By Tracy Schultz
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey has more than a passing interest in the Texas high school girls' basketball playoffs. She actually has two. Mulkey, who guided Baylor to the 2005 national championship, will watch her daughter try to win a title. Makenzie Robertson is a junior guard at Waco Midway, which will play in the Class 4A Final Four tonight. Brittney Griner, a 6-8 post who signed with Baylor in November, has led Houston Nimitz to the Class 5A semifinals. Although it's not the Final Four, Mulkey is facing a pretty big game this weekend too. The Bears, who are in second place in the Big 12, play host to third-place Texas A&M at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Should they advance to the championship game about 90 miles south of the Baylor campus, the Midway Pantherettes will tip off four hours before Mulkey's team. Where will she be?
"That decision's already been made. I will be at my daughter's game."
On watching her daughter play
"Mom overrules coach. I'm a mother when sit and watch her. I'm no different than any other parent. You just want your child to do good. I just want her to feel the exhilaration, the fun and all that, and what it feels like to win a championship. She was around when we won at Baylor and she cut the nets down with us, but to go as a player, I want her and her teammates to experience what it feels like to win a championship."
On Makenzie the athlete
"Makenzie is an athlete that can play any sport. She picks a ball and just gets in a rhythm and can just play. If she ever focuses and picks one sport, she'll be great at that. I don't want her to do that. I want her to enjoy her high school sports. We know what Makenzie's going to do in the future. She will play at Baylor for me."
On the thought of her daughter playing somewhere other than Baylor
"I'd be fine with that. I'd tell her, as long as you keep up your grades – she's ninth in her class, and she works hard for that. It's something she was born with. She has great habits. As long as she led a productive life, I'd be as proud as I am. I don't live my life through my children. I'd be fine with whatever she chose as long as it was healthy."
On Griner, who's dunks have drawn more than a half million views on youtube
"I am so proud of her. And I'm proud of how her team responded when she fouled out in the third quarter against Dulles (in the regional semifinals). Brittney was their biggest cheerleader. I'm just proud of how she handles herself. She's the ultimate team player, and she has such a presence on the floor. She's so dominating, but has such a softness about how handles it all."
On landing a player considered by many to be the No. 1 recruit in the country
"We never go in thinking we're going to get a kid with a number in front of their name.
We just start recruiting, and if we strike out on one, we try to go get another. When we got here, we wanted to improve this program from the bottom of the Big 12. Little by little, we built it up. When we won that national championship, it opened so many doors for us."