Baylor said in a news release on its website that Trump would be involved in the ceremony, and a White House official confirmed the report Wednesday afternoon. The visit would come three weeks after the team defeated Notre Dame, 82-81, for its third national title.
Baylor beats Notre Dame 82-81 to win their 3rd NCAA Women's National Championship (1st since 2012) pic.twitter.com/2BOWq4qZ2r
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life25) April 8, 2019
Trump expressed congratulations in a tweet a day after the game, calling it an “amazing win.”
Soon after, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said she would be honored by a White House visit.
“I’ve been every time for every president,” Mulkey told The Associated Press earlier this month, speaking of her team’s 2005 and 2012 NCAA championships. “It’s not a political issue for me. It’s an honor to go to the White House. I want everyone to say they went to the White House. Not many people can say that. I hope [the] Virginia men go and I can meet [coach] Tony Bennett.
“We were honored when President Bush was in the office. We were honored when Barack Obama was in the office. We’d be honored if Donald Trump invited us. With politics aside, we should go to say we went to the White House.”
Congratulations to the Baylor Lady Bears on their amazing win last night against Notre Dame to become the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champions! https://t.co/cogqxFgnRn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2019
Since taking office, Trump has played host to a number of professional and collegiate men’s championship teams, including the Washington Capitals and the Clemson and North Dakota State football teams this year. Several women’s collegiate champions in non-revenue sports visited the White House in November 2017, along with several men’s teams. But the South Carolina Gamecocks, who won the 2017 NCAA women’s basketball title, declined an offer to take part in that event. Coach Dawn Staley suggested that the White House waited too long to invite the team after its title that spring.
The most recent WNBA champions, the Minnesota Lynx in 2017 and the Seattle Storm in 2018, were not invited to the White House. Neither was the Notre Dame women’s basketball team, which won the 2018 NCAA title.