That Championship Season
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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
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.
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,”
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.
Kort is a Los Angeles-based writer.