Memphis to hire father of 3 top basketball recruits as assistant coach

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Memphis, TN, United States (4E Sports) – Keelon Lawson, a high school mentor and a father of three elite recruits, is expected to join Memphis coach Josh Pastner’s staff as an assistant within the next few weeks.

Sources said the move is expected to be finalized before the end of July. Lawson would replace Jason Gardner, who left in April to become the head coach at IUPUI, on Pastner’s staff.

Lawson is the head coach at Hamilton High in Memphis and is the last coach to lead a city school to a state title while going unbeaten in the largest classification.

Before accepting Memphis’ offer, he also spoke to at least two other schools — including Vanderbilt — about potentially joining their coaching staffs.

Keelon is the father of three heralded recruits. The oldest, K.J. Lawson, is a 6-foot-7 wing, has committed to play at Memphis.

Keelon’s hiring was seen as a move to lure Dedric Lawson, a 6-8 power forward in the Class of 2016 who is ranked seventh in the country.

Chandler Lawson is a 6-6 wing who is ranked No. 1 overall in the Class of 2019 by one recruiting site while Jonathan Lawson is a sixth-grader who one coach said “may be the best of all of the brothers.”

Dedric Lawson recently said that he likely would commit to Memphis if his father joins the Tigers’ staff. He is also strongly considering Kentucky.

“That would probably seal the deal for me, to commit to Memphis,” Dedric said.

This wouldn’t be the first time a father with ties to a recruit was hired.

Larry Brown hired Ed Manning at Kansas prior to locking up Danny Manning, and Bill Self hired Ronnie Chalmers on his staff with the Jayhawks a few years ago to help secure Mario Chalmers.

Recently, Texas A&M hired John Reese to help lure J-Mychal Reese, who recently left the school and transferred to North Texas.

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