Lynette Woodard honored at alma mater North High’s court dedication
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - It’s been over 40 years since Lynette Woodard last played basketball for North High School and the former WNBA player is still being honored by her alma mater; with a dedication ceremony Friday naming the new basketball court after her.
“It’s been a lot of years between that time, over 40 years. My heart will always be grateful and I will cherish this forever. I love North High, just to be here at North High again. My mom went here, my dad, my brother and sister, so we’re very proud and it goes back a long way,” said Woodard.
In the rafters of the old North High gym, amongst the likes of Barry Sanders and Curtis McClinton, hangs the retired basketball jersey of Lynette Woodard.
“I’m not playing the game. You know you play the game and people see you and then they recognize you,” said Woodard. “But to be remembered, that’s the best thing ever.”
Anyone who plays on North’s new basketball court for years to come will remember Woodard. The school dedicated the court in her honor, printing her name on each sideline nearly 45 years after her last game.
“It feels like a dream. When I was out there today, I was floating. It’s going to take a long time to digest it but I’ll come back and I’ll take a peek and I’ll revel in the glory but I’m just grateful,” said Woodard.
With too many accomplishments and awards to mention, Woodard played collegiately at KU, becoming one of the nation’s all-time leading scorers before she won Olympic gold in 1984 and became the first female to join the Harlem Globetrotters.
But above all, Woodard is a trailblazer for women in sports.
“I cherish the little trophy at home with the little head broke off now, but that was the seed and it kept me going,” reflected Woodard. “It kept me wanting to win. But overall, it’s been great. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Next to the only retired female jersey at North High hangs two girls basketball state championship banners, both teams led by Woodard.
“I told one of the teams, yes they dedicated the court to me but the court is yours. And you’ve got to go out there with pride, determination and let nobody come up in your house and disrespect you. This your house and we expect victory,” encouraged Woodard.
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