On June 23, 1972 (48th anniversary today!) Title IX was passed, giving females equal opportunities in sports and other educational activities. I received a touching email last week from Addy, a 10-year-old fan of Meeting Her Match. She wrote: "I just wanted to tell you that I admire what you did and do. You inspire me. I can't imagine not getting to play on a basketball team in elementary school." Yes, Addy, because of Title IX you can be anything you want to be. Thank goodness! Shoot for the stars!
Indiana University announced that Debbie Millbern Powers will be honored with the Leanne Grotke Award, bestowed on a living person who has made exceptionally outstanding contributions to Indiana University’s women’s athletics program. It is the highest honor of its kind given by the university. The first female athlete in IU history to be awarded the Elvis J. Stahr Distinguished Senior Award,Debbie excelled in both
academics and athletics. Powers played basketball for IU from 1969 to 1973, and softball and field hockey from 1971 to 1972. She was captain and leading scorer of the 1973 basketball team, leading her teammates to the Final Four. After graduation, Powers was drafted to play in the first professional women’s basketball league. Instead, she pursued a career in teaching and coaching, as Title IX brought new athletic opportunities to women across the nation. She led the Muncie Northside High School volleyball team to two state championships—winning the 1975 title against a team with boys—before accepting the head women’s basketball coaching position at Ball State University. She retired from Ball State in 2006, and has become a celebrated author in the intervening years. Her memoir, Meeting Her Match, won the prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award. The Grotke awards banquet and ceremony will be Friday, Sept. 13, in IU’s Henke Hall of Champions.
This is what Hoosiers do when the snow comes. Reminds me of what I did as a young player. Anything to get better!
January and February flew by. Now it's Madness Time. Just as March weather is unpredictable, so are the NCAA tournament games. Hold onto your hats and support your favorite team. Speaking of teams, I was honored and delighted to be the Keynote Speaker at the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association (ICGSA) awards banquet a week ago. Note the photo of me with one of my former point guards who I coached at Ball State. Today's point guards are MUCH taller! But she was a sparkplug off the bench. Every team needs one of them!
I was selected by Medtronic Corporation to run the Medtronic 10-mile race in Minneapolis in October, 2016. They selected 25 athletes from around the world to run. We're called Global Heroes. I was one of 10 Americans picked. All of us who were selected wear implantable medical devices of some type. Mine is a pacemaker for bradycardia (abnormally slow heart rate). EVERYONE....whatever your circumstances, never stop striving to Meet YOUR Match. [With me in the photo is my husband, Jim, who ran with me.]
I recently visited Stanford University and had lunch with my former Indiana University teammate and current Stanford University women's basketball coach, Tara VanDerveer. Tara is a coaching STAR with 2 NCAA championships, several Final Fours and Elite Eights, a 1996 Olympic gold medal, and Hall of Fame memberships. Here we are in her office which is adorned with numerous awards. She is a humble and dedicated coach with whom I was privileged to play. I wrote about playing with Tara in Meeting Her Match.
After some time off for holiday fun and traveling, and devoting endless hours in revising my textbook, I'm back at it. Today I celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day. I celebrate the opportunities girls and women have to be a respected athlete, to be adventurous, and to follow their dreams. While I was writing Meeting Her Match, I was constantly reflecting on my childhood of being called a "tomboy" because I didn't like typical girlie activities. I was the girl on the right.....and I'm proud of it.