Posted Apr 29, 2004 09:20:39
Techsters Sign Dutchtown High School Prep Star
RUSTON - Although she said she had never been to a Louisiana Tech Lady Techster game in person, Dutchtown High School center Tia Lawson knows all about the highly successful women's basketball program in Ruston.
On Wednesday Lawson became a part of that program as she signed a national letter of intent to play for head coach Kurt Budke and Co. starting this fall.
"I've never been to a game, but I've seen them on television," Lawson said from her high school Wednesday afternoon. "I know what the Lady Techsters are about."
The 6-foot-2-inch center lettered the past two seasons for coach Annette Lowery at Dutchtown High School while helping lead the program to the school's first ever District 7-4A title as a junior.
While earning honorable mention all-state honors, Lawson averaged 15.1 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks this season as Dutchtown posted a 23-10 mark and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. In a 72-64 upset over No. 8 ranked Leesville, Lawson scored 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds.
"We look at Tia as a part of the future of this program," Budke said. "It's hard for any true freshman to come in to a program with this much talent and contribute immediately. She has some very talented, experienced post players in front of her. This will be a good opportunity for her to get accustomed to the Division I level and gradually improve while not feeling like she has to make an impact immediately."
Lawson also earned first team all-district honors as a junior and senior as well as first team all-metro accolades this past year. The daughter of Yolanda Chambers and Jason Delmore was also selected to play in the Great Eight All-Star Game.
Lowery said Lawson's work ethic and desire to succeed are two of her best attributes.
"Prior to our first season at Dutchtown (in 2002-03), I told our team that we were going to have our first practice at 2 a.m., sort of like a Midnight Madness," Lowery said. "I thought everyone understood I was joking until I got a call from Tia at 2 a.m. wondering where everyone was at. That's the type of kid she is. She works extremely hard. She is a great young lady and strong academically."
Lawson, who also earned academic all-state honors as well this past season, also played center on the Dutchdown volleyball team as well as throwing the shot put and discus for the track and field team.
"I'm very excited," said Lawson, who attended the Lady Techster Banquet on April 24. "I chose Louisiana Tech because I love the basketball program and the way they play. I love their attitude. It's a great place for me to play and get better."