Lawson is back with the Sun
Mohegan — Injuries had already helped create a tumultuous summer for Sun guard Kara Lawson long before she was forced to stare at life and death.
And maybe the emotion of it all finally overcame her Wednesday, when Lawson, whose reputation as being tougher than Clorox is well earned, broke down talking to reporters after Wednesday's workout.
Lawson specified the "family issue" which has caused her to be away from the Connecticut Sun for the last two weeks.
Her father, Bill, suffered a heart attack.
"I've been hearing a lot of speculation about why I've been gone," Lawson said after the Sun finished preparing for tonight's game with Minnesota at Mohegan Sun Arena (7 p.m., CPTV Sports).
"People have been saying the team didn't want me here, sent me away, things like that, (even) marital problems," Lawson said. "The reason I was gone is because … "
Lawson was unable to finish the sentence, overwhelmed by the situation with her dad.
Lawson later said her father is "improving, but he still has a long way to go."
Lawson never specifically addressed the source(s) of the speculation.
"People have been saying some other things, not the truth," she said. "I just want the fans to know that. … Somebody asked me if I was having marital problems. They thought that was the 'family issue.' People speculate and I understand it's people's jobs to speculate.
"I just think a 'family issue' is personal," Lawson said. "Once I kept having things being questioned about my professionalism and about what I bring to the team, I thought it was important to share something personal to me and my family."
Lawson said the team asked her to return.
"I would rather be with my family to be honest," she said. "We all have jobs and we all have places we need to be."
Lawson was asked if she was grateful to the organization for allowing her to leave and be with her family.
"I think it was the right thing to do," she said. "My dad was in critical condition, grave condition. The doctors were telling us he wasn't going to make it. If the team hadn't let me go, I would have left, to be frank. They just told me when I had to come back."
Lawson, who had missed games previous to her father's illness with a bone bruise in her knee, said she's "questionable" to play tonight. She hadn't talked to trainer Jeremy Norman after Wednesday's workout.
"It's sore today," she said. "Not having done anything on it for a few weeks, I'm trying to feel out where it is."
The Sun, depleted all season, learned Tuesday that Allison Hightower (knee) and Kelly Faris (foot) would miss the rest of the season. Sun coach Anne Donovan said that Lawson's availability would determine whether they'd sign another player.
"I don't think it's possible for my mind to be on something else," Lawson said, alluding to her dad's condition and adding that she had been spending 14 hours per day in the hospital. "I don't think playing basketball is going to take my mind off it."
Minnesota (18-7) features former UConn great Maya Moore and former Sun great Lindsay Whalen.
Breast Health Awareness Night
The Connecticut Sun celebrate Breast Health Awareness Night tonight and will wear pink uniforms. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on those jerseys, autographed memorabilia from around the WNBA and professional sports, and team experience packages in a silent auction along with other items on the concourse. Proceeds will be donated to local breast cancer charities.
The auction items are: lunch with Tina Charles and Nykesha Sales; a game of H-O-R-S-E With Renee Montgomery; an autographed replica jersey of either Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings; a Jon Lester autographed jersey; mini basketballs autographed by either Elena Delle Donne, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen; Four Barbeque Tent tickets to the Pawtucket Red Sox (Aug. 26 game only);two Champions Club tickets to the Deutsche Bank Championship (Sept. 1 only); four field level tickets to any New York Mets game at Citi Field; four grandstand tickets and four pit passes to the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sept. 22); a Mystic Country Experience package; a Night On The Water Experience package; two tickets to So You Think You Can Dance at Mohegan Sun Arena (Oct. 18); two Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons tickets at Mohegan Sun Arena plus one hotel stay that evening (Nov. 10); four Keith Urban tickets at Mohegan Sun Arena (Nov. 15); and two Straight No Chaser tickets at Mohegan Sun Arena plus one hotel stay that evening (Dec. 8).
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The Connecticut Sun play at the defending WNBA champion Chicago Sky at noon on Wednesday. The Sky have played some of their best basketball of late and won six of their last seven games.