Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Tamika Catchings and Tina Thompson headlined Springfield College’s recent, day-long event, titled “9/9 for Title IX-The History of Women’s Basketball.” Hosted on Sept. 9, this event continued the year-long celebration of 50 years of the landmark Title IX federal legislation.
The Springfield College community and the public were invited to this in-person event, which included presentations and remarks from an important cast of influential people connected to women’s basketball, including:
The launch event for New York Times-bestselling author Andrew Maraniss’ book on the first U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team in 1976. Two players from that team joined the conversation: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member Ann Meyers Drysdale and Juliene Brazinski Simpson. Simpson also is a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Madeleine Blais wrote this classic about the 1992-93 Amherst (Mass.) Regional Hurricanes, a high school team that became a phenomenon. In These Girls is on the Sports Illustrated list of the 100 best sports books of all time. Blais was joined in the conversation by the team’s former coach, Ron Moyer, and three former players.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame members Tamika Catchings and Tina Thompson participated in a far-ranging conversation about all things women’s basketball. Both players were listed in 2021 by ESPN as being among the top 25 WNBA players of all time. Both have great social justice stories.
Maura Healey, the Massachusetts Attorney General, was the starting point guard for Harvard back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She later played pro ball in Austria. In recent years, she has demonstrated an absolute fearlessness about driving into the political lane against powerful interests and the status quo, taking on injustice at every turn.
“Celebrating 50 years of Title IX is about recognizing the progress made since 1972, but it also is about acknowledging that there is more work to be done. Springfield College shaped this event to meet both goals, framed around the sport that was invented here,” said Springfield College President Mary-Beth A. Cooper. “Looking back is important and Springfield College also is committed to educating the future leaders of continued progress in gender equity, the empowerment of girls and women in education, and preserving protections against discrimination.”
Dr. Kathy Mangano, professor of physical education and the Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics for 2022-23, will continue the tradition of preserving our Humanics philosophy and examining its implications by exploring Title IX on the 50th anniversary of its June 23, 2022, passage. Through her project, Title IX at 50: Educate & Advocate, she will focus on educating our community about, and promoting advocacy among our students and faculty for, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the important civil rights law that provides access and equality in education to all.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Among other results, the groundbreaking gender equity law gives female athletes the right to equal opportunity in sports–from elementary schools to colleges and universities.