England Under-18 Ben Lawson has signed to play at NCAA Division 1 school Western Kentucky University next season.
The 6’11” forward who played for Hemel Storm Under-18s and Oaklands College last season has just returned from Latvia with England where he helped the side to a ninth place finish in their first summer in Division A. He says WKU’s basketball tradition is what helped him make the decision.
“WKU has a rich basketball history having been to the Final Four and Sweet Sixteen, and has ambition to get back there having been to the NCAA tournament for the past two seasons,” said Lawson who has only been playing basketball two years. “They’re very focused on player development which is important to me given I haven’t been playing long.
“I’m really looking forward to an opportunity to play and improve in a better higher level environment.”
Lawson averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and hit 40 percent of his 3-pointers with Oaklands last season, whilst chipping in with 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per game for England over the past fortnight.
Western Kentucky currently play in the Sun Belt Conference, however after Lawson’s freshman year will be moving to Conference USA.
WKU surprised in its first full season under head coach Ray Harper, going on to its second straight NCAA tournament appearance after winning four games in four days at the Sun Belt Conference tournament. The Hilltoppers lost 64-57 and finished their season 20-16.
Lawson received interest from a number of Division 1 and 2 schools, including Colgate, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, and Grand Canyon.
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