April 6, 2012
DENVER, Colo. - Earlier this week, the Mountain West Conference played host to the NCAA Women's Final Four, held in Denver. While Tuesday night's championship game between Baylor and Notre Dame was the main attraction, cadets from the Air Force Academy played an important role in the evening's festivities.
Prior to the game, female cadet-athletes from the sports of basketball, tennis, track and volleyball teams presented the colors, while the Academy Cadet Chorale performed the national anthem.
"It was exciting to have the Women's Final Four in Denver," said Air Force head women's basketball coach Andrea Williams. "We were glad to be asked to do the national anthem and presenting the colors. The chorale was phenomenal, they did a great rendition of the national anthem."
"A lot of people were excited for [our cadets]," continued Williams. "I was down there on the floor with them, so it was cool to hear the thunderous applause. It was nice to see--it was a great tribute to what we do and a great tribute to our armed forces. It was also cool that Condoleezza Rice came over and took a picture with them."
With their participation in the pre-game activities, the cadets at the Air Force Academy were involved in a historic evening for women's sports, particularly for women's basketball, as Baylor capped off the evening by securing the first-ever 40-0 record in NCAA history.
"A lot of people were excited what we were doing and we were able to showcase another part of Denver and the Mountain West community, what we are and what we're about," said Williams. "There's a lot of things--with a lot of the clinics and Tourney Town--that demonstrate what women's basketball, what that family atmosphere is about. It's just the excitement, the pomp and circumstance and the pinnacle of what our season comes down to, with a great game, a record-setting game.Women's basketball, Title IX--it's all going in the right direction."