Southwest DeKalb girls’ basketball coach Kathy Richey-Walton and her staff were recently named to coach the East team in the 2023 McDonald’s All-America girls’ game on March 28 in Houston, Texas.
Even though some members of the McDonald’s Coaching Committee attended a coaching clinic at Southwest DeKalb and mentioned they would nominate Walton to coach in the game it was almost forgotten by the time she was selected.
“Some of the committee members were at our coaching clinic and noticed the state and region championships banners and my name on the court,” said Walton. “They said they were going to nominate me, but I never really thought about it afterwards. It was one of those things you never think will come to fruition.”
Walton was a bit surprised when it did come to fruition, and they contacted her with the news.
“It is really a prestigious opportunity for me and the staff to get to coach some of the best players in the country,” said Walton.
One of those players is one Walton knows well in Westminster’s Courtney Ogden, a Stanford signee. Walton’s squad has had to play her twice in Region 6-4A play this season. Westminster won both contests.
“I really look forward to moving from coaching against her to coaching with her,” said Walton.
Assistant coaches Michael Holloway and Terrie Montgomery will fly out with Walton to Houston on March 24th where they will get three days to practice with the players before the game at Toyota Center (home of the NBA’s Houston Rockets).
The Toyota Center is quite the contrast to the cozy gym at Southwest DeKalb whose floor bears Walton’s name. The Rockets “gym” holds 18,300 fans and has seen some high-flying NBA action since opening in 2003.
“It is a little overwhelming to get to coach in that building where so many amazing NBA players have played,” said Walton. “But at the end of the day it is a basketball court with two goals, and we have to go out there and coach and play.”
Walton is the second winningest girls’ basketball coach in DeKalb County history and currently stands at 480-157 in 23 seasons (2003 to present). She won three consecutive Class 4A state titles from 2008-10 and then won Class 5A titles in 2013 and 2016.