Women's Hoops Staff Duo Welcomes Daughter

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Larkyn Landers and older sister, Michaela (Amy Lunceford)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Larkyn Landers and older sister, Michaela (Amy Lunceford)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

June 4, 2012

Photo Gallery

OXFORD, Miss. – As if moving to a new city and starting a new job didn’t present enough challenges on its own, try moving when you are eight-months pregnant and having a spouse that has as crazy of a schedule as you do.

For the women’s basketball staff duo of assistant coach Kenya and director of operations Michael Landers, they did just that.

They welcomed their second child, a daughter, Larkyn, on May 9, one month to the day after Kenya was officially named an assistant women’s basketball coach on April 9. 

“It has been crazy. I say it’s been crazy but you know women we just kind of do it,” Kenya said.  “We had no plans on moving anywhere, we had just won a national championship and were settled and everything was good in Athens, Texas.  (Head coach) Adrian (Wiggins) called and we were very interested and excited to hear what he had to say and once we came to campus we knew it was a no-brainer. 

Just to think about packing up and moving again was a lot because we had moved from Baton Rouge two weeks after (first daughter) Michaela was born so it was a very tiring to think about, especially being eight months pregnant. But, by the grace of God we were able to do everything and it has been a really smooth transition.  Adrian has been really good about time off with the baby and letting me work from home. It’s funny though too, I think a couple days before my delivery date we had an official visit on campus and there I was eight months pregnant riding around campus on a golf cart.”

The Landers’ daughter was born at 2:25 p.m. on May 9 in Oxford.  She weighed six pounds, 14 ounces and joins older sister, Michaela who turned two in March.  Larkyn shares Kenya’s maiden name (although they spell it differently, Larkin) and they share the same middle name,  Natae. Michaela was named after her dad, Michael. 

As the daughter of two coaches, Michaela has grown up around basketball and being around several female athletes.  Kenya sees what the positive influence of being around so many female athletes has done for Michaela and knows Larkyn will receive the same benefits.  

“First and foremost for my kids, being around so many female athletes is amazing,” Kenya said.  “For Michaela when she was around our players at Trinity Valley she thought she was 18 and she wanted to hang out with them and the players made her feel so special and gave her so much confidence. I think a lot of Michaela’s well-roundedness is because of the players because they would embrace her and are excited to see her. The girls came in today and saw Larykn and she just kind of looked up at them like ‘wow’ and I think it is a great example for the babies early on in life to see girls doing good things and being successful.”

While Michael and Kenya were co-head coaches at Trinity Valley Community College, Kenya said taking care of Michaela worked out fine because since they were co-head coaches they could pick and choose who went where when.  At Ole Miss, Michael does not recruit so until the season starts, one of the Landers’ will always be home. 

“We have a great support system,” Kenya said.  “My mom has already volunteered to come down and babysit and his family has too. Our families are awesome. They know that we are going to need help and they all have volunteered to do that. Luckily because Michaela was always around so many people she is well adjusted she would sit in the gym and watch practice or watch a movie. I think it will be fine.  Being in a new place there is so much unknown.  We are blessed and hoping that some things fall in our laps but we know that it will all workout.”

Kenya has said her perspective on coaching has changed greatly since she has become a mother.  Being a mother, she now looks at different situations and thinks about how she would want people to treat her daughters in the same situation.

“I was very hard on my players even as an assistant. I wanted them to do, I wanted them to do, because that is how I was taught. But, when I became a mother, it changed me in the fact that I now understand it’s more of a process and if they feel good they will do good and if they know that you care about them then they will care about what you know.

If was very eye-opening for me because I thought how would I want somebody to coach my daughter? How would I want my daughter motivated and how would I want her to be treated off the floor? It opened my eyes to a different relationship because you don’t know until you are a mother and it is hard to describe or explain but when I became a mother I could see that it was different.”

Both Kenya and Michael, being from Dallas and Houston respectively, grew up in big towns but have recently both coaches and lived in smaller college towns in Stillwater, OK, Baton Rouge, La. and most recently Athens, Texas. Kenya is very happy to be in Oxford and be able to raise her family in a place with a small-town feeling.

“We really love it here. It’s got a lot to do, lots of places to go but still has the small-town feeling and we are big family people so we are really into safety and wanting it to be OK if we accidently leave our door unlocked,” Kenya said.  “That is the things that excite us the most. It’s an awesome town and with the college being here there is a lot going on. All the people are so nice and have been so welcoming we really like it. It’s easy to get around and it’s not very far to get to anything. We are really glad that we are here.”  

 

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss, MSU Renew Rivalry on Hardwood

      Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss meets Mississippi State on the hardwood the for 250th time Wednesday, which makes it the most-played rivalry in the Southeastern Conference.  Like the rivalry in football, where the road team last won in 2010, the home team has... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 20-26, 2015)

      Monday, January 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 25

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more

    • Prewitt Caps Impressive Week at Senior Bowl

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Football

      Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more

    • VIDEO: Home is Ole Miss

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss Football: Home is Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Omaha Challenge

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Challenge 2014 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rivalry Game with NCAA Tournament Implications

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more

    • Prewitt, Golson Impress at Senior Bowl Practices

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Football

       Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 13-19, 2015)

      Monday, January 19, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 18

      Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more

    • Key Stretch Starts with Tough Test in LSU

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more

    • Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 Rankings

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 6-12, 2015)

      Monday, January 12, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 11

      Sunday, January 11, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more

    • Rebels to Open SEC Play ' in Grand Fashion'

      Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more