Saturday, July 27, 2013

Basketball Belles

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy is a picture book account of the first women's college basketball game.

Agnes Morley is one of the players for Stanford's women's basketball team.  Morley grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and was used to a rough and tumble life.  Her background made her a perfect fit for the sport of basketball, which was just starting to become accessible to women.  Macy writes this book from Morley's perspective, sharing the high points of Stanford's game against Berkeley.  Three points of interest for  me personally: 

Baskets were worth only 1 point

Only females could be in attendance at this game per Berkeley's rules

The court was divided into three sections, with women assigned a section where they must stay

At book's end Macy includes an author's note revealing more information about the history of basketball for women and about Agnes Morley's life.  A timeline of women's basketball and list of resources are given as well, providing a great deal of background information for readers who would like to learn more about the history of women's basketball.

As I read I couldn't help but think back to a movie I saw with my daughters last year.  Mighty Macs is set in 1972, nearly 80 years after Basketball Belles, yet there is a great deal of inequality between male and female athletic programs.  Click here to read a synopsis of the movie.

I've been working on adding titles to order for my school library for the coming school year. Basketball Belles will be a great addition to my sports collection, a title about an important part of the history of basketball.

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