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Semeka Randall Lay and NaSheema Anderson on basketball legacies

NaSheema Anderson and daughter Naz Hillmon, left (NaSheema Anderson photo). Semeka Randall Lay, right (Winthrop Athletics photo).
NaSheema Anderson and daughter Naz Hillmon, left (NaSheema Anderson photo). Semeka Randall Lay, right (Winthrop Athletics photo).

Basketball is not only a sport, but an extended family.

Two of its crown jewels – who have been friends since childhood – recently sat down to talk about growing up together and playing basketball in Cleveland, Ohio.

Semeka Randall Lay, who won a National Championship with Tennessee in 1998, went on to play in the WNBA for three years before transitioning to college coaching. After serving as interim head coach at Winthrop last season, Lay was named head coach earlier this spring.

NaSheema Anderson played at Vanderbilt, and then for two seasons in the ABL. She is the mother of Michigan forward Naz Hillmon, an All-American and the 2021 Big Ten player of the year. Anderson had been a mainstay on the sidelines of Wolverine games before the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed in-person attendance.

Lay is Hillmon’s godmother, and both she and Anderson share a number of friends in the game, both retired and currently playing.