Sports

Cal senior guard Mikayla Lyles making positive contributions for Golden Bears on and off court

In this photo taken on Feb. 2, 2013, California guard Mikayla Lyles (30) dribbles past Stanford forward Bonnie Samuelson during the second half on an NCAA college basketball game in Berkeley, Calif. Lyles moved into the starting lineup for the first time in her four-year California career during a pair of games against rival Stanford last week, and did everything to show she belongs by knocking down clutch shots and making key hustle plays. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In this photo taken on Feb. 2, 2013, California guard Mikayla Lyles (30) dribbles past Stanford forward Bonnie Samuelson during the second half on an NCAA college basketball game in Berkeley, Calif. Lyles moved into the starting lineup for the first time in her four-year California career during a pair of games against rival Stanford last week, and did everything to show she belongs by knocking down clutch shots and making key hustle plays. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)  (The Associated Press)

Little did Mikayla Lyles know months ago while planning for a pair of panel discussions held last week on tolerance and inclusion of the LGBT community in athletics that it would become such a timely topic ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

Lyles, a senior guard for No. 23 California, teamed with Stanford's Toni Kokenis to host a session on each of their respective campuses just more than a week before the Olympics with Russia's anti-gay laws at the forefront for a world audience.

Lyles figures 300 people attended in all, and she and Kokenis are committed to continue their efforts in the Bay Area and beyond.

An added bonus for Lyles: She started for the first time in two games against the rival Cardinal, scoring a career-high 16 points Sunday.