Former women’s head basketball coach Kay Yow was honored in Raleigh on Wednesday with the Naismith Good Sportsmanship Award.
Presented by the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, the award celebrates contributions to basketball on and off the court.
Yow died of breast cancer in 2009.
“No one demonstrated the value associated with the award like Kay,” says Don Fish, the executive director of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. “She promoted the game like no other. She has mentored so many youngsters. I don’t know anyone who does not look up to Kay Yow. She is simply the best of the best.”
Yow, who was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, will be honored alongside Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski and UNC legend Dean Smith.
“They all have the same standards,” said Ian Naismith, founding director of the Naismith International Basketball Foundation and grandson of Dr. James Naismith, who invented the sport of basketball.
Athletics Director and sister Debbie Yow says Kay Yow respected no standard more than winning the right way with integrity and the respect for the “personhood of all players.”
“She acted on her own values,” says Debbie Yow, who adds that she wishes her sister was here to accept the award personally.