One thing was clear during the Good Sports TD Garden Invitational on Sunday – Andrew Lawson’s legacy will live on.
The day, which featured 18 high school basketball teams play on the Boston Celtics’ home floor, was also a celebration of Lawson’s life. Lawson’s inspiring story played on the Jumbotron all day. Several teams wore warm-up shirts with Lawson’s ‘25’ on the back. Auctions were held to raise money for the Andrew James Lawson Foundation.
The foundation’s mission is to: “To advance and improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by funding, developing and promoting programs, projects or individual scholarships that encourage and support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and help foster inclusion in their community.”
“I would take him to two to three Celtics games a year,” said Andrew’s father, James, on Sunday. “He loved being on the Jumbotron, and now he is.”
Lawson passed away in February of 2018 after a battle with cancer at 27. Lawson was deeply ingrained in the Norwell High sports community. He is the only person to ever be inducted into the NHS Athletic Hall of Fame as a coach, player and friend of Norwell Athletics.
During his time at NHS, Lawson was a three-sport athlete. After graduating, he served as an assistant coach on the boys basketball and soccer teams.
In 2017, the Norwell boys soccer team won the Division 3 South Sectional title and Lawson was there to witness it despite his battle with cancer.
“When he raised that trophy when we won the south sectional trophy (in soccer) that was the greatest feeling in the world,” said Sean Coffey, a Norwell senior that was on that 2017 soccer team and played at the TD Garden on Sunday. “He kept it in his house. He would show it to all of his guests. He’s just the spirit of our team.”
Lawson’s list of accomplishments is a long one. Andrew and his family were inducted into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2008, he received the Boston Celtics Heroes Among Us Award and had a segment on HBO Real Sports while being interviewed by Frank Deford.
“His number is etched into the Norwell community,” said Norwell senior Aidan Teahan. “Twenty-five is everywhere.
“It’s awesome to see everyone rallying around him, all of the sports communities.”