Country singer Adkins takes in Baylor's victory
DENVER (AP) — Country singer Trace Adkins thinks Baylor coach Kim Mulkey is a rock star.
He has ever since their days together at Louisiana Tech, when he had a little crush on her.
Back then, Mulkey was larger than life on the La. Tech campus, leading the Lady Techsters to the 1982 national championship as the starting point guard.
Now, Mulkey's once again the toast of the town, this time in Waco, Texas.
Especially now, after the Bears finished off an undefeated season with an 80-61 win over Notre Dame in the title game Tuesday night.
"These girls have won a piece of my heart," said Adkins, who had a seat right behind the Baylor bench. "This is the first time in a long time I've been invested in a team this much. Kim makes them listen to my music, which I'm sure they're sick of by now."
At concerts, Adkins used to dedicate his song, "One in a Million," to a girl he admired in college.
Turns out, it was a shout-out to Mulkey.
"Guess she saw that on YouTube," Adkins said, smiling.
FAMILIAR LOOK: The sophomore guard sitting on the bench with her hair in pigtails was the spitting image of Baylor's Kim Mulkey, back when the coach was a player.
And that was precisely the point.
Makenzie Robertson borrowed her mom's look from back in the day. Mulkey wore her hair just like Mulkey did at Louisiana Tech.
Big games simply call for braids.
"This is exactly how she wore her hair every game and (this look) was on purpose," said Robertson, who saw two minutes of action.
FUN-LOVING GRINER: The 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner is just a giant kid at heart.
The talented Baylor junior glides around campus on her longboard (she definitely sticks out), wants to try surfing (once she learns to swim better) and can't wait to pick up snowboarding (but promised coach Kim Mulkey she won't until after graduation).
Griner also loves kayaking, hiking and has a craving for bacon, along with all things sweet.
"There's so much to me that people just don't know," Griner said. "I'm an outdoors person. I'm adventurous, maybe reckless. I'm a thrill seeker."
But there may be no bigger thrill than this: Winning a national title, the first at Baylor since 2005.
Griner had a monster game against Notre Dame, scoring 26 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
With her title, Griner has cemented her legacy as one of the college game's all-time greats.
Not that she views it quite that way.
"I wanted (the title) because this is what our team wanted, and this is what we promised coach when we got here," said Griner, who reclined in the Pepsi Center locker stall that usually belongs to Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson. "I had nothing to do with validating what type of player I am. That was the last thing in the back of my mind."
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