The Baylor women’s basketball team announced Wednesday that it has accepted an invitation to visit the White House next week.
Baylor will be the first female team — and the first basketball team — to receive its own championship celebration under President Donald Trump.
The Bears will visit the White House on Monday afternoon, according to a news release.
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey had previously said the team would be receptive to an invitation and that she did not view it as “a political issue.”
“I’ve been every time for every president,” Mulkey told the Associated Press. “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.”
White House visits have been a long-standing tradition for championship sports teams, but they’ve become increasingly infrequent under Trump — particularly in basketball and women’s sports.
Neither of the past two WNBA champions — the Seattle Storm and Minnesota Lynx — received invitations to visit the White House, breaking longstanding tradition. The past two NCAA women’s basketball champs also did not attend; South Carolina declined to visit the White House alongside other championship teams in 2017, and it is unclear if last year’s winner, Notre Dame, received an invite.
A Fighting Irish spokesperson did respond to an email from USA TODAY Sports seeking more information earlier this year.
Female athletes have previously visited the White House under Trump, but only in settings where they were honored alongside male athletes — a ceremony for U.S. Olympians and Paralympians in 2018 and a group event for NCAA champions in 2017.
Baylor will also be the first basketball team to visit the White House under Trump. The Golden State Warriors, who have won each of the past two NBA championships, were disinvited to the White House in 2017 after star Stephen Curry said he would not attend. They were not invited last year, either.
The past two NCAA men’s basketball champions — Villanova and North Carolina — also have not visited Trump. The Wildcats said they were never invited, and the Tar Heels cited scheduling conflicts. It is unclear whether this year’s champions, the Virginia Cavaliers, have received a White House invitation.