Basketball Belles by Sue Macy

Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the MapBasketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teams representing Stanford and Berkeley came together to play women’s basketball before a crowd of 500 rowdy fans. The only men at this game were a janitor and his assistant. The women on each team were assigned different sections of the court to play. Successful baskets were awarded only a single point. While Fouls still gave players a chance at a basket, much was different at this first intercollegiate women’s game.

The game is shown through the eyes of Agnes Morley, one of the players on Stanford’s team. A ranch girl at heart, Agnes’s mother sent her to Stanford in hopes of making her a lady. Instead, she ends up on the Stanford women’s basketball game. While the Stanford team is used to playing in front of everyone, the Berkeley team insists that they don’t play outside where the men can see.

Matt Collins’s illustrations bring to life the energy and emotion of the game in rich detail. The author’s note explains more about Morley’s life as well as the varied accomplishment of her fellow players. A timeline at the back details how women’s basketball developed and changed over time. Educators will appreciate the resources suggested at the end of the book.One use for this book would be to have students compare basketball today with how it was played in the 1890s as well as changes in equipment and uniform.

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