WACO, Texas (AP) — Former President George W. Bush was among the packed crowd attending Brittney Griner's final home game at Baylor.
Bush visited the Baylor and Florida State teams in their respective locker rooms before the NCAA tournament game Tuesday night. While with the Lady Bears, he shook hands and spoke briefly with Griner, looking up to the 6-foot-8 two-time All-American.
The Baylor campus is about 25 miles from Bush's ranch in Crawford. Bush and his wife, Laura, also have a home in Dallas, about 100 miles away.
About 13 minutes before tipoff, the Bushes walked out of the tunnel into the arena unannounced with Baylor coach Kim Mulkey. They got a huge ovation when people began to realize who it was. Bush then shared a hug with Mulkey before taking his first-row seat behind the Baylor bench.
Bush was sitting next to Baylor President Ken Starr — yes, the former independent prosecutor best known for his investigation into the Clinton White House and the Monica Lewinsky scandal
It isn't Bush's first visit to the Ferrell Center to watch the Lady Bears.
Only weeks after the end of his presidency, and the season before Griner arrived, Bush attended a Baylor game against Oklahoma on Jan. 28, 2009. The Lady Bears lost that night.
When Baylor won the 2005 national title, Bush called Mulkey to congratulate the team and later hosted the Baylor team at the White House.
The Lady Bears visited the White House again last July after winning their second national title. They met then with President Barack Obama, who in his women's bracket this year picked Baylor to defend it championship.