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Wooddale's Johnathan Lawson, a three-star forward, commits to Oregon basketball

Commercial Appeal Memphis logo Commercial Appeal Memphis 10/8/2020 Khari Thompson, Memphis Commercial Appeal
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Johnathan Lawson celebrated his 18th birthday Wednesday by announcing he has committed to Oregon.

The three-star forward from Wooddale picked the Ducks over finalists Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa State, and Vanderbilt. 

"I picked Oregon because I thought it was the best fit for me," Lawson said. "With the guys that they have leaving, they said that I'll be able to come in and have a big impact right away. I have a good relationship with Coach Altman and playing with my brother is a bonus on top."

a group of people on a court: Class AA Mr. Basketball Finalist Johnathan Lawson, Wooddale -- Wooddale’s Johnathan Lawson tries to get past the defense of Lausanne’s Moussa Cisse during the ARS National Hoopfest at Olive Branch High School on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. © Joe Rondone, Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal Class AA Mr. Basketball Finalist Johnathan Lawson, Wooddale -- Wooddale’s Johnathan Lawson tries to get past the defense of Lausanne’s Moussa Cisse during the ARS National Hoopfest at Olive Branch High School on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

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The 6-foot-6 senior is the No. 3 prospect in the state according to the 247sports Composite and ranked No. 134 nationally. 

Lawson said on Aug. 30 that he planned to enroll in college in January if Shelby County Schools is unable to play basketball. 

Shelby County Schools has indefinitely postponed fall sports and there has been no word on whether winter sports will be played. The district has not yet published metrics on what it would take for winter sports to happen. 

"It depends if we have a season," Lawson said. "I'm hearing we might have one in January or we might not have one at all. If we do, I'll stay and continue my legacy in Memphis. If we don't I'll try to go to school in January."

Lawson said that he spoke with the Oregon coaching staff about potentially enrolling in January. 

"I talked to coach," Lawson said. "He said that I could come so I could get stronger, get the playbook down, and get ready for next season."

Lawson led Shelby County in scoring last season with 26.1 points per game. He also averaged 12.3 rebounds and was named the Class AA Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Tennessee Boys Basketball player of the year. 

He'll be reunited with his older brother, Oregon sophomore forward Chandler Lawson, who averaged 4.5 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Ducks last season. Johnathan's first time visiting the state of Oregon was when he watched Oregon play Memphis in Portland last season. He hasn't visited Eugene yet. 

"It was kind of wild committing to a place where I've never been, but the virtual thing helped and showed the pros and cons," Lawson said.

The Youngest: What's different about Wooddale's Johnathan Lawson, the youngest of the basketball star brothers?

Player of the Year: Wooddale's Johnathan Lawson named Gatorade Tennessee boys basketball player of the year

Chandler and Johnathan led Wooddale to its first state title in 2019. It was the second straight state title for Johnathan, who was on Memphis East's Class AAA state title team as a freshman. The Cardinals, who are coached by their father Keelon Lawson, had never won a boys basketball state tournament game before the Lawson family got there. 

Wooddale qualified for the Class AA state tournament again last spring and were among the favorites to win, but the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19. 

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Wooddale's Johnathan Lawson, a three-star forward, commits to Oregon basketball

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