Baylor coach Kim Mulkey would welcome an invitation to the White House if President Donald Trump extends one following her team’s national championship win on Sunday, she told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
The Lady Bears survived a late fourth-quarter comeback and held off Notre Dame to win the national championship 82-81 in Tampa, Florida. Traditionally, both professional and collegiate teams are invited to celebrate with the President at the White House after winning a championship. That has not always been the case with the Trump administration, however, as several teams have either not been invited or declined to go.
Trump did tweet a congratulations on the win to Mulkey and the Lady Bears on Monday.
Congratulations to the Baylor Lady Bears on their amazing win last night against Notre Dame to become the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champions! https://t.co/cogqxFgnRn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2019
The win marked Mulkey’s third championship at Baylor, after winning a title in 2005 and 2012. Mulkey visited the White House after both of those championships, too, visiting President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
That trip, she said, has nothing to do with politics.
“I’ve been every time for every president,” Mulkey told the Associated Press. “It’s not a political issue for me. It’s an honor to go to the White House. I want everyone to say they went to the White House. Not many people can say that. I hope Virginia men go and I can meet Tony Bennett.
“We were honored when President Bush was in the office. We were honored when Barack Obama was in the office. We’d be honored if Donald Trump invited us. With politics aside, we should go to say we went to the White House.”
If Trump extends an invitation, it would mark the first women’s basketball team to visit him at the White House during his time in office.
Neither South Carolina nor Notre Dame, which won the past two years, respectively, made the trip to the White House after their championships. The Minnesota Lynx did not receive an invitation after winning the 2017 WNBA Finals, and multiple Seattle Storm players made it clear that the team wasn’t interested in visiting Trump at the White House after their championship last season.
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