November 6, 2018 will be cemented in Grand Bahama sports history, with an NCAA flavor, forever.
On that milestone occasion, Grand Bahamian Yolett McPhee-McCuin, in her first game as the Head Coach in women’s basketball at the University of Mississippi, led the Ole Miss Lady Rebels to a 60-42 victory over the Norfolk University Lady Spartans.
McPhee-McCuin was not making her coaching debut in Division 1 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). She had previously been highly successful at Jacksonville University, enhancing her market value to the point whereby Ole Miss came calling.
However, she is in a unique position as a black head coach in Mississippi; and has taken over a program that had faltered badly. The expectations are high and she had a great start on Tuesday evening at the Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi.
The 12-19 (regular schedule), 1-15 (conference) Ole Miss Lady Rebels’ record of last season probably is a distant memory, if the overall performance on Tuesday, is any indication. At least for one night in a game that counted, the Rebels looked markedly different.
McPhee-McCuin showed early, on a big NCAA stage, why she was so sought after for her coaching skills. The Spartans pushed immediately to an 8-0 lead and the coach did not panic. Coach McPhee-McCuin remained composed and the players operated on kind. The average coach would have called a timeout.
The Grand Bahama native did not, with the objective of mentally instilling confidence in her players. They responded as she had hoped. In minutes, they were in stride offensively and defensively. A defensive blanket job on the Spartans resulted in a 35-24 half time lead for Ole Miss. In the second half, they held their opponents to just 18 points.
Coach Yo said in the post-game interaction with the media that her teams have always been known for defense. The shut-down job done by the Ole Miss Rebels was simply incredible and spoke immensely to the method of Coach Yo.
In essence, the Bahamas Sports Brand was greatly enhanced on Tuesday.
It was an excellent coming-out experience for Coach Yo and her Lady rebels, and by extension, the University of Mississippi family.
Also, it was a notable moment in time for The Bahamas. In that vein, President of the Senate, Katherine Forbes-Smith was in attendance and is to be congratulated. Daisy McPhee, mother of Coach Yo, who is in Mississippi along with her husband Coach Moon, visiting with their daughter and her family, expressed appreciation that the Senate President was on hand.
Indeed, Grand Bahama on court and off, was well represented.