College basketball lost one of its greatest legends this morning. Kay Yow, coach of my alma mater’s – North Carolina State – women’s basketball team, died this morning after battling breast cancer for over 20 years.
She taught not just people with cancer but all of us how to live with determination, perseverance, hope, and love of life regardless of the obstacles no matter how difficult they might be. She coached while undergoing chemo; she coached despite being so weak that her assistant coach had to help her stand up during games, and she did so without complaint. No matter what happened to her, she continued to teach and inspire and help others find the strength to battle cancer or to battle any challenge in their lives.
We suspected things had taken a final turn recently when she announced she would not coach for the rest of this season. If someone told you that Coach Yow had wrestled a speeding tank into submission, you’d have believed it. That’s just how she was. Everyone knew that she would have had to have been in terrible pain to stay off the sidelines. May she now find her rest.
In the dictionary next to strength and honor and dignity and grace and courage and perseverance, there should be a picture of Kay Yow. She may have left us, but her legacy will endure forever.
May we as parents learn how to follow the path of courage and determination she set out for us. Our challenges are great, but our own courage and determination can be greater.
Our condolences go out to her family, friends, staff, and players.
Godspeed, Coach Yow.