NC State holds Yow Tribute

January 28, 2009 4:46:01 PM PST
North Carolina State threw open the doors of Reynolds Coliseum Wednesday night for a special tribute to former women's head basketball coach Kay Yow.The event was held on the basketball court that bears her name.

"She was a teacher as well as a coach and this was her classroom and this is where she was happiest," offered NC State Athletic Director Lee Fowler.

The 66-year-old Yow died last Saturday after a two-decade fight with breast cancer. She was first diagnosed with the disease in 1987.

Many of the speakers marveled at how she managed her health crisis and still continued to coach.

"When she was faced with diversity, she rallied with a positive, determined attitude," said NC State Chancellor James Oblinger.

He said that she made a difference in the lives of students and the people who took courage from her courage in dealing with cancer.

Jenny Palmateer, who played for Coach Yow, talked about her dedication to her players long after they'd left the program.

"To Coach Yow, coaching was really about teaching," she said. "Basketball was about helping us mature and become young ladies and get our degrees."

School officials also showed a nearly 20 minute long video that chronicled the coaching life of Coach Yow and her battle with cancer.

Among the high points were clips from some of her many victories and the testimony of players who said she was a major inspiration in their lives.

Yow was 737-344 in 38 seasons as coach -- 34 with the Wolfpack. She coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four ACC 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 the school dedicated "Kay Yow Court" in Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.

She was also an amazing cancer activist. She raised awareness and money for cancer research. She also served on the board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and her friend and colleague, former N.C. State men's coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993.

On Thursday, the Wolfpack plays its first game since her death against Boston College. On Friday, comes Yow's funeral, followed by her burial the next day in her hometown of Gibsonville.


Load Comments