Courtesy of www.dallasnews.com.
A big women’s basketball game between No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Baylor just gained added prestige.
Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura attended Wednesday’s game. The two entered several minutes before the opening tip, flanking Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey, and received a prolonged standing ovation from the fans at the Ferrell Center. The group was engulfed by photographers and camera crews at the Oklahoma bench.
Another round of applause followed during the initial TV timeout at 15:57 of the first half, when the 43rd president was introduced again.
Bush maintains a ranch in nearby Crawford and plans to relocate to a home in Dallas soon.
Officials said it was the first time that Bush had attended a Baylor athletic event in person. A video feed of the 2003 Texas-Baylor football game was sent via satellite to the White House. Bush has long been a sports fan and was managing partner of the Texas Rangers before being elected governor of Texas.
Bush provided the Baylor women’s basketball team with a pep talk before the game.
“I told them that every moment in life is precious and this is a big moment for them,” Bush told pool reporter Chad Conine of the Waco Tribune-Herald . “There’s no question in my mind they’ll give it their all and I wish them all the best.”
Bush also had a chanced to renew acquaintances with Baylor coach Kim Mulkey.
“Most of all, I was excited to get to say hello to Kim. I got to know her when they won the national championship and they came to the oval office,” Bush said. “She is a dynamic person. She’s really one of the country’s great coaches.
“So Laura and I got a chance to come here. This is our first outing since I left the presidency and I can’t think of a better place — and yes I’m excited.”