WACO, Texas (KWTX) Lady Bears head coach Kim Mulkey isn't just getting praise from celebrities and household names in the sports world after the announcement of her selection for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, but also some young female basketball players in Central Texas.
The girls admire the coach so much they joined in a parade of cars, which caught Mulkey by surprise as drove by with horns honking as she stood in her front yard just after getting the news Saturday. (Courtesy photo)
As soon as the news broke that Mulkey would be part of the 2020 class of inductees girl players ages 8-12 who are part of an organization called Youth Lady Bears, whose name was chosen because of the girls’ admiration for the Baylor Lady Bears, began recording messages of congratulations for the 3-time national championship winning coach.
"Congratulations Coach Mulkey on your basketball hall of fame induction," said 10-year-old Zaydi Gonzalez. "No one deserves it more than you and just so you know there are a lot of girls out here that are looking up to you."
Teammate Jayada Greene echoed the sentiment.
"Thank you for inspiring little girls like me to have big dreams," Jayada said.
"One day I want to be just like you."
"I am very excited for coach Kim because I feel she deserves it and has worked hard throughout her whole career for this," said 12 year-old player Kamil Ajose.
Kamil's younger 8-year-old sister Kensie feels the same.
The girls admire the coach so much they joined in a parade of cars, which caught Mulkey by surprise as they drove by with horns honking as she stood in her front yard just after getting the news Saturday.
The announcement was supposed to come the day before the Women's NCAA finals game in New Orleans, which was canceled as the coronavirus began to spread throughout the United States.
The parade of cars was done with social distancing in mind.
"I'm really excited and I think she'll be happy to see me," Kensie said.
Player Aryana Telllo said Mulkey's passion inspired her to always give basketball her best.
"Her energy and love for the game has inspired me to be a better player," Aryana said.
Player Kate Ayres agreed.
"She's done so much for women's basketball on and off the court and she's won three national championship," she said.
Lilah Porter said seeing a small town girl from Louisiana make it into the hall with someone like Kobe Bryant proves to her anything is possible.
“Kim Mulkey inspires me because she's a leader and she shows other girls that we can be leaders, too," Lilah said.
The ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 29 at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.