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Report: Keelon Lawson’s hire at Memphis to become offical this week

Jul 16, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT

Josh Pastner AP

Keelon Lawson is a former college basketball player that has become a state-title winning high school coach in Memphis, Tenn.

That makes him a legitimate target as an assistant coach at the Division I level, but what makes his imminent hire at Memphis — reportedly to become official in the next 48 hours, according to CBSSports.com and the Memphis Commercial-Appeal — is that Lawson happens to be the father of K.J., Dedric, Chandler and Jonathon.

K.J., a 6-foot-7 wing, is the No. 57 recruit in the Class of 2015 and already committed to Memphis. Dedric is a 6-foot-8 four-man and the No. 8 recruit in the Class of 2016, reportedly on the brink of committing to Memphis. Chandler is already 6-foot-6 despite being in the Class of 2019, also known as a rising-eighth grader. And Jonathan, who is 12, has a future that is just as bright.

The family is also related to current Memphis assistant Robert Kirby, meaning that head coach Josh Pastner has pulled out all stops in an effort to land each and every one of the Lawsons.

This wouldn’t be the first time that an assistant coach was hired in order to get his son onto campus. Ed Manning was hired by Larry Brown into to get Danny Manning to Kansas. John Reese was hired by Texas A&M to entice his son, J-Mychal, who has since transferred to North Texas.

The NCAA has made a push in recent years to eliminate these kind of package deals, where a relative or high school/AAU coach leverages his association with a prospect into a job. But there was an exception that was made: if the coach or relative is hired as one of the program’s three fulltime assistants, it is allowed.

  1. namriverrat69 - Jul 17, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    Josh isn’t the first coach to do this. Back in 1966 LSU hired Press Maravich away from NC State to coach LSU with one of the conditions that Pistol Pete Maravich come to LSU to play for his dad. It worked and Pistol Pete Maravich had a terrific career at LSU where he averaged 43.8 ppg in college and over 23 ppg in the pros. Unfortunately Pistol Pete died of a heart attack during a break in a pick up game an hour after it started at First Church of the Nazarene Parker’s Gymnasium in Pasadena, CA. It was a trajedy that he left this life so early on January 5, 1988. He was so much fun to watch with his long hair and floppy socks which went against tradition. He was one of a kind and we are all the better for enjoying his game in his time.

    He was one heck of a player. When he left college he was the all time scoring leader.

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