Former basketball player from South Carolina AJ Lawson got off to a good start in the Canadian Basketball League this summer. Lawson plays for the Guelph Nighthawks and the team got off to a 1-0 start, with a great assist for Lawson to win the opener.
Lawson, who played 26 minutes, scored 18 of his team’s 89 points in Thursday night’s opening game. He had a tough night of shooting behind the arc as he went 1-6 from three-point range, but he contributed in other ways as well. Lawson had a pair of assists and a pair of steals, one of which led to the breakaway dunk in the highlight below.
Lawson and his team went up against 16-time Grammy winner J. Cole, who plays Scarborough Shooting Stars for the expansion. Cole played 15 minutes and scored three points with a rebound and an assist.
Most of Lawson’s time in professional basketball since leaving South Carolina has been in the NBA G-League, where he played for the College Park Skyhawks, affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, the team that signed him after he had not been called up. During the 2021-22 season, he averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
Lawson has played with the Canada men’s national team at both junior and senior levels since 2018. He competed in the 2021 FIBA Americas World Cup Qualifier last fall.
Lawson played three seasons in South Carolina and was selected to be part of the SEC All-Freshman team in 2019. After his junior season, which was his senior year, with the Gamecocks, he was an All-SEC second-team selection. Lawson led the team in his final season in South Carolina, averaging 16.6 points per game while also adding 4.1 rebounds per game.
Lawson and the Nighthawks return to court Tuesday, May 31 against the Niagara River Lions.