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Texas women's hoops team attends Richards memorial

9/19/2006 - Texas Longhorns

AUSTIN, Texas -- The presence of the University of Texas women's
basketball team at her memorial service would have made former
Texas Gov. Ann Richards happier than anything, her granddaughter
told mourners Monday.

Lily Adams, 19, remembered going to women's basketball games
with her grandmother from the time she was very young. Richards
died last week at the age of 73 from esophageal cancer.

"It wasn't until I was older that I knew that boys played
basketball, too," Adams said, to chuckles in the audience.

For years, Richards was a fixture at the games, always seated
behind the team, shouting at referees and peppering coaches with
questions.

"We didn't just go and cheer politely," Adams said. "We sat
behind the bench with (the late U.S. Rep.) Barbara Jordan and
yelled until we were hoarse."

After the memorial service, head coach Jody Conradt remembered a
picture that circulated in newspapers around the country of
Richards "helping me dispute a call by the official."

"She always agreed with me and there are not very many fans who
do that," Conradt said.

Sen. Hillary Clinton also remembered hearing stories of Richards
at basketball games with Jordan.

While Jordan would be yelling at players about their dribbling,
Clinton was once told that "Ann Richards would be yelling 'girl
where did you get those shoes?"'

Conradt encouraged members of her basketball team to skip class
to attend the service.

"It was an educational day for them, as it was for all of us,
to be reminded of how Ann Richards impacted all of our lives," she
said.