Baseball legend an unknown BYU women’s basketball fan

Vernon Law cheers on the women’s basketball team against Pepperdine. (Natalie Bothwell)

At every BYU women’s basketball home game there is an unexpected super fan sitting court side cheering on the team.

Vernon Law is a baseball legend, winning the World Series and the Cy Young Award with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960. He was also an assistant BYU baseball coach from 1969 to 1979.

Law still occasionally throws batting practice for the BYU baseball team, but he never misses a women’s basketball home game. 

“If you want to be entertained, come watch these girls play,” Law said.

Law and his wife, VaNita, have been attending women’s basketball games for over 15 years. The couple said their friendships with the different BYU women’s basketball coaching staffs over the years is what piqued their interest.

But the players’ competitive spirit is what keeps them coming back.

“We’ve always really enjoyed the girls,” VaNita said. “They’ve always projected themselves very well.”

Like any team, the women’s basketball team has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but like a true fan, that doesn’t keep the Laws from supporting them.

“I think it’s pretty cool that every year he’s come even though the team’s changed,” said junior guard Makenzi Morrison Pulsipher. “He still remains a part of the BYU family and it’s really cool that we have fans like that.”

Law also attends some practices, bringing the team treats like donuts, pizza or candy. He’s developed relationships with the coaches and athletes and offers encouragement when he can.

“We love him,” said senior guard Kylie Maeda. “He’s a big supporter of us, and we just love seeing his face on the sideline and having him around.”

Law attends any award ceremony where the women are being honored. And when the athletes finish their eligibility he gives each player a donation to finish their schooling.

“These girls work just as hard as the boys but they don’t get the same amount of support as the boys do,” Law said. “I just hope the time comes where the girls do so well that they get the support they deserve.”

The women’s basketball team is certainly doing well enough this season to deserve the support. The Cougars clinched their first West Coast Conference title on Feb. 18 and had a 16-game winning streak, the longest in program history.

“I just feel that because the girls don’t get the support, I want to be there,” Law said. “I want to let them know that I care.”

The team is the No. 1 seed for the WCC Basketball Championships in Las Vegas and is playing in the championship game on March 8.

Law is proud of the team and always roots for their success whether they’re playing at home or on the road.

“It’s fun to watch these girls develop and see how well they do.” Law said.

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