On the court, there’s no doubt as to what Kim Mulkey is capable of. She’s one of the best in women’s basketball, college sports, and probably sports in general. That’s why she signed a 10-year, $36-million contract with LSU recently. Off the court, her reluctance to comment on Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia was a horrible look. So not continuing the trend of making bad decisions for non-basketball reasons in the public was a welcome surprise. Mulkey’s speaking out about her recent health scare, as ESPN reported Tuesday.
Lingering pain on the tip of one of Mulkey’s fingers led to a routine doctor’s visit. The domino effect led to a potentially life-saving procedure earlier this year. And the defending-national-champion coach is speaking publicly about it. Per ESPN, Mulkey had two stents put into an artery that had a 95-99 percent blockage. Mulkey stated she had no symptoms for what’s typically a debilitating condition. Mulkey’s advice: “If you’re over 50, go get a stress test.”
As high-pressure, public, and scrutinized as Division-I coaching can be, with Mulkey one of its foremost females, stress is an easily understandable thing. Getting paid $3.6 million per year doesn’t minimize how stress-inducing the constant recruiting, roster development, press inquiries, responsibilities, and maintaining an overall public image can be. It just makes it more digestible. The more spotlight and success on your program typically means more expectations. Some, like Kirby Smart and Nick Saban, can sustain it long-term. Others, like Ed Orgeron, not so much. Mulkey’s been on the forefront of women’s basketball for a while and plenty of pictures have been taken of her shouting instructions to players from the sideline.
Mulkey turned 61 in May, the month before her procedure, and is back on the sidelines coaching prior to LSU’s preseason. Ironically enough, the Tigers were already scheduled to go through CPR training on Tuesday before the news of her health scare became public. Expectations in Baton Rouge will be through the ceiling for the Tigers to repeat as national champions with Angel Reese still on the team, as well as the additions of Hailey Van Lith, and Aneesah Morrow via the transfer portal. ESPN reported Mulkey’s condition won’t worsen with the coach taking a cholesterol pill, a beta blocker, and a blood thinner.
As sports fans, we forget the Jim Boeheims of the world aren’t invincible. He was born the year before World War II ended, the same year there was an all-St. Louis World Series. And Mulkey probably has around 10 years of coaching left in her. And as she’s stated many times, she’s unbothered by the criticism. To upkeep the standards enough to be criticized takes a ton of work. So good on Mulkey for doing what’s best in taking care of, and speaking out about, her health scare.
Original source here
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