Baylor accepts invitation to celebrate national championship with Donald Trump at White House

Kim Mulkey and the Baylor women’s basketball team have accepted an invitation to celebrate their national championship at the White House, the school announced on Wednesday.

Baylor — who beat Notre Dame 82-81 to win the national championship in Tampa, Florida, earlier this month — will make the customary trek to Washington on Monday. The team will also meet with President Donald Trump, marking the first time in his presidency that a women’s basketball team has done so after winning a championship.

While traditionally both professional and collegiate teams are invited to celebrate with the President at the White House after winning a championship, that has not always been the case with the Trump administration. Several teams have either not been invited at all or simply declined to go.

Mulkey said earlier this month that she would welcome a visit to the White House, and that the trip has nothing to do with politics. The coach visited the White House after winning her first two national championships at Baylor, once with President George W. Bush in 2005 and again with President Barack Obama in 2012.

“I’ve been every time for every president,” Mulkey said. “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 Virginia men go and I can meet 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.”

Neither South Carolina nor Notre Dame — who won the past two years, respectively — made the trip after winning their national championships. The Minnesota Lynx did not receive an invitation after winning the 2017 WNBA Finals, and the Seattle Storm made it clear they had no interest in visiting Trump after winning the WNBA title last year.

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Athletes and teams Trump has hosted at the White House
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Athletes and teams Trump has hosted at the White House
TOPSHOT - Guests select fast food that the US president purchased for a ceremony honoring the 2018 College Football Playoff National Champion Clemson Tigers in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, January 14, 2019. - US President Donald Trump says the White House chefs are furloughed due to the partial government shutdown. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Baylor women's basketball head coach Kim Mulkey, third from left, presents a jersey to President Donald Trump as he welcomed members of the Baylor women's basketball team, who are the 2019 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Champions, to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump is given a jersey as he welcomes 2018 NCAA FCS College Football Champions, The North Dakota State Bison, to the State Dining room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 4, 2019, with McDonald's and Chick-fil-A fast food. Third from left is to Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., second from right is Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and third from right is North Dakota State Bison quarterback Easton Stick. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump poses for a picture with the 2017 NCAA football national champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide on the White House's South Lawn, in Washington, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. presents a NASCAR helmet to U.S. President Donald Trump as the president welcomes Truex and his team to the White House in Washington, U.S., May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, USA - APRIL 19: U.S. President Donald Trump (C) holds up a customized jersey presented to him by 2017 Super Bowl Champions the New England Patriots during their visit to the White House in Washington, United States on April 19, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: U.S. President Donald Trump is presented with a jersey by team captain Ahmad Bradshaw (R) during an event with the Army Black Knights football team from the U.S. Military Academy May 1, 2018 in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC. President Trump hosted the 2017 Commander in Chief's Trophy champion to honor their victory. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with the Houston Astros, the 2017 World Series Champions, in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 28: President Donald Trump holds a Chicago Cubs jersey as he meets with members of the 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant holds a '45' sign. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - (L-R) With Penguins' coach Mike Sullivan, and co owners Ronald Burkle and Mario Lemieux behind, President Donald Trump honors the Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC Tuesday October 10, 2017. The Stanley Cup Trophy is in the foreground. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: U.S. President Donald Trump hosts Team USA at the North Portico of the White House April 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump hosted the team to celebrate their victories in the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: U.S. President Donald Trump hosts Team USA at the North Portico of the White House April 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump hosted the team to celebrate their victories in the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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