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PRCC men’s basketball adds proven recruiter to staff



POPLARVILLE, Miss. — Pearl River head basketball coach Chris Oney is bringing in Kyle Lawson, a proven recruiter and player developer, as his lead assistant for the 2023-24 season.

Lawson joins Oney’s staff after spending 2022-23 as an assistant at State Fair Community College in Missouri.

“The tradition that Coach Oney built is pretty impressive,” Lawson said. “Being able to learn from someone like him and getting into Mississippi, which I think is a very underrated conference and region, is very exciting.

“Going 18-8 was a great year, but I want to help coach Oney get another coach of the year, get another championship, go to Hutch. I think that is on the forefront of his mind, and if I can help him get to that I have done my job. ”

Oney announced the addition on July 3.

“I thought it was important to get someone with junior college experience,” head coach Chris Oney said. “I wanted someone who could do multiple things at this level and Kyle checked all of the boxes. He has definitely hit the ground running.

“It’s been refreshing to walk into the office and talk about our needs with the program and to watch him work and try his best to fulfil those needs. He is going to be a really good addition and will help take this program in the right direction.”

Lawson comes to Pearl River from State Fair Community College, where he served as an assistant coach for the 2022-23 season. Lawson helped develop two NJCAA All-Region XVI players. He served as the Roadrunners’ Defensive Coordinator, Recruiting and Strength and Conditioning Coordinator and oversaw the day-to-day basketball operations.

“Being with him (Oney) this past weekend, I can tell how intelligent he is and passionate he is for the game of basketball, but also holding a standard for the guys and their success as well. He wants them to be good young men, but he also wants them to succeed after this,” Lawson on the opportunity to work with Oney. “You don’t really get to see the best of them until you get to watch them on TV a couple of years after. I’m ready to learn that standard and how he balances incoming freshmen and transfers.”

Lawson spent the 2021-2022 season as an assistant coach at Black Hills State University in South Dakota. The 2022 season saw the Yellow Jackets first appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. Black Hills reached the Final Four and earned their first-ever national ranking. During his time at Black Hills, Lawson helped develop the 2022 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference’s (RMAC) Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. The Yellow Jackets also received the 2022 Brechler Award for earning the highest men’s basketball team GPA in the RMAC. Lawson served as the recruiting and travel coordinator and developed the team’s weekly scouting reports. He also served as the Camp Coordinator for all seasonal camps.

Lawson looks forward to building his in-game coaching skills to complement his established recruiting and scouting experience. “Coach Oney is really good at on-the-floor coaching, when to call a timeout, when not to call a timeout, what is he looking for in an out-of-timeout play,” Lawson said. “I am also excited to see how he will build his system based on the people he has coming in.”

Before Black Hills, Lawson was an assistant coach at Dawson Community College for the 2020-2021 season. The Buccaneers compiled a 23-3 record for the season and won the MonDak Conference and the NJCAA Region XIII Championships. Lawson helped develop one NJCAA All-American and two First Team All-Conference players. Lawson served as the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator and was responsible for creating the team’s scouting reports.

In addition to the 2021-2022 season, Lawson was a Graduate Assistant at Black Hills from 2018-2020.

Lawson looks forward to hitting the ground running in recruiting and getting to know the 2023-24 Wildcats. “Scouting, once I watch three or four games, I can pretty much remember everything else. There is nothing else like game planning,” he said. “All the intense build-up to it, being in the moment and calling a play when you figure out what they are running. Having the guys being able to stop it is pretty fun.”
“I have a passion for people, giving the guys a shoulder to lean on when they might be down and just making sure they are cared for and loved for.”

Outside of basketball, Lawson is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.

Lawson was a standout player for Foothill High School in Tustin, Ca. He was named 2nd Team All-Sea View and Foothill’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Lawson played one season at Orange Coast College, averaging 9.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He earned the Coaches’ Award following the 2016 season.

Following his playing time at Orange Coast, Lawson played in 41 games over two seasons at Metropolitan State University-Denver.

Lawson earned an Associate of Arts degree from Orange Coast College and a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Athletic Administration from MSU Denver. He holds a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership from Black Hills State University.

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