By Chad Bonham
North Carolina State Women’s Basketball (January 24, 2009)
In 39 years as a head coach, Kay Yow made a significant impact on the growth and development of college women’s basketball. Spending most of her time at North Carolina State, she was one of six coaches to win 700 career games and she led the program to 20 NCAA Tournament appearances, including 11 visits to the Sweet Sixteen and one trip each to the Elite Eight and the Final Four. Yow was also an Olympic gold medalist and an inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
But when she succumbed to cancer after a 22-year battle against the awful disease, it wasn’t her success on the court that colleagues, peers, and former players wanted to talk about. The conversation naturally steered towards Yow’s kind spirit, her mental toughness, and her deeply held faith.
“Kay Yow was the best of the human spirit on display,” former NC State associate head coach Stephanie Glance told ESPN. “She left us a lot of wisdom on how to live life.”
At her memorial service, however, Yow left something else of great value to the hundreds of friends, family members, and basketball dignitaries in attendance—a 20-minute video presentation that she had secretly recorded weeks prior to her passing. She shared some memorable moments from her life and from her career. She also quoted several Bible verses. But it was one particular combination of passages that she emphasized to those in attendance.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“That if you confess with your mouths Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
Yow challenged those who were watching to read through the entire book of Romans and asked them to consider following in her footsteps.
“It has changed my life,” she said. “It has changed the lives of everyone who has accepted Him…I’ve had many great victories—championship victories, gold medal victories. But this is the victory above all other victories. You can’t compare it to the others. It’s for eternity.”
This devotional is brought to you by Museum of the Bible, a 430,000 square foot museum being constructed 3 blocks south of the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. and is set to open in November of 2017.