Former South Carolina basketball player AJ Lawson is off to a strong start in the Canadian Basketball League this summer. Lawson plays for the Guelph Nighthawks and the team is off to a 1-0 start, with a big pass to Lawson for their opening night win.
Lawson, who played 26 minutes, scored 18 of his team’s 89 points Thursday night in Game 1. He had a tough night shooting from behind the arc, going 1-for-6 from three-pointers, but he also contributed in other ways. 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 took on 16-time Grammy winner J. Cole, who plays for the Scarborough Shooting Stars expansion. Cole played 15 minutes and scored three points with a rebound and an assist.
Lawson’s most time in professional basketball since leaving South Carolina came in the NBA G-League where he played for the College Park Skyhawks, which is the affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, the team that signed him after he was not drafted. He averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game in the 2021-22 season.
Lawson has been playing with Canada’s National Men’s Team at both junior and senior level since 2018. He competed in the FIBA Americas World Cup 2021 Qualifiers last fall.
Lawson played for three seasons at South Carolina and was selected to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2019. He was a second All-SEC selection after his junior season, which was his senior year, with the Gamecocks. Lawson led the team in scoring his final season at South Carolina averaging 16.6 points per game while adding 4.1 rebounds per game.
Lawson and the Nighthawks return to the field on Tuesday, May 31 against the Niagara River Lions.