‘Coach Yo’ happy for experience at home

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Simba FrenchSend an emailNovember 25, 2022 171 3 minute readFacebookTwitterLinkedInShare via Email

 Bahamian head coach of women’s basketball at the University of Mississippi Yolett ‘Coach Yo’ McPhee-McCuin (center) said she was thrilled for the experience to coach her team in two games here in The Bahamas this week. DANTE CARRER

It has been a refreshing week for Bahamian and the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Lady Rebels’ Head Coach Yolett ‘Coach Yo’ McPhee-McCuin. She was able to spend Thanksgiving week in The Bahamas with her team and they split their two games in the Baha Mar Hoops’ Pink Flamingo Championship Tournament at the Baha Mar resort.

The Lady Rebels won their first game against the University of Dayton Flyers, 63-50, on Monday night. On Wednesday, they fell to the University of Utah Utes, 69-67. Their win/loss record in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women’s basketball, on the season, now stands at 5-1.

McPhee-McCuin described the experience as an incredibly humbling one.

“I’m from The Bahamas,” McPhee-McCuin said. “I didn’t leave for high school. I went to high school here and got a basketball scholarship and began my journey. I tell people all the time that my guys from Coral Gardens (in Grand Bahama) helped me with my college career on the outside park. My Bahamian people helped me to be who I am. I am a proud Bahamian and I carry it everywhere I go and hopefully, I’m inspiring others. There have been a lot of coaches from The Bahamas who have reached out who want to follow in my footsteps and that’s what it’s all about.”

McPhee-McCuin hails from Freeport, Grand Bahama, and had quite a few family members and friends, including her parents Gladstone ‘Moon’ McPhee and Daisy McPhee, in the audience, for both games. She continues to make history as a trailblazer in women’s basketball, and sports in general, here in The Bahamas. On Monday, McPhee-McCuin became the first Bahamian, male or female, to lead a major NCAA Division I program as the head coach in a collegiate basketball game here in The Bahamas. The last time McPhee-McCuin coached at home, this past summer, she made history as an assistant coach for The Bahamas’ senior men’s national basketball team, becoming the first female to coach a senior men’s national team. Now, she is enjoying another coaching experience at home in a different capacity.

While here this week, she said the one thing she can count on from the Bahamian people is their love.

“As a country, sometimes I get discouraged because there are a lot of things that we could do to help move us forward in athletics, but one thing that I always can count on is the love from the Bahamian people and you know respect is the ultimate currency,” she said.

Since the team got into The Bahamas, they were adhering to business, focusing on the task at hand. McPhee-McCuin decided to have the women stay an extra day in The Bahamas so they can experience Bahamian culture. They had a day of activities planned.

“We will go downtown, to the Fish Fry and we are having dinner at a local restaurant. We’re going to immerse ourselves. We have done everything Bahamian, obviously, because of me. We’re going to take it all in and I told them, regardless of tonight (Wednesday), we are going into the water park. We’re going to try to take advantage of tomorrow (Thursday) because one of the things that we promised our athletes at Ole Miss is that they’re going to have a great experience. We want them to do that because I believe our country has a lot to offer,” said McPhee-McCuin.

The Grand Bahama native and the Ole Miss Rebels did some community work during the week. They visited St. Francis & Joseph School on Tuesday.

“You know, a week and a half ago, I got 150 wins and it meant nothing to me,” McPhee-McCuin said. “You know what meant something to me, when we scored and took the lead and I saw my girls screaming and having like so much emotion. That’s what it’s about. That is why I got into this business, and to be able to do it on home soil. I’ll never forget this moment – to be able to go to St. Francis and pour into those young people and see them at the game tonight. I will never forget this experience.”

The Lady Rebels will return to the SJB Pavilion at Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the Texas Southern Tigers on Monday November 28 at 8 p.m.


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