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That Championship Season

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Spring 1998
That Championship Season
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There’s a poignancy to the changes that have occurred. The small schools that once dominated the sport have faded into obscurity as large universities use their greater resources to take recruits and build dominant programs. Increasingly privileged college players take their scholarships, road trips and competitive opportunities for granted.

One final historical note: In 1981 the women-run AIAW was muscled out of existence by the rich and male-dominated NCAA. Today Curry is coach of Cal State Fullerton; Blazejowski is general manager of the New York Liberty and Meyers is lead color analyst for the WNBA. All three made it to their sport’s pantheon of heroes: the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. When Blazejowski was inducted, she honored her toughest opponent-turned-closest friend: Meyers accompanied her to the dais.

But does the new generation of women players remember the pioneers? Meyers isn’t so sure. “I only hope the young women will have respect for the players who came before them and did so much for the game,” she says.

Meyers and her 1978 national champion teammates, who reunited on the Pauley court at halftime during the USC-UCLA game on February 21, have never forgotten that championship season. But even for them it has taken years to understand their place in history. “You don’t really appreciate it until you look back,” admits Curry. “I played overseas in the European championships. I played in the Olympics and won a gold medal. But nothing was better than that season, those games. Nothing.”

Michele Kort is a Los Angeles-based writer.

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