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
    • Volleyball Keeps NCAA Tournament Hopes Alive

      Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Volleyball

      The goal from day one for head coach Steven McRoberts was to lead Ole Miss to its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2010.  Entering the team's final two matches, McRoberts said he felt as though they were... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 12

      Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 12 - Arkansas (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Wommack, Rebels Prep for Prescott

      Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Football

      Battling injury, junior quarterback Dak Prescott came off the bench and helped rally Mississippi State to a come-from-behind 17-10 win in last year's Egg Bowl. He led a drive that ended with the game-tying field goal at 10-10 and then... read more

    • Rebels Not Lacking Motivation in Rivalry Matchup

      Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - Football

      Head coach Hugh Freeze called the Egg Bowl the most prized possession of this university's football program, and getting the Egg Bowl back should be enough motivation for his team entering Saturday's game against Mississippi State.  An Independence, Mississippi, native,... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 17-23, 2014)

      Monday, November 24, 2014 -

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 17-23, 2014Men's Basketball- Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with wins over Southern University and Northern Arizona as part of the Emerald Coast Classic, improving to 3-1 on the season.- Ole Miss... read more

    • Golson Named Finalist for Conerly Trophy

      Monday, November 24, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson, one of five finalists for the Bronco Nagurski Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year, will represent Ole Miss as one of 10 finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which honors the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 23

      Sunday, November 23, 2014 - Athletics

      It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more

    • Rebels Unable to Overcome Slow Start

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Arkansas

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more

    • Rebels Ahead of Schedule in Year Three

      Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Football

      It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 10-16, 2014)

      Monday, November 17, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 16

      Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more

    • Getting Healthy, Staying Sharp on the Bye Week

      Friday, November 14, 2014 - Football

      No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited.  But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 11

      Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 11 - Presbyterian (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 3-9, 2014)

      Monday, November 10, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more