Inside Access into the 2022 ACC Women's Basketball Media Day
As I anxiously write this and think back over the crazy, exciting, and nerve wrecking week, which was my first media week, I hope I do the ACC and these coaches and players right. First and foremost, the love and respect these coaches have for their players, these young women and men that have entrusted their hopes and dreams with, as well as their education, is abundant. I will say that I was impressed with each coach in different ways. I was so impressed, especially by Head Coach Felicia Legette-Jack of Syracuse. Coach Jack has a lot to rebuild at a basketball dynasty university, one that traditionally has been built with respect and dedication and love. We all know about Quentin Hillsman reign, where student athletes were denied inhalers, excessive punishments and workouts. We have Coach Legette-Jack who just has love coming out of her. I was entranced listening to her speak, how she wanted Teisha Hyman to stay with Big Orange and how disappointed she was that so many people had not heard of her. She wants us to pay attention to Teisha and remember her name. The fact that Dyaisha Fair followed her to Syracuse because “she is home, which means that she is building a legacy bigger than herself”
Head Coach Megan Gebbia has her team bought in, the student athletes repping Wake Forest, Jewel Spear and Olivia Summiel are all in. Their engagement and enthusiasm for Coach Gebbia and Wake Forest basketball took me back to the 90s when Wake was more of household name. Coach Gebbia took over for Coach Hoover, who was let go after last years, shall we be nice and say less than stellar, performance.
Coach Gebbia is excited to be at Wake, even if a little nervous and I can fully understand that. When I told her one on one that (up until that point) her players seemed more bought in, she was excited about that and some of her nerves seemed to go away. I meant it too.
UVA - Head Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton (Coach Mox) came to the Cavs in the off season as well as the previous two coaches. Coach Mox came from Missouri State and became the first African- American female head coach for any sport at Missouri State.
Coach Mox loves her team. All the coaches have been excited about their teams, but I think Coach Mox is the most excited about the Cavs and what they will do this season.
Speaking of NCSU, when I asked Jakia Brown-Turner what it was like stepping into Kai Rutchfields shoes, she told me she loved Kai but she was her own person and player and there is no competition between them. I have so much more to say but that will be article two for Womens ACC Media day, but I will leave it at this. the ladies of the ACC are inspiring, focused on their teams, their paths and making people proud, but mainly themselves. Just like an athlete should be and should feel. Athletes are always their number one competitor, even on a team. That is important. I admire these ladies and you should too, even if you do not like basketball, look these ladies up. Hear their voice, listen to them. Support their dream.