Local News

Yow influenced hundreds through summer camps

Posted January 30, 2009 5:14 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Numerous athletes and coaches put their names on sports camps, but Kay Yow did more than lend her name to a summer basketball camp.

Yow, who died last Saturday, didn't let her status as the Hall of Fame coach of the North Carolina State University women's basketball team distract her from what she saw as her life's mission: Helping young women live better lives.

Blair Williams, a sophomore at Athens Drive High School, said she learned life lessons in addition to improving her shot by attending Yow's summer camps.

"Whenever I went to her camps, she had a station where she told personal stories about her team, and she would talk about always being positive and keeping efforts up even when you're down," Williams said.

Those who attended the camps said Yow always took the time to talk to campers, sign autographs and provide inspiration.

"My first years of camp, I wasn't really into basketball. Then, I heard her give a speech at the end of camp, and that's when it really hit me," camper Alyx Ingram said.

Athens Drive High girls basketball coach Chris Danehower, who took his teams to the camps for years and served as an instructor, said he met with his players Monday to share their feelings about her life and death.

The team also honored Yow at their first game following her death.

"We had a moment of silence (and an) honorary seat on the bench for her," Danehower said. "Like I told the girls, the best way to honor Coach Yow is to go out and play like she would like for you to play."

Because of Yow's death, the camps have been canceled for this summer.

"She's in a better place, but I don't think its quite hit me yet," Ingram said. "I think when I visit camps and go to basketball games, I think it will hit me."