Kay Yow Court

You’d have to have been hiding under a rock the last few days to have not been touched by Kay Yow’s return to the NC State bench and big wins, including Friday night’s shallacking of UNC-Chapel Hill on Senior night in Reynolds Coliseum.

Check that. Not just Reynolds Coliseum…but at newly named ‘Kay Yow Court’ at Reynolds Coliseum.

The story around Coach Yow’s 2007 season and stage 4 cancer is of national interest. ESPN ran this feature today on the heels of the Charlotte Observer’s feature on Coach Yow this weekend.

These stories are MUST READS for everyone.

Friends told her to rest and return to coaching next year. “But I have Stage 4 cancer. There is nothing that assures me that next year I could do it any more than I could now,” Kay Yow said.

Shortly before Valvano died 14 years ago, Yow attended a Wednesday mass with him. Afterward, they went to a breakfast place Valvano liked. They talked about faith and life and death.

Yow’s mother fought cancer for nearly six years and did not respond well to treatments. Almost every Sunday afternoon of her adult life, Yow would drive to Gibsonville and eat dinner with her family. Her mother’s illness changed that.

Lib Yow, Kay’s mother, and Valvano ended up one floor apart at a Raleigh hospital in their dying days. At night, Kay would sit by her mother’s bed. When her mother went to sleep, Yow would go upstairs and sit with Valvano’s family outside his room. Valvano died a few months before Yow’s mother.

“There’s no secret answer to this,” Yow said. “Just let Him be in control. I’d like to be in control, but He’s in control. If His final say is that I don’t make it, as long as I know it’s His say, then I know it’s right.”

Near the end of his life, Valvano gave the world his message of hope, explaining that cancer could take his body but not his mind, his heart and his soul.

Yow has a copy of that speech and has seen it several times — but not recently.

Her favorite part, she said, is when a stage manager tries to hurry Valvano off the stage. He responds, saying: “That screen is flashing up there 30 seconds like I care about that screen right now, huh? I got tumors all over my body. I’m worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds, huh?”

Yow laughed softly at the memory, the tissue at her eyes again.

“I know how he felt ,” she said.

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33 Responses to Kay Yow Court

  1. xphoenix87 02/20/2007 at 1:39 AM #

    I’ve attended Wolfpack Women’s games for my whole life, every home game and most of the games at UNC and Duke. I’ve never seen anything that even remotely compares to Friday night’s game. The combination of it being senior night, the naming of the court, and the incredible upset led by those same seniors was just amazing. I’m not an emotional person, but I was tearing up during the naming ceremony. There isn’t a classier coach in all of sports than Kay Yow, and she certainly deserves it. If you haven’t been paying attention to the womens team this year, you’ve missed your last chance to see a home game, but I would encourage you to follow the team in the ACC tourney and the NCAAs. They’re a team with potential to make a long run, and it might end up being the last chance to watch a legend on the sidelines. Go Pack!

  2. Sw0rdf1sh 02/20/2007 at 7:39 AM #

    Great article/thread. Let us hope Yow has more years and energy left to keep up the legacy.

    Go Pack!

  3. BoKnowsNCS71 02/20/2007 at 8:23 AM #

    I would really like to see a Jim Valvano something.

  4. graywolf 02/20/2007 at 8:42 AM #

    Great articles and a great thread regarding a legacy for NC State and womens athletics.
    It is my hope that this 7 game win streak continues until the final game of the national championship…..
    Go Pack!

  5. graywolf 02/20/2007 at 8:44 AM #

    BoKnowsNCS71″I would really like to see a Jim Valvano something”

    Maybe Coach Lowe has something in mind. It would be fitting to see the RBC court names the Valvano/Sloan court at the RBC Center.

  6. Gene 02/20/2007 at 8:49 AM #

    Hope this turns out to a be great year for the women’s team. Glad we named the court at Reynolds after Coach Yow. With all the history in the building, it’s fitting to name it after her. She’s won more games on that court than any other single coach.

  7. Wulfpack 02/20/2007 at 9:34 AM #

    SFN, Thank You! Great job.

  8. BoKnowsNCS71 02/20/2007 at 9:58 AM #

    graywolf. — Sure hope so. Recognition for both Norm and Jim is long overdue.

    Glad Kay was honored – she’s a Hall of Famer.

  9. packbackr04 02/20/2007 at 10:45 AM #


  10. Wxwolf 02/20/2007 at 10:52 AM #

    ^I’m sure RBC Centura will appreciate a refund on their naming rights money.

