Former WNBA Player, Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award-Winner Alexis Gray-Lawson Hired to Lead Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School Women’s Basketball Program
Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School (SJND) has hired former professional basketball player and Cal Golden Bears star, Oakland-native Alexis Gray-Lawson, as Head Coach of the SJND Pilots Women’s Basketball program. Gray-Lawson comes to SJND from Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minn., where she served as Head Women’s Basketball Coach for five years.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Gray-Lawson was a basketball standout at Oakland Technical High School where she led her team to two California state titles and earned MVP honors. She was selected as a Parade and McDonald’s All-American in 2005. After high school, Gray-Lawson continued her basketball career at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving recognitions including All-Pac-10 First Team in 2009 and 2010, and Pac-10 All-Defensive team in 2010. She ended her career as Cal's all-time three-point leader (211) and played in more games (143) than any other player in Cal history. Gray-Lawson earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2009 World University Games held in Belgrade, Serbia. In 2010, she received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith award, which is presented by the WBCA annually to "the nation's most outstanding NCAA Division I female basketball player who stands 5'8" tall or under.” Today, Gray-Lawson is the No. 4 all-time leading scorer in Cal Women’s Basketball history.
In 2010, Gray-Lawson entered the WNBA draft and was selected 30th overall by the Washington Mystics. She later signed with the Phoenix Mercury, and also went on to play professionally in Turkey and Israel.
In 2015, Gray-Lawson joined Como Park Senior High School as Head Women’s Basketball Coach. There, she led the team to two section championships, earning the program’s first state championship berth, and becoming the youngest high school women’s coach in Minnesota state history to reach 100 wins. In 2019, she was named the All-Metro Sports Awards Girls' Coach of the Year.
“Alexis has an impressive track record as a player and most recently, as a high school coach. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will tremendously benefit our student-athletes both on and off the court. We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber return to the Bay Area to lead our program into the future,” said Carlos Arriaga, SJND Athletic Director.
Gray-Lawson joins the SJND Women’s Basketball program at an exciting time; in the last three years, the Pilots have won two North Coast Section (NCS) Championships (2018, 2020). During the 2019-2020 season, the SJND Varsity Women’s Basketball Team was selected to compete in the first CIF NorCal Regional Open Division playoff bracket, reserved for the top teams in the state. The Pilots finished the 2020 season second in Northern California and fourth overall in the state.
“Alexis’ contributions to the game of basketball, along with her character and heart to serve those around her, is remarkable,” said Julianne Guevara, Interim Principal of SJND. “Alexis utilizes the game as a vehicle to teach, inspire and lead young people; we are excited to welcome her into our Pilot family,” Julianne added.