Saturday, January 24, 2009

RIP Kay Yow (Updated)

Kay Yow died today. She was 66 and had fought breast cancer for 22 years.

I met Kay Yow once, at the Women's Final Four in Los Angeles in 1992. She was there for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association convention. We rode in an elevator down to the lobby with her. They were glassed in elevators that made a lot of people nervous. She was tall and lean, rangy and a little stooped over. (I didn't know she was a cancer survivor already). She had a rough, husky voice and an electric presence. She told some joke that had a slightly bawdy punchline, laughed uproariously at her own joke, said goodbye to everyone on the elevator and strode off when the doors opened.

That's the way I'll remember Kay Yow, the force of nature I met that day.

RIP Kay Yow. Yow's story touched players, fans

Mechelle Voepel, Yow's considerable efforts will live on

AP: Kay Yow, Basketball Coach, Dies at 66 A Chronology of Kay Yow's Life

Photo Gallery, Kay Yow, 1942-2009

UPDATE: Go to this link for a wide-ranging interview with Kay Yow (did you know her first name was Sandra?) as part of the University of North Carolina's Southern Oral History Program Collection. You can listen to the audio or read the transcript of the interview.


Cheryl said...

I had recently moved to North Carolina (circa 2002) when I had the pleasure of sitting next to Ms. Yow on an airline flight. Early in our conversation, she asked me which of the North Carolina college teams had I chosen as my favorite. I told her that I lived an equal distance between Duke and UNC, Chapel Hill, so it was a toss up between the two. Later, before we departed ways, she politely explained to me that they were going to have to get me interested in State, and it was then that she told me that she was the women’s basketball coach.

Since that encounter, I have seen Coach Yow on television many times. I always smile and remember the lovely time I had talking with her. It was an encounter that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

truth said...

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