    Those are both great articles. I hope I can go see the women play this weekend here in Miami.

  11. redfred2 02/20/2007 at 11:22 AM #

    Kay Yow is a hall of famer and yet another who was touched by the life of Jim Valvano. I have to believe that his inspiration has helped her much in coping with her own battle.

    Everybody remembers that side of Jimmy V. Just a fun loving basketball coach who made the most of every opportunity that he encountered. One whose legacy will continue to live on accomplishing much and helping to provide hope for people in all walks of life, for years to come. But wait, after the most comprehensive NCAA investigation ever, we find out that the most damning evidence involves a pair of tennis shoes, and because of that NC State just can’t see it’s way to be attached to the man in any way.

    If there really is a reason to “Never give up,” you couldn’t find a single trace of it in the offices of administration at NCSU. They can go through coach after coach and I’ll still be pulling for the WOLFPACK, but if there was ever one reason to give up on NCSU altogether, it is the way that they handled, and continue to handle, what the man, Jim Valvano, meant not only to NC State University, but anyone who was ever around him back then, and even more importantly what his name represents today.

    It is damned frustrating how those people now in Raleigh get paid so well to deny and discard it all, just because they are so afraid of a few bumps in the road in NC State’s rich history.

  12. Lock 02/20/2007 at 11:26 AM #

    Redfred, if ever we agree on something, ^ that is most certainly it. I remember listening to my father react to reading Personal Fouls…I learned a few new words from him during that time. Back then I didn’t know what all was going on. As I grew up and learned more about the school’s history and the man himself, I understood. Jim Valvano has long been a personal hero of mine, and (getting back on topic) Kay Yow is of the same vein. Here’s hoping for a happier ending to this story…

  13. tractor57 02/20/2007 at 11:30 AM #

    In my college days I frequently attended the women’s games (I was on campus when Coach Yow came to town). In particular I remember a game against Delta State when they were no. 1. Although the crowd wasn’t as big as a full house crowd for the men’s games the same excitement was there. She has excelled for many years and through some tough times personally.
    What an asset to the whole community – and what assets she has developed over the years in the players in her program.

  14. redfred2 02/20/2007 at 12:14 PM #

    Thanks Lock. We may not always agree on the path, but we always agree on the most important thing.

    Sorry to derail a great topic, but this is my last comment for the afternoon.

    Just compare the administration in Raleigh to those guys down the road. The ones who have audacity and the b*lls to hang a banner declaring themselves national champions, in years before there was ever even a vehicle in place to determine a national collegiate championship in basketball. But they’re getting by with it, and will continue to get by with it.

    Now, in stark contrast, look at the admin in Raleigh as it just sits back passively and goes…duh…about all of our rich history and all of the legitimate achievements that we RIGHTFULLY EARNED over the years. It is truly a sad STATE of disrepair.

  15. forst8 02/20/2007 at 1:52 PM #

    I couldn’t agree more with redfred2 and others. The administrators at NC State have much for which they should feel ashamed. In contrast, the true legacy of Jim Valvano has no shame. He was a great man who means so much to most of us true NC State people and its about damn time that some of our administrators did something to honor this legend.

    Kay Yow deserved this honor and I am thankful she received it. Now, lets get started on honoring Valvano, Case and Sloan. Each of these men have meant far more to our great University than all the administrators combined. The problem is they know this is true and they don’t want to admit it.

  16. Gene 02/20/2007 at 3:31 PM #

    But wait, after the most comprehensive NCAA investigation ever, we find out that the most damning evidence involves a pair of tennis shoes, and because of that NC State just can’t see it’s way to be attached to the man in any way.

    I’d be more inclined to honor Valvano if he had focused 100% of his huge reserve of personal energy into building NCSU up into a top flight program making us THE TEAM TO BEAT in the ACC. To be what Carolina was in the 1980’s and late 1970’s and Duke became in the 1990’s and still is today.

    I know I’m going to draw a lot of flack for the above comments, but Valvano did not take NCSU basketball up another level, from where it was under Case, Maravich (the man did win an ACC title and is only of one of two NCSU coaches – Case being the other – to have a non-losing record against Carolina), and Sloan.

    If we want to acknowledge the history and tradition of our men’s program, name a building, or location in the RBC Center after Hall of Famer Everett Case. I grew up in Raleigh and didn’t know about Case until my sophomore year at NCSU and all the success he had as a coach and his impact on basketball in North Carolina. His legacy is our passion for basketball and we need to make a point of promoting this, so the national media hacks will have to acknowledge we are still one of the three most successful programs in the history of the ACC and wanting to remain so would not be scoffed at.

