Linda Burgess played professional basketball for 13 years with the Sacramento Monarchs and Los Angeles Sparks.
MACON, Ga. – Twiggs County has a new head coach for its girls basketball team and her name may sound familiar. It’s local celebrity and former WNBA player Linda Burgess.
Before she moved to her new job, her Bibb County co-workers and loved ones wanted to throw her a surprise party to celebrate.
Phyllis Davis is friends with Burgess. She says she is more than a basketball player.
“She doesn’t think of herself as a celebrity, she thinks of herself as a young woman who likes to play football,” she said.
Davis is a developmental social worker and replaced Burgess as a teacher in Bibb County Schools. She says she has no clue about her friend’s past.
“Someone else told me and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I mean. Basketball teams drafted her, she was around. She got in. [Huntsville] hall of fame. She’s very humble and modest,” Davis said.
Burgess played professional basketball for 13 years with the Sacramento Monarchs and Los Angeles Sparks.
Davis said Burgess found her calling teaching children with developmental disabilities when she left the WNBA.
“She feels like this is her way of giving back and I understand that. They love her because of her compassion and it’s just what she gave back to Bibb County,” Davis said.
As Burgess moves on to her next job, her co-workers are throwing her a party as big as her heart.
“We wanted to make it special, so we brought the balloons, the food on her face, the actual basketballs. I wanted to bring the court to the table,” said Kimberly Seabrooks, owner of Exceed Events.
Seabrooks said she and Davis worked on events together, and she was asked to decorate Burgess’s party.
She says she’s never met Burgess, but she feels honored to grace this party because of the work she does.
“My one son is special needs and needs a little more in the classroom. “It’s always a blessing to have someone who understands your child’s needs because she’s a teacher,” Seabrooks said. “So, for what she’s done and what she’s stood for, I know this is a good fit for me.”
Davis Burgess said she thought she was there to sign basketballs for a few students with intellectual disabilities, but she found more.
“I’m surprised they’re respecting me or thinking about me because I’m always the one who gives back,” Burgess said.
She says these people are her lifelong friends, and while it’s hard to leave them behind, she says she’s excited to be back on the court.
“I’m really excited about this new start and this new job. So, since I’m not from Georgia, it’s a way for me to give back to my community and show women – we can do it too.”
Burgess hasn’t coached basketball since 2002, but said she knows Davis will lead her new team to greatness.
Burgess taught at Central High and the Georgia Academy for the Blind.
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