Dabbs Blog

Basketball pioneers coming to Cincinnati

As the sport of basketball gained popularity in the first part of the 20th century- before Title IX guaranteed equal access to sports opportunities for women- females who wanted to play basketball were limited to high school and AAU hoops, playing a game with modified rules to allow women an opportunity for recreation.

But there were talented and determined girls who wanted to play at a higher level. From the mid-30s through the mid-70s teams of talented women traveled the country, playing a grueling schedule of games against local men’s teams. Playing by men’s rules they dazzled crowds with their skill, hustle and showmanship, winning the vast majority of their games.

These trailblazing women dismantled the wall of gender stereotypes and barriers regarding women, each victory over men taking another brick out of the wall, and setting the stage for today’s women’s pro leagues. Women’s basketball historian John Molina saluted these players in his award-winning book Barnstorming America- Stories from the Pioneers of Women’s Basketball.

Join as Anthony Lunsford and The Learning Center Academy in Cincinnati welcomes the women featured in that book to Cincinnati to talk with fans, sign copies of the book and demonstrate that they can still handle the rock- nearly a half century after their playing careers were over.

“It is a ‘League of their Own’ mixed with a bit of ‘Forrest Gump’ in chronicling American history and Womens Basketball at the same time”- Chris Voelz, Executive Director, The Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards- The Honda Cup.

“For the first time in history, the stories of basketball’s First Ladies come to life in Barnstorming America. Through their own words, tales of past glory fir neatly into the broader context of a bygone era”- John L. Doleva, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame President and CEO.

Come and meet these ladies, the true pioneers of the sport of women’s basketball on Saturday, October 26 in Cincinnati starting at 1:00pm. It will be at the Learning Center Basketball Skills Academy, 900 W. North Bend Road, Cincinnati, OH 45224.  A contact number is 513-519-1396.

The event includes a meet and greet, historical memorabilia, player stories, Q&A session, skills demo, book signing and refreshments. There is expected to also be various basketball figureheads in attendance to speak to the fans. There is no charge for admission.

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the true pioneers of women’s basketball, and would be a great team bonding event for high school and middle school teams.