Not just a Woman of Distinction, but also Woman of the Year.
Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley women’s basketball Coach Betty Lennox can add both those titles to an already impressive list of achievements.
Lennox was named the Woman of the Year at the 2016 Women of Distinction Awards luncheon March 24 in Independence. The event, held by the Examiner newspaper, honored Lennox and 19 other women from eastern Jackson County.
The honorees were nominated by the public, with event organizers naming the final panel of 20 women. Those women then voted Lennox Woman of the Year.
“It means a lot to me,” Lennox told her fellow honorees, “There are a lot of wonderful women in the category that do a lot for our community and to be mentioned with these ladies and was rewarding for me. ”
Lennox has just wrapped her first season as the coach of the MCC-Penn Valley Scouts women’s basketball team, with a 14-10 record. She brings a WNBA jersey and a history of service to the community and children with her.
A hometown girl, Lennox graduated from Fort Osage High School in 1995. From there, she went to Louisiana Tech on a basketball scholarship, only to be picked up in the WNBA draft in 2000. That year would find her being named the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year and the first rookie to ever play in an WNBA All-Star Game.
Lennox went on to win a championship with the Seattle Storm in 2004 and become the league’s MVP for the championship series. She played 12 years of professional basketball in the WNBA and overseas before coming home to coach children at every level and become head coach at Van Horn High School.
In 2005, Lennox started the Lennox Foundation 22 to support children who were victims of neglect and abuse. The organization’s mission is to give these children better experiences and the chance to succeed with support, education and love.
“I love helping kids,” Lennox told the Examiner. “I love making impacts in their lives.”
“We are proud to have Coach Lennox as part of the the MCC team,” says MCC-Penn Valley President Joe Seabrooks, who was thrilled to learn of Lennox’s award.
“She brings a winning mentality to the college,” he added.
Lennox is looking forward to another season. “My first year at MCC was very eye-opening and challenging with the group of young ladies we had, but we were able to pull it out.” she says. Lennox added, “Now that other colleges and schools see what we have to offer, more and more people are wanting to join the team and come to Penn Valley. My coaching staff puts in a lot of time to develop these young ladies not just on the court but also off the court, so I hope next year we get more support from the staff and student body because the ladies do work very hard and they are fun to watch.”
For more about Lennox and the MCC-Penn Valley Scouts women’s basketball team, click here.
For more about the Woman of Distinction event, read the Examiner article here.