Duke basketball coach Lawson building trust with her players

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Duke women's basketball coach Kara Lawson said her main priority since being hired was to get to know her players as people.

"I told all of our players there's going to be a standard that we have," Lawson said. "It's going to be up to them to get to that level. In order to do that you have to trust me, and I have to trust them. It comes down to building that relationship so that you can earn that trust."

Lawson said those relationships are helping her and the team navigate through the uncertainty about the season because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

"We talk about it," she added. "The uncertainty is hard for everybody, not just the athletes. I think that's the best way to do it is for them to understand that there is always an open flow of communication between our staff and between our players. I haven't sensed too much apprehension on their parts from the basketball standpoint. I think they would tell you that's the best part of their day is getting a chance to get out on the court, be with their new coaches and be with each other."

Lawson who came to Duke from the Boston Celtics has firsthand experience in the NBA bubble. She said it could work with college basketball -- if there is a way to accommodate academics.

"In college basketball, they are in class," Lawson said. "They have academic requirements. Some of them, depending on the school, are in person, some of them are not. That could present some logistical challenges, too. If you were going to do a bubble when you look at the quarantine and then you look at the length of time that the players would need to be in the bubble. Maybe postseason, that's a shorter time and there's a smaller number of teams."
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