After attending my presentation at Flagler College ("Reflections of an Athlete-Coach, Before and After Title IX") last Wednesday night, the Flagler women's soccer coach invited me to chat with his team the next day in practice. It was fun to share stories from the "good 'ole days" of collegiate women's sports. The good news is that they appreciate the opportunities they have to play on sports teams. The bad news is they asked, "What's Title IX?"
My favorite time of the year is here----the NCAA Basketball Championships. The brackets are set; players are dreaming; fans are excited. Even though my beloved Indiana Hoosiers (men and women) did not make the tournament, I love to watch all the teams compete. It is an exciting time for basketball lovers like me.
To add to the madness (or happiness, in my case), my memoir "Meeting Her Match" is only a few weeks away from final publication. Keep an eye on my website---www.debbiepowersauthor.com---for the exact release date and book signing events. Maybe just in time for the Final Four?! Sign up on my email list under "Contact" for the latest information.
What a fantastic weekend my teammates and I experienced as we returned to Indiana University to be honored as the winningest team in IU women's basketball history. Receiving championship rings and witnessing the raising of a banner at halftime in our honor was thrilling. It was exciting to reunite with teammates from 40 years ago. Though our hair may be gray, eyesight less clear, and joints stiffened, the bond we formed during sports competitions has not weakened. Whereas scores of specific games are long forgotten, the remembrances of the laughter, tears, sweat, pain, and joys linger forever.
Final Four Team Reunion Photo (I'm top right)
I am excited that Indiana University is planning to honor my 1973 basketball teammates and me for advancing farther than any IU women's basketball team has advanced in tournament history. We made it to the Final Four that year----my senior season. A banner will be raised in Assembly Hall on January 19, 2014 recognizing our achievement. Forty years of waiting to finally be acknowledged! Were we pioneers in women's basketball? Some say "yes" since we had no scholarships, media guides, locker rooms, newspaper coverage, All-American awards, full-time coaches, or professional contracts. We washed our own uniforms, bought our own shoes, and packed our own sandwiches for the long van ride to play an opponent. We played for the pure joy of the game. My thought is that the women in this great photograph were the REAL pioneers for women's basketball. Smartly dressed with their matching hair bows, caps, bow ties, and tights, they look determined to take on any opponent. No doubt they were looked at oddly by their peers. Why would girls want to sweat and compete? I say...."You go girls!" And thanks for being the true pioneers!