By Rhiannon Potkey LCH Correspondent LAS VEGAS – For Morghan Medlock, the day after was more emotionally challenging. The Baylor senior forward participated in the Holiday Hoops Classic on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s tragic death. On Dec. 19, 2008, Medlock’s mother, Shannan Brown, was shot and killed by her boyfriend in Little Rock, Ark., in an apparent murder-suicide. The bodies were discovered by Medlock’s 12-year-old half brother, Nizhan. Medlock learned about her mother’s death while at the team hotel in Eugene, Ore., where Baylor was scheduled to play the University of Oregon the following night. Medlock still took the court last season, and the Pasadena, Calif., native did the same one year later.
Medlock scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Baylor beat Gonzaga on Saturday night, and added six points and four rebounds to help the Bears hold off Arizona State and complete their West Coast sweep on Sunday.
“It was actually harder for me to focus and play today than it was yesterday for some odd reason,” Medlock said following the win over ASU. “I can’t really explain why, but it was definitely difficult to play today and get in the groove of things than it was yesterday.”
Medlock, nicknamed “Mo” by her teammates, transferred to Baylor after two seasons at USC. In the weeks following her mother’s death, her team and the Waco community helped Medlock deal with her grief.
“I think tragedy struck and I was at the right place at the right time,” Medlock said. “I wish I could have come to Baylor a lot sooner. They are really supportive and the coaches all flew out for the funeral. Everybody has been really, really supportive. It’s kind of hard to have down days and things like that when you have such a supportive group around you 24/7.”
Medlock finished 7 of 12 from the field in 32 minutes against Gonzaga to complement the near triple-double produced by 6-foot-8 freshman center Brittney Griner.
“Morgan is mature beyond her years. No one can understand what was her in her heart and her head today,” Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey said. “All you can do is hug her and love her and try not to talk about it unless she wants to talk about it. I’ve watched her handle the situation and for her to out there today knowing that was in the back of her head, she couldn’t have handled it any better.”
Medlock has experienced a few Pac-10 flashbacks during Baylor’s preseason with Bears having beaten Cal and ASU. From her vantage point, not much has changed.
“Cal to me was exactly the same minus two All-American post players in Ashley Walker and Devanei Hampton. They are still athletic and fast,” Medlock said. “And Arizona State is still the same physical, hectic style of play minus senior All-American Briann January. From what I can see (ASU coach) Charli (Turner-Thorne) hasn’t changed a bit.”
Medlock boarded a flight home Monday morning to spend Christmas with her father in Pasadena, where her mother’s body is laid to rest.
“I am going to sit and eat and workout,” Medlock said. “That is it.”