  17. RedTerror29 02/20/2007 at 4:06 PM #

    I don’t want to take away from what Valvano did, but too often our school is presented as having an unremarkable program that made one improbably run. As much as Valvano did, our history is much more than that, including Sloan building the team that toppled the UCLA dynasty (and recruiting most of the ’83 team as well) and Case literally starting it all on Tobacco Road.

    The women team’s big win was fortunately timed for me – I caught the very end out at a bar with a buddy of mine who is a huge Carolina fan. I’m glad to see Coach Yow knows what to do once she puts on her Red Blazer as well.

  18. BoKnowsNCS71 02/20/2007 at 4:18 PM #

    Even something as simple as naming an entrance way into the arena for our past coaches would be a nice, simple (unobjectionale) gesture of recognition for the time, sweat, effort they all took in their lives to give to Wolfpack football.

    Doing it en masse would also make it easier for some of those spineless administrators to do.

  19. Mike 02/20/2007 at 4:35 PM #

    Kay is CLASS all the way. What a fantastic tribute to her and I am proud to know she represents NC State.

  20. Gene 02/20/2007 at 4:36 PM #

    Even something as simple as naming an entrance way into the arena for our past coaches would be a nice,

    As long as there’s space for Piggy Hargrove, I’m cool with that.

  21. BoKnowsNCS71 02/20/2007 at 6:07 PM #

    Er — maybe we should limit that to coaches who won more than 150 games?
    Year NCSU Coach
    1910-11 Piggy Hargrove 1- 1
    1911-12 Piggy Hargrove 0- 6

    Or name the doors.

  22. redfred2 02/20/2007 at 7:14 PM #

    So I’m thinking Piggy must’ve been the ACC and National Coach of the Year in 1910-11, being undefeated and all.

  23. redfred2 02/20/2007 at 7:24 PM #

    I’m sorry, I misread Bo’s post, never mind.

  24. highstick 02/20/2007 at 7:27 PM #

    My freshman year was the fall of 63 and Coach Case was there, then Maravich the next. In early 66, I began an Army tour through until 1970 and came back to State with Sloan as the coach. Although I had a roommate(also ex-Army) that played freshman ball for Sloan and probably tainted my view of Sloan because he was very anti-Sloan, I respect Norm’s accomplishments, although I think the 74 team won in spite of him. Jimmy V was a major motivator and I loved his enthusiasm, but if I had to “name” something for a coach at State, Case would be first, then Sloan, the Jimmy V.

    There would not be any ACC if it weren’t for Case!

    Weird, but the other night I told my wife that I couldn’t remember the women’s coach before Yow. Then it hit me! There wasn’t any women’s team! In fact, at that time, North Carolina girl’s basketball was 6 to a team and only two got to cross the center court line. Anyone old enough to remember that?

  25. highstick 02/20/2007 at 7:40 PM #

    Post from Inside Carolina where they are trying to tell State jokes:


    Two AAC fans are drinking in a bar at the top of the Empire State Building. The Carolina fan turns to the State fan and says, “You know, last week I discovered that if you jump from the top of this building – by the time you fall to the 10th floor, the winds around the building are so intense that they carry you around the building and back into that window.” The bartender just shakes his head in disapproval while wiping the bar.

    The State fan says, “What are you, a nut? There is no way in @#%$ that could happen.” “No it’s true,” says the Carolina fan,” let me prove it to you.”

    So he gets up from the bar, jumps over the balcony, and careens to the street below. When he passes the 10th floor, the high wind whips him around the building and back into the 10th floor window. He takes the elevator back up to the bar. The State fan tells him, “You know, I saw that with my own eyes, but that must have been a one time thing.

    “No, I’ll prove it again” says the Carolina fan, and once again he jumps and hurtles toward the street where the 10th floor wind gently carries him around the building and into the window. Once back upstairs, he urges his fellow drinker to try it.

    “Well, what the @#%$ – it works, I’ll try it.” So the State fan jumps over the balcony, plunges downward, passes the 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th floors…and hits the sidewalk with a wet splat. Back upstairs, the bartender turns to the Carolina drinker and says: “You know, Superman, you’re a real @#%$ when you’re drunk.”

    Notice the dumbass Tarhole fan doesn’t know the difference in the ACC or the AAC! Plus the joke really isn’t funny!

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