PARADE DAY: The W, Heritage teams to be honored Monday

 

Members of The W’s national-championship women’s basketball team celebrate with their coach. The team won a championship in their first year playing together.

Members of The W’s national-championship women’s basketball team celebrate with their coach. The team won a championship in their first year playing together. Photo by: Photo courtesy of Mississippi University for Women

 

Paul Bowker

 

 

The Mississippi University for Women has waited nearly 17 years for this magical moment. 

 

The women's basketball team won a national championship this year, becoming the first team at The W to win a national title since the university reinstated its athletics program in 2016. 

 

On Monday, The W will celebrate its U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association championship with a parade in downtown Columbus. 

 

"It's just a fun time," said Jason Trufant, director of athletics at The W. 

 

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, and will be held in conjunction with a celebration of the Overall State Championship won by the Heritage Academy boys basketball team. 

 

The parade will begin at the intersection of 3rd Street and Main Street, and proceed down Main Street to 10th Street. The route will then take the parade up College Street and will finish at the intersection of 5th Street and Main. 

 

Presentations by Columbus Mayor Robert Smith and W President Nora Miller will be given to both teams after the conclusion of the celebration parade. 

 

A severe tornado ripped through The W's campus in November 2002, destroying Pohl Gymnasium and causing the school's athletic program to be halted. It wasn't until the 2018-19 season that the school had a women's basketball team again. 

 

It didn't take the Owls long to deliver a championship. 

 

"What they were able to do in one season is remarkable," Trufant said.

 

Paul Bowker is sports editor for The Dispatch.

 

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