Kay Yow, North Carolina States’ Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach, who won more than 700 games, has lost her decades-long fight against breast cancer, dying at the age of 66.
From the Associated Press:
Ms. Yow, first diagnosed with the disease in 1987, died yesterday morning at WakeMed Cary Hospital after being admitted last week, said Annabelle Myers, university spokeswoman.
“I think she understood that keeping going was inspirational to other people who were in the same boat,” Dr. Mark Graham, Ms. Yow’s longtime oncologist, said yesterday.
Ms. Yow won more than 700 games in a career filled with milestones. She coached the US Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference 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, and the school dedicated “Kay Yow Court” in Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.
But for many fans, Ms. Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer, from raising awareness and money for research to staying with her team through the debilitating effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatments.
She served on the board of the V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and a friend and colleague, former N.C. State men’s coach Jim Valvano, who died of cancer in 1993.
“Kay taught us all to live life with passion and to never give up,” said fellow board member George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. He said the network would remain committed to a research fund established in Ms. Yow’s name.
“She’s a driving force for what’s going on today in the battle against cancer,” ESPN commentator and former Notre Dame men’s coach Digger Phelps said.
At Duke, one of N.C. State’s closest ACC rivals, there was a moment of silence to honor Ms. Yow before the men’s basketball game yesterday.