Last week, the Virginia High School Hall of Fame announced their Class of 2021. It is sponsored by the Virginia High School League, Virginia’s primary organization of interscholastic sports among public high schools, and in recent years, some private schools as well. We aren’t a high school sports site, but when Kara Lawson, a former Washington Mystics player and Washington Wizards color analyst was named to their most recent class, we just have to give a shoutout!
Lawson is being honored primarily for her achievements in high school, not later on in college or professionally. Still, her accolades at the high school level alone are spectacular.
When she was a student at West Springfield High School in Fairfax County, the Spartans had an 83-2 record and won two state championships. Lawson was also named the 1999 Naismith High School Player of the Year, the Washington Post’s All-Met Player of the Year and a Parade All-American. You can read more about her accomplishments here.
Today, Lawson is in her second season as the head coach of Duke University’s women’s basketball team. The Blue Devils are currently ranked No. 16 in the country with an 11-3 record as of the time of this posting since they are playing rival No. 4 NC State as I write this.
The other inductees are:
- Allen Johnson, Lake Braddock, for track: He won the gold medal for the 110-meter hurdles in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta later on in his career. Lake Braddock is also in Fairfax County.
- Mike Compton, Richlands, for football, baseball and wrestling: He ultimately became an NFL lineman from 1993-2004 where he was on two Super Bowl-winning teams with the New England Patriots. Richlands is in Tazewell County, part of Southwest Virginia.
- J.J. Redick, Cave Spring, for basketball: As a high school player from Roanoke County, Redick led the Knights to their first-ever state championship in 2002 and was one of the top boys’ basketball players in the country, like Lawson was during her high school days. He went on to become the career leading scorer at Duke and play 15 years in the NBA.
- Claire Le Blanc, Coach of girls’ volleyball and field hockey at Green Run, Princess Anne and Frank W. Cox: Over a 22-year career, Le Blanc led state championship-winning teams in multiple sports at three high schools in Virginia Beach.
- Larry Parpart, Coach of boys’ basketball, girls’ Tennis and boys’ cross country at Hermitage and Douglas S. Freeman: He won state championships in tennis and cross-country as a head coach at two Henrico County high schools. Henrico County is just north of Richmond. His first title was in 1971 at Hermitage and his most recent was in 2021 for girls tennis at Freeman. Parpart didn’t win a basketball state championship, but he still won 536 games over a decades-long career and won two regional titles at Freeman in 1995 and 1996.
- Mike Webb, Coach of boys’ soccer at Courtland and Chancellor: He is best known as a soccer head coach at two schools in Spotsylvania County, just south of Fredericksburg. He won two state championships at Chancellor in 1990 and 2003.
- Jon Almquist, contributor: He was an athletic trainer in Fairfax County and worked on the VHSL’s Sports Advisory Committee.
- Craig Wood, contributor: He served as legal counsel with the VHSL.
The formal induction ceremony will be on Feb. 6 in Charlottesville. Duke will play at home against Wake Forest at 6 p.m. ET that day, so it remains to be seen if Lawson can make it.
Go Wiz!— Kara Lawson (@karalawson20) January 15, 2022