Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kara Lawson to Expand Role with ESPN as NCAA Women's Tournament Studio Analyst

Former Tennessee Star Will Join Dales-Schuman And New Host Wingo

Kara Lawson, three-time Final Four participant and member of the 2005 WNBA Champion Sacramento Monarchs, will expand her growing role at ESPN as a studio analyst for the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. Lawson, a three-year WNBA guard, debuted as a studio analyst for ESPN2's coverage of women's basketball last month and will next appear on Thursday, Feb. 9 when her alma mater Tennessee hosts LSU at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. She will join first-year women's college basketball host Trey Wingo and returning analyst Stacey Dales-Schuman in studio on ESPN and ESPN2 for complete-game coverage of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, including the Final Four.

"Kara is an outstanding addition to our team who will provide more expert knowledge and contemporary analysis to our telecasts," said Tina Thornton, ESPN coordinating producer, remote production. "Stacey continues to blossom as a multi-talented commentator and we are thrilled to have Trey as our new studio host."

Lawson joined ESPN in 2004 as a game analyst for coverage of the NCAA Women's National Championship. She has also covered the 2004 and 2005 WNBA Drafts, and served as a courtside reporter for various women's college basketball telecasts. In addition, she has been a member of the Sacramento Kings' broadcasting team for the past two seasons, working as an analyst for the Kings House Party warm-up show, as well as the Kings' half-time and wrap-up shows.

Dales-Schuman joined ESPN in 2003 as a studio analyst and has since expanded her responsibilities as a reporter for various men's basketball and college football games. A college basketball standout and All-American at the University of Oklahoma, she led her team to the National Championship game in 2002. Dales-Schuman will also return to the WNBA in 2006 as a member of the Chicago Sky, the League's new expansion team.

Besides his new women's college basketball duties, Wingo also serves as host of ESPN's NFL Live and is heavily involved with ESPN's NFL Draft coverage and contributes as a anchor for SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship sports-news program. Wingo joined ESPN in November 1997 as an ESPNEWS anchor and has also hosted ESPN's Baseball Tonight and ESPN2's NBA 2Night.

This season, the ESPN networks will feature 130 women's basketball games (up from 100), including 49 regular-season contests, 15 conference tournament matchups, the NCAA Division II Semifinals and Championship and all 63 NCAA Division I Championship contests. The advent of ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, further increased the commitment of women's basketball, featuring an extensive 27-game schedule. This will also mark the fourth straight year ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN FULL COURT will combine to present all 63 games from the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. In addition, ESPN will now showcase the exclusive live announcement of the 64-team NCAA tournament field as part of the new NCAA Selection Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. ET.

NOTE: ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPNU's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament schedule will be announced on a later date.

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