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How Jordan Lawley became one of the NBA and WNBA’s most renowned basketball trainers

The behind-the-scenes people who work for professional athletes are the unsung heroes of sports fans. Jordan Lawley doesn’t get much of the credit when NBA and WNBA stars are shining on the court, but he is one of the trainers there for all the early-morning workouts in the offseason. Lawley is a professional basketball skills trainer based in Orange County, California, assisting athletes for more than a decade and helping them get into peak shape.

Lawley has plenty of basketball experience, playing in college with UC San Diego, and then going overseas to New Zealand and Mexico. After retiring from playing, Lawley began working a regular job while training a few basketball players on the side. He quickly realized he loved teaching basketball and turned his company into a full-time venture. It began by growing a YouTube channel to over 100,000 subscribers and led to working with basketball players like Carmelo Anthony.

The roster of Lawley’s other clients includes NBA players Julius Randle, Klay Thompson, Jalen Suggs, and Josh Giddey, and WNBA players Skylar Diggins-Smith and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis. Phil Handy became Lawley’s mentor in basketball training. Lawley considers him the godfather of modern basketball training, which led Handy to become an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. Handy is a three-time NBA champion as an assistant coach.

Jordan Lawley bounces back from life-threatening incident

Lawley was in an automobile accident in 2018, getting hit by another car on the freeway, which caused him to spin out and hit 12 other vehicles. He walked away from the accident but went to the hospital to get an MRI. The MRI discovered that Lawley had a brain tumor. After a 14-hour operation, most of it was removed, but it didn’t come without lasting effects. Lawley is deaf in his right ear, has balance issues, and his left glute has no feeling.

Lawley has used the experience to prove that anyone can overcome any adversity.

Jordan Lawley’s work for women’s basketball

Lawley has begun taking more of an interest in developing women’s basketball. He says, “To assist in the development of these girls going through younger levels to college to the WNBA has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Katie Lou Samuelson is one player who has benefitted from Lawley’s work. Samuelson credits his energy, positivity, and presence in the gym making him a great trainer. Samuelson believes that Lawley being in the gym promotes self-confidence in the players, whether or not he is directly training them.

Sydney Douglas is another player who benefits from working with Jordan. She is a top amateur player and the daughter of former pro Maylana Martin Douglas. Sydney is called “the future of basketball” by CaliforniaPreps, despite only being in eighth grade. Maylana played in the WNBA for two seasons after starring with UCLA in college. She moved on to coach with Portland, UCLA, and Pepperdine but retired in 2010.

Maylana is impressed by Lawley’s ability to take the most complex basketball ideas and break them down. Her daughter is just starting high school in the fall but benefits greatly from Jordan’s teachings.

Lawley is fighting to ensure that the WNBA is recognized the same as the NBA one day. He believes that as long as you show up and do the work, it doesn’t matter what gender you are or what league you play in.

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