CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With nearly a hundred hopeful players, dozens of coaches and some lucky fans at Panthers minicamp, it's easy to blend in. But also among that group, keeping an eye on the wide receivers is one woman who stands out.
"Typically, I watch through the hole in the fence as I walk to the office," Jennifer King said after Wednesday's practice.
King is the head women's basketball coach at Johnson & Wales University, the school whose gym is right next door to the Panthers practice field. Last year, she led her team to a national championship, but her success in coaching basketball started as a different dream.
"I started coaching basketball because that's what I felt I had to do. I had to coach basketball because women didn't coach football," King said.
But that stigma is changing. The Ravens just announced they've hired three female assistants for the offseason. The 49ers hired a woman last season, and the Bills hired the first full-time female assistant in 2016.
"Women are doing some special things. I think the cool thing is it's not just that you're getting an opportunity, you're qualified to be in the position you're in," King explained.
She definitely is. King played ten seasons with the Carolina Phoenix and now is a wide receiver for the New York Sharks, a women's professional football team. She plays for the team while coaching basketball at Johnson & Wales.
"I don't have a pet, or any kids or anything. So it's my life. It's what I do," King joked.
"It was very beneficial for both parties, and whether it helps her in her football coaching career, or helps her in her college basketball coaching career. I just think it's something that could be good for her, because it's definitely been beneficial to us," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said.
For King, it's an opportunity to get a look on the other side of the fence and inspire others that no dream is too big, even if it's never been done before.
"You can do anything. It's so special to see someone in a position that you never thought you could be in. And I think for the little girls, that's what I want. Just to let them know that they can do it," King said.