Duke coach, former UNC women’s basketball player make history in Tokyo Olympics

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In the first-ever gold medal game for Olympic 3x3 basketball, Team USA’s women’s team took home the prestigious medal.

A key member of the team was Allisha Gray, who spent two seasons as a UNC basketball player before transferring in 2015 to play for South Carolina. While in Chapel Hill, she held a career average of 14.9 points per game.

And the team’s coach? Duke’s Kara Lawson.

The Olympic 3x3 format features unique rules to compared to 5-on-5 basketball, or even the 3-on-3 rules used on the blacktop or in pickup basketball. Each possession, the offensive team operates on a 12-second shot clock and shots from the field are worth either one or two points, rather than two or three. The games go to 21 points, but whoever is ahead after the lone 10-minute period wins.

Team USA defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 18-15 on Wednesday, making history as the first medalists in the sport’s Olympic debut.

Gray served as a solid offensive option for the team, scoring four points in the close-out victory. She totaled 48 points during the United States’ Olympic run, including as many as nine against Mongolia in a 21-9 victory.

Lawson served as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics before joining Duke in 2020. The team also featured Kelsey Plum, Jacquelyn Young and Stefanie Dolson, all of whom play in the WNBA. Lawson played in the WNBA from 2003 to 2015, winning a gold medal in 2008 as a player.

Gray currently plays in the WNBA as a member of the Dallas Wings.