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Kim Mulkey makes waves

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Graphic by Sean Rogers


College Women’s March Madness is over, but the impact of the tournament is far from diminishing. From high viewership numbers, to a large and powerful WNBA draft class fighting for their final chance at a title, the drama of March Madness was palpable. Louisiana State University coach Kim Mulkey was well enshrined in the drama of the college women’s basketball scene throughout the 2023-2024 season. Mulkey, who is known for her bold fashion choices and even bolder opinions, was a person to watch throughout the tournament. 


Mulkey has been involved in multiple controversies throughout her successful career. Brittiney Griner, the top draft in the WNBA in 2013, revealed in her memoir that when she came out as a lesbian to Mulkey in college, Mulkey wasn’t reactive, and just told her to play hard. This led to a series of revelations about Mulkey’s opinions surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, Mulkey went public against testing her players for Covid-19 during the final four, because it might stop them from participating, leading to a larger story about her lack of support for pandemic measures. This season, Mulkey had a Washington Post piece written about her which caused another uproar. 


The Washington Post story came out right before LSU’s first game in the NCAA tournament. Mulkey claimed that she was reached out for a comment and said she could not comment until after the tournament. She publicly expressed her disdain for the author of the piece, who she believed was trying to push her into a situation where she had to decline to comment. She also stated that the journalist had tricked some of her former coaching colleagues to get them to interview her in a negative light. Mulkey ultimately threatened unprompted to sue the Washington Post for their “hit piece” in an after-game interview. 


In the Washington Post piece, the drama between Kim Mulkey and Angel Reese, LSU’s star senior, was also unveiled. Last year. Reese was left off of the Wooden award list due to not meeting all of the qualifications. Reese also sat out four games during the fall for apparent locker room issues. In the article multiple emails from Mulkey were quoted talking about how Reese didn’t get the award because of her bad academics and because Reese was one of her players that “stay on that social media crap”. 


Mulkey and Reese shared a heartfelt hug this past weekend when Reese was drafted into the WNBA in the first round. Although Mulkey has faced a large amount of controversy over her career, she also has helped to mold some stellar players and a legacy at LSU that many women will share for the rest of their lives.

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