"For those of you who think this is too much information, let's normalize working mothers and all they have to do," reporter Holly Rowe said.
Adia Barnes, the head coach of the University of Arizona Wildcats women's basketball team, was juggling many hats during the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game on Sunday in San Antonio. Barnes — a former WNBA champion — was reportedly spotted coming out of the locker room a bit later than the rest of the team for the second half. According to PEOPLE, reporter Holly Rowe revealed that the 44-year-old spent part of halftime pumping breast milk for her 6-month-old baby girl, Capri. "They have to warm up the bottle with the heat packs that are here on the sideline," Rowe said. "She is doing it all."
"Let's normalize working mothers and all that they have to do to make it happen." 🗣️🗣️🗣️ @sportsiren's report on Arizona head coach Adia Barnes pumping at halftime of the national championship. pic.twitter.com/xainGkoCKl— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) April 4, 2021
"For those of you who think this is too much information, let's normalize working mothers and all they have to do," she added. Speaking to reporters after the game, Barnes said: "I had a baby right when the season started. And took like a week off, it says I took a month off but I did not. I was on Zoom calls four days after having a C-section so it was hard. But my team loved on me. I missed a couple of weeks, I got a little sick, they fought for me. I came back. They were patient. I'm happy."
Ready to party at 5:00 a.m. pic.twitter.com/lbNSYY02Sh— ADIA BARNES COPPA 🐻⬇️🌵👨👨👧👦❤️💙 (@AdiaBarnes) April 2, 2021
"I represented moms, I have a baby here. I hear her crying ready to feed. I represent moms, you can be a coach, you can do it at an elite level," she continued. "You just have to have a village like I do. I represent Black females, don't get here too often and don't get opportunities. But I had an opportunity today on the biggest stage and represented a lot." Barnes, who has been documenting the highs and lows of parenthood on Twitter with a touch of maternal humor, previously acknowledged the many hats she wears in an interview with Pac-12 Networks' Ashley Adamson, Ros Gold-Onwude, and Mary Murphy.
With “hindsight” (pun intended) YES! Yes! Most DEFINITELY Yes!! (Someone says... “I told you so.”) Bear Down 🐻⬇️🌵Mama/Coach! The Wildcat Nation is very proud of you ALL!! pic.twitter.com/pZX9DruNVZ— Sue Gillett (@ScramblinSue) April 3, 2021
"I took a step back. I'm like, 'Wow, there's a lot of hats.' It's the former WNBA [player], it's the Black woman, it's the mom," she said. "But it's a privilege for me. You can be great at all these things. You can be someone representing, and doing it with class, and professionalism, and doing well at your job. You can be a mom, you don't have to stop coaching. You just have to have support, and a village."
This is powerful from Adia Barnes 👏 @espnW pic.twitter.com/Bih5hKaVPc— ESPN (@espn) April 5, 2021
"We didn't have a nanny," Barnes continued. "We lost our nanny right before this trip. No one knows that. I don't talk about that publicly. It's been hard. But I've had people that have stepped up... And that's what it's all about or else, we can't be successful. We have to support women if we want women to coach women's basketball. And there should be. There should be women. There should be more representation of Black women. There should be more former players. But when we have the opportunities, we must do well. We must win, we must change our programs. Don't hire me just because I'm a mom. Don't hire me because I'm a Black female. Don't hire me because I'm a former WNBA player. Hire me because you think I'm something special and I can do something great."
"And then we elevate each other and we help each other. So my job, is to help other women, and I have done that — I've been a voice. I'm doing it every day," Barnes continued. "My job is also to pull someone else along. I can help someone. Maybe help the next WNBA player. Maybe help train someone, maybe help hire someone. So those are things that I'm doing." Although No. 3 seed Arizona ultimately lost to Stanford by one point (53-54), Barnes gained much praise on social media for being a "badass" working mother and leading the university to its first Final Four appearance.
Arizona coach Adia Barnes shot double birds to the haters after beating UConn and, per ESPN's Holly Rowe, pumped breastmilk for her baby at halftime of the national championship game.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) April 4, 2021
She's a badass in every conceivable way.
Adia Barnes was late coming out of the locker room because she was pumping breast milk for her baby during halftime. She’s doing that while getting ready to coach the 2nd half of the #NationalChampionship game. Women are freaking amazing man!— Women’s Hoopz (@WomensHoopz) April 4, 2021
“...for those of you who think this is too much information, let’s normalize working mothers and all they have to do.” #ncaaW— Kristen Ledlow (@KristenLedlow) April 4, 2021
Thank you, Adia Barnes.
...and well done, @sportsiren!