the age of 16 and spent 2011 - 2013 developing his game with the basketball acadmey and competing in the EABL. In the two years with Oaklands he went from school, to county, to regional, and then got invited to join the national team squads at U18 and U20. Every summer he manages to get back to Oaklands for summer workouts, working closely with Performance Coach, Lee Ryan.
Ben Lawson (@StretchLawson) has earned a @NBASummerLeague spot with the @memgrizz!— Oaklands Basketball (@Oaklandsball) 27 June 2019
Big time moves from our Wolf, congrats Ben! 👀#Wolfpack #AlumniTracker #7ftShooter #nbasummer #nba pic.twitter.com/7iU5CLjhqA
During his time at College in the U.S, Lawson averaged 4.4 points and 3. 1 rebounds across his 110-game at WKU, including a career-best senior season in 2016/17 in which he logged 3.3 rebounds and 5.3 points per outing.
Lawson is the second British player to be called up to this year’s NBA Summer League as he joins fellow GB International, Kavell Bigby-Williams who recently signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Charlotte Hornets.
A product of the England Talent Pathway and National team programme, Lawson has represented GB in the Division A European Championships with the U18 and U20 GB squads, where he averaged 7.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for the U20’s in 2014.
Basketball England Technical & Talent Performance Manager and former coach of Lawson (GB U18's), Steve Bucknall was pleased to hear the news:
"Ben Lawson has always had attributes to play at the highest level and you could see his potential at a young age. Ben was a member of our Talent Pathway and represented his country at the Europeans where the team had a historic victory against Spain in 2013. He always had a huge upside in this game because of his mental and physical attributes which were off the charts. We wish him continued success with the challenges which lie ahead!"
Lawson will be competing in the three-day Salt Lake City NBA Summer League from July 1–3, along with the Jazz, Cavaliers and Spurs. The Grizz will also be playing in the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins on July 6. Take a look at Lawson's highlights from this past season below: