Monday, September 16, 2019
Page 843

Coach Kay Yow passes away

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State’s Kay Yow, the Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach who won more than 700 games while earning fans with her decades-long fight against breast cancer, died on Saturday. She was 66.

Yow, first diagnosed with the disease in 1987, died Saturday morning at WakeMed Cary Hospital after being admitted there last week, university spokeswoman Annabelle Myers said.

“I think she understood that keeping going was inspirational to other people who were in the same boat she was in,” Dr. Mark Graham, Yow’s longtime oncologist, said Saturday.

Yow won more than 700 games in a career filled with milestones. She coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, earned 20 NCAA tournament bids and reached the Final Four in 1998.

She also was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002, while North Carolina State dedicated “Kay Yow Court” in Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.

But for many fans, Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer, from raising awareness and money for research to staying with her team through the debilitating effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatments. In her final months, Yow was on hormonal therapy as the cancer spread to her liver and bone.

She never flinched or complained, relying on her faith as the disease progressed. She commonly noted there were other patients with “harder battles than I’m fighting” and said it was inspiring for her to stay with her team.

“Almost everybody is dealing with something,” Yow said in a 2006 interview.

“We’re all faced with a lot of tough issues that we’re dealing with,” she said. “We know we need to just come to the court and let that be our catharsis in a way. You can’t bring it on the court with you, but we can all just think of basketball as an escape for a few hours.”

Yow was a past president and founding member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The group’s president and CEO both hailed her impact on the game and her legacy.

“In sickness and in health she was a bastion of courage and kindness,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale, the group’s president. “Her zest for life and her determination to make a difference in this world have galvanized our profession while inspiring millions.”

“Words cannot even begin to express the impact that Coach Yow had on me personally and on this Association,” said Beth Bass, the association’s CEO. “I have known her for 32 years, and she is by far one of the most amazing people I have had the opportunity to get to know. Her legacy and impact will continue to live on even in her passing through her foundation leading us toward a cure.”

“I am honored to have a Fund established in partnership with The V Foundation that bears the name of Kay Yow,” said V Foundation CEO Nick Valvano. “Her courage, faith and legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of those she helped to inspire throughout her coaching career and battle with cancer.”

“Kay taught us all to live life with passion and to never give up. She carried herself with great faith and dignity,” said ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer, who served on the V Foundation board with Yow. “ESPN will always be committed to the Kay Yow Fund of The V Foundation in her memory. She was truly a beautiful person.”

Yow announced earlier this month that she would not return to the team this season after she missed four games because of what was described as an extremely low energy level.

The team visited Yow in the hospital before leaving Wednesday for a game at Miami. Associate head coach Stephanie Glance — who led the team in Yow’s absences — met with the team Saturday morning to inform them Yow had died, Myers said.

Yow’s fight was never more public than when she took a 16-game leave to focus on her treatments during the 2006-07 season. After her return, her inspired Wolfpack won 12 of its final 15 games with wins against highly ranked rivals Duke and North Carolina in a run that attracted plenty of fans wearing pink — the color of breast-cancer awareness.

Her players also wore pink shoelaces for their coach.

“There were so many times I felt like giving up,” forward Khadijah Whittington said after the Wolfpack’s loss to Connecticut in the 2007 NCAA tournament’s round of 16, “and then I see Coach Yow and she never gives up.”

Yow always found ways to keep coaching even as she fought the disease. She spent most of games during that emotional 2007 run sitting on the bench while Glance stood to shout instructions at players or to help a weakened Yow to her feet.

“She’s the Iron Woman, with the Lord’s help,” Glance said.

Yow was quick to embrace her role as an example for others battling the disease. She often found herself going about her daily activities in Raleigh only to have someone stop her and say they were praying for her or that she was an inspiration to them.

“When they say that, it really gives me a lift because it’s at that time I know for sure that I’m not going through it for nothing,” Yow said in 2007. “That means a lot to me. I have to go through it. I accept that, and I’m not panicked about it because the Lord is in control. But it just would be so saddening if I had to go through it and I couldn’t help people.

“But then I see I’m helping others in a greater way than I ever have. That’s the amazing thing, you know?”

Born March 14, 1942, Sandra Kay Yow originally took up coaching to secure a job teaching high school English at Allen Jay High School in High Point in the 1960s. Her boss, along with the boys’ coach, agreed to help her plan practices and to sit on the bench with her during games. Midway through the season, Yow was on her own.

“Really, it was like love at first sight,” she said in 2004.

She spent four years there followed by another year in her hometown at Gibsonville High, compiling a 92-27 record. She moved on to Elon, going 57-19 in four seasons before being hired at N.C. State in 1975.

Her original cancer diagnosis came the year before coaching the United States to the gold in the Seoul Olympics. She had a mastectomy as part of her treatment, then discovered a lump in November 2004 close to where cancer was first discovered. She had surgery that December and started on a regimen of radiation and daily hormone therapy. Still, the cancer came back again and again.

She missed two games of the 2004-05 season while attending an eight-day nutritional modification program, which called on her to eat an organic-food diet free of meat, dairy products and sugar. She stayed on the diet for eight months, losing 40 pounds by keeping junk food and Southern favorites like biscuits and gravy off her menu.

Still, she cheated on her organic diet during home recruiting visits because she didn’t want to offend anyone by passing on a home-cooked meal.

Over the years, Yow never lost her folksy, easygoing manner and refused to dwell on her health issues, though they colored everything she did almost as much as basketball. Ultimately, her philosophy on both were the same.

“If you start to dwell on the wrong things, it’ll take you down fast,” Yow said in ’07. “Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I think of is I’m thankful. I’m thankful for another day.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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It’s stunning, waking up to this news. Even though it’s been known she’s been sick for a long time – 22 years, to be exact – she’s always been so tough and has fought back. I guess this time she couldn’t win.

In an unusually emotional interview, Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt remembers Yow, who she’s known for decades:

Rest in peace, Coach Yow. As much as you’ve been admired and respected for your fight both on and off the court, you will be missed.

More upsets!

Georgia Tech beat North Carolina! (Above, featuring Seattle’s own Jacqua Williams, screaming on the far left)

Georgia beat Vanderbilt! (No surprise to me since seeing Vandy in person in December – they’ve got weaknesses)

Tennessee beat Arkansas gets no exclamation point, as the only surprise is they didn’t beat them by more.

On the opposite side of upset, four games in the Pac-10 tonight showed that things are still pretty much the same in that conference for now (although there are signs of changes to come). More on that tomorrow – it’s so past my bed time right now.

LA Times high school girl’s basketball rankings

Just hitting the message boards, though the rankings came out a couple days ago, before some games might have changed things:

Rk. Team (Rec., Div.)
: 1 Mater Dei (19-0, SS-Div. II-A)
: 2 Cajon (16-0, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 3 Brea Olinda (15-2, SS-Div. II-AA)
: 4 Long Beach Poly (14-2, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 5 Foothill (16-1, SS-Div. III-A)
: 6 Troy (14-1, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 7 Millikan (14-2, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 8 Santa Monica (12-3, SS-Div. I-A)
: 9 Summit (14-4, SS-Div. II-A)
: 10 Inglewood (4-13, SS-Div. III-A)
: 11 Pacific Hills (11-7, SS-Div. IV-A)
: 12 St. Paul (11-5, SS-Div. IV-A)
: 13 Bell-Jeff (18-1, SS-Div. IV-AA)
: 14 Chatsworth (11-6, City-Div. I)
: 15 Muir (11-3, SS-Div. III-A)
: 16 Etiwanda (11-6, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 17 Woodbridge (17-2, SS-Div. III-AA)
: 18 Orange Lutheran (15-0, SS-Div. IV-AA)
: 19 Vista del Lago (16-0, SS-Div. II-AA)
: 20 Colony (12-2, SS-Div. I-A)
: 21 Canyon Springs (11-6, SS-Div. I-A)
: 22 Santa Maria St. Joseph (15-1, SS-Div. V-AA)
: 23 Santa Margarita (9-7, SS-Div. III-AA)
: 24 Corona Santiago (13-6, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 25 Marlborough (11-8, SS-Div. III-AA)

Someone on did a computer ranking of the top 50. Not sure what their criteria was to come up with the numbers at the right, but the rankings look pretty right on:

1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) 55.5
2 Cajon (San Bernardino, CA) 52.7
3 Brea Olinda (Brea, CA) 52.2
4 Poly (Long Beach, CA) 46.8
5 Foothill (Santa Ana, CA) 45.5
6 Troy (Fullerton, CA) 40.7
7 Santa Monica (CA) 39.5
8 Summit (Fontana, CA) 38.1
9 Inglewood (CA) 38.1
10 Millikan (Long Beach, CA) 36.5
11 St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs, CA) 36.5
12 Etiwanda (CA) 36.3
13 Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank, CA) 36
14 Woodbridge (Irvine, CA) 35.8
15 Colony (Ontario, CA) 35.5
16 Vista del Lago (Moreno Valley, CA) 35
17 Muir (Pasadena, CA) 34.9
18 Pacific Hills (Los Angeles, CA) 34.9
19 Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley, CA) 34.8
20 Santiago (Corona, CA) 34.1
21 Lutheran (Orange, CA) 33.9
22 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) 33.9
23 St. Joseph (Santa Maria, CA) 33.5
24 Marlborough (Los Angeles, CA) 33.2
25 Edison (Huntington Beach, CA) 33.2
26 Ayala (Chino Hills, CA) 33
27 Villa Park (CA) 33
28 Montclair Prep (Van Nuys, CA) 32.4
29 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA) 31.6
30 Norco (CA) 31.4
31 Agoura (CA) 31.4
32 Perris (CA) 31
33 San Clemente (CA) 30.9
34 Buena (Ventura, CA) 30.6
35 Beverly Hills (CA) 30.6
36 Bishop Amat (La Puente, CA) 30.3
37 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, CA) 30
38 Ventura (CA) 30
39 St. Mary’s Academy (Inglewood, CA) 30
40 Thousand Oaks (CA) 29.9
41 Canyon (Canyon Country, CA) 29.9
42 Huntington Beach (CA) 29.6
43 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, CA) 29.6
44 Rosary (Fullerton, CA) 29.3
45 Lynwood (CA) 29.2
46 Windward (Los Angeles, CA) 29
47 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) 28.8
48 Chatsworth (CA) 28.7
49 Great Oak (Temecula, CA) 28.6
50 Newbury Park (CA) 28.5

I’m going to the Cajon @ Brea Olinda game Saturday, with my homey Monique. I guess I’ll need to see Mater Dei and Foothill sometime soon, to round out my top five viewing.

Pretty soon we’ll just have recruiters in the maternity ward

Giving in to the young-and-younger movement in college basketball recruiting, the NCAA has decreed that seventh-graders are now officially classified as prospects.



North Carolina State Coach Kay Yow hospitalized

It was bad enough that longtime “Wolfpack” Coach Kay Yow had to give up coaching for the remainder of the season because of her ongoing battle with breast cancer. Now Yow has been hospitalized.

Today, before her team left on a road trip, they stopped by to see her. “The hardest part was having to leave,” reported

(Sad) link:

New WNBA draft order

My homey pt is reporting on the Atlanta Dream blog that since trading Alison Bales to Phoenix the other day, this is the new draft order for April. Well, at least until someone else makes a deal:

The newest version of the WNBA Draft Order after the Bales-to-Phoenix trade.


1. Atlanta
2. Washington
3. Chicago
4. Minnesota
5. Phoenix
6. Indiana
7. Sacramento
8. New York
9. Washington (from Los Angeles)
10. Connecticut
11. Detroit
12. Seattle
13. Los Angeles (San Antonio to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Los Angeles)


14. San Antonio (from Atlanta)
15. Washington
16. Chicago
17. Connecticut (from Minnesota) *
18. Atlanta (from Phoenix)
19. Indiana
20. Sacramento
21. New York
22. Los Angeles
23. Minnesota (from Connecticut) *
24. Washington (from Detroit)
25. Atlanta (from Seattle)
26. San Antonio


27. Atlanta
28. Washington
29. Chicago
30. Minnesota
31. Phoenix
32. Indiana
33. Sacramento
34. Phoenix (from New York)
35. Los Angeles
36. Connecticut
37. Detroit
38. Seattle
39. San Antonio

* – Conditional. Connecticut has the right to swap second round picks with Minnesota; we can only assume that they will.

pt’s blog:

WNBA players on the new President, and Catchings is going overseas

Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles native Noelle Quinn is excited about the new President:

Catchings also weighed in a few days ago, but this blog entry is more about how she packed up and went to go play in Poland this week:

This is funny:

…but during the Christmas holidays while I was visiting my family, I went to American Eagle and I bought some socks. I didn’t think much of it at the time… just felt like I wanted to get a couple of pairs because I knew they were on sale. So then I got home, tried on the socks and absolutely loved them! I mean I LOVED these socks! They’re the softest, most comfortable things I’ve ever worn on my feet.

Ah, Catch.

Sunday wins and Saturday blowups

Cal pulled off a stunner last night at their own Haas Pavilion, in front of 10,126 fans: they beat higher-ranked Stanford 57-54. It was the first time the Bears had beat the Cardinal at home since 1993, and Alexis Gray-Lawson’s 37 points was the most by a Cal player since 1987.

Cal Coach Joanne Boyle, who was literally jumping up and down after the game, and her team should be proud. Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer was gracious in defeat, acknowledging the spirit and decibel-level of the Cal crowd.

Across the country, a controversy has emerged in the wake of the Connecticut-Syracuse game. It’s the question of who tripped who – did UConn Coach Geno Auriemma trip Syracuse player Nicole Michael, or vice versa?,0,747661.column?page=1


There are also rumors that the Big East Conference is demanding both side impose sanctions on themselves. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, number one Connecticut faces their most formidable opponent to date this season tonight in second-ranked North Carolina. Hold on to your seats.

Staley on the rise

Great Mechelle Voepel piece on Dawn Staley, in reference to yesterday’s matchup between her team and Tennessee:

What Tennessee coach Pat Summitt most remembers about facing Staley at Virginia, though, is the year before. Virginia upset Tennessee in the 1990 East Regional final, preventing the host school from playing in that year’s Final Four here in Knoxville.

“I do have quite the memory about Dawn Staley,” Summitt said. “We were in [that 1990] regional championship game, and we didn’t have an answer for her. And we lost.

“We didn’t get to come back and play for a national championship at Thompson-Boling Arena. So when I see her, I have to get over that.”

Summitt smiled as she said that, but you can tell it still bugs her — despite now having eight NCAA titles. Meanwhile, Staley said that the 1990 East Regional win over Tennessee actually stands in her mind as the closest Virginia got to an NCAA title.

“That’s the only thing we can equate to a national championship, because we never won,” Staley said. “I’ve got two former Volunteers on my staff, and they bring it up more than I do.”


Doty tears ACL, Fuller changes number

While Maya Moore was blowing up her point total last night, freshman guard Caroline Doty went down on a play gripping her knee. The news just broke that it is indeed a torn ACL:

As much as I love women’s basketball with all my heart and soul, it tears me up that players suffer so many of these injuries. I hope Doty has the will of Sue Bird and Vicki Baugh, among others, and is able to make a full and complete recovery as quickly as possible.

In Orange Country, senior Alex Fuller has switched from number 44 to number 2. Her action is to honor point guard Cait McMahan, who last week gave up her season (and possibly career) due to chronic problems with her knee from an ACL tear in 2005. What an amazing gesture by Fuller.

Finally, Lady Vol graduate Nicky Anosike is in Thompson-Boling arena for today’s game against South Carolina. She received a standing ovation from fans before the game.

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