Homecoming queen was all but decided once a particular 6’1” senior decided she was going to rule two courts and throw her hat into the ring.
Many know her for her prowess on the court, her silky smooth jump shot, her slick passes and her lightning quick crossovers. Many know her long list of accomplishments: two-time All-SEC first team, three-time Gillom Trophy winner, AP All-American, two-time SEC academic honor roll and the list goes on.
There is no doubt Victoria Vivians is a phenomenal basketball player. However, the Vivians fans and students will see waving to the crowd tomorrow is not Vivians, the basketball player, but Vivians, the homecoming queen, a senior human sciences major from Carthage.
To those around her, the Vivians on the court and off the court are different people. On the court, Vivians is a machine that puts up points and knocks down juggernauts like the University of Connecticut. Outside of the game, she is described as bubbly, wearing a smile every day.
Abby Hunt, her campaign manager, talked about the joy she and Vivians experienced when she went to fraternity houses and the Famous Maroon Band to campaign. Hunt said she was impressed by how authentically Vivians interacted with people.
“On the court, she is very professional," Hunt said. "She comes in, she takes her shots, she does what she needs to do. She does not really show a lot of emotion outside of that because she is there take care of business and to win basketball games. Off the court, she does not have to be professional. She is goofy and smiles a lot. She is really personable.”
This was Vivians' second run at homecoming queen. The first run did not go as planned; she ran for homecoming queen of Scott Central High School in Carthage but did not win. Vivians said she simply wanted another shot.
“I just wanted to try it one more time because it is a once in a lifetime experience in college,” Vivians said. “I saw people running and decided I wanted to try it.”
Vivians ran with the campaign slogan of "#QueenOfAllCourts" and now has to transition from one type of court to the other. She outlined the difference between the two.
“Now I have to look cute,” Vivians said. “I mean, I am pretty on the basketball court, but now I have to dress up and wear a dress. You have to walk in front of more people. Usually, I am running up and down the court, but now I will be walking with my dad.”
In order to run for queen, she had to get official permission from women’s basketball head coach Vic Schaefer. Schaefer said he gave it to her without a second thought.
“It's my first time in 33 years of coaching I have had a player make the homecoming court and be homecoming queen. It is really neat and really special,” Schaefer said. “We have a lot of kids who do a lot of different things here at State. They are not just going to class and being basketball players. I want them to experience a little bit of everything.”
While Vivians said she worried about her high school experience repeating itself, the opposite happened. The margin of victory was huge, as Vivians garnered 60.14 percent of the vote, while the next highest candidate had 10.84 percent.
Former roommate and teammate Dominque Dillingham said the vote shows how much respect Vivians has gained during her time at MSU.
“It is a really big thing for her to get elected homecoming queen from her peers, not just from us,” Dillingham said. “It just shows how big of a deal women’s basketball is and how big of a deal Victoria Vivians is.”
Vivians said she chose her major, human development and sciences, because she plans on building an orphanage in a bigger city in the U.S. She said she also wants to try and open a Boys and Girls Club in her hometown.
Vivians said all of these dreams depend on her getting to the WNBA and making the money she would need to make in order to achieve her goals.
“I love kids and I hate to see kids suffer,” Vivians said. “I was a kid growing up and basically had everything I wanted, but there was this one in my class who did not have anything. I just hate to see people like that and they can’t control it. So I feel like if I can control some of the situations kids are in, it will help them in the future.”