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RIP Kay Yow

It’s not often that the Sportsfly crew muses on women’s athletics, except to clown or hammer home a point of irrelevance, but today closes the uplifting yet sorrowful saga of North Carolina State Women’s Basketball Coach Kay Yow.  Yow’s Hall of Fame career has some amazing stats.  700+ wins.  Olympic gold medal coach.  Numerous NCAA Tournament appearances.  These stats and career moments pale in comparison to her real contribution to humanity.

Yow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and battled the disease over the next 22 years of her life.  Yow’s initial response to being diagnosed was to go out and coach the Olympic team in 1988.  She beat the disease and continued coaching.  In 2004, the cancer returned, yet Yow faced it down again.  Indomitable spirit defined Kay Yow’s life experience.  In December 2008 Coach Yow took a leave of absence and said she would not return this season.  A week later, she checked into the hospital.  A week after that she passed away.  A fitting farewell to an inspirational figure.

All to often the true essence of sports gets lost.  Amongst media blitzes, over-dramaticized hyperbole, and overexposure the nature of sports dwells and unfortunately it takes stories like Kay Yow’s to bring that nature to the fore.  Competition breeds internal fire and that fire can be used to succeed, defy odds, perservere through adversity, stand humble in the face of success, and recognize one’s place in the greater scheme.  It’s fitting that both Kay Yow and her Wolfpack compatriot, Jim Valvano, lived and taught these principles as they faced an opponent that typically drains the spirit just as much as it drains the body.  To the end, Kay Yow remained resolute to not let cancer take her out of the game.  On the court she stood, even as her physical self dwindled away.  When she finally decided the fight was over, it ended.  That is the beauty of free will.  Kay Yow was laid to rest today, but her example and teachings resonate.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

Fight til the Fight is Done

Fight til the Fight is Done

January 30, 2009 - Posted by | College Basketball, Features & Opinions, General | , , , , , , , ,

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