Today’s Warsaw, Ind., Times-Union, carries a tribute to one of this week’s inductees into the Lancer Hall of Fame at Grace College. Written by local sportscaster, Roger Grossman, he honors Val Weinstein, who was a member of the women’s basketball team at Grace in the mid-1970s. A portion of the article appears below. Click here to read the complete story.
A Victory You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
I am going to tell you a story about a game today.
There is a great chance you have never heard of this game before. There is an equally great chance you will not find any evidence of this game on the internet, in print, or virtually anywhere else except for in the minds of the players who played in it.
However, if you have lived in Warsaw for long, there is a better than 50-50 chance you know one of the players who played in it … and you never realized it.
In 1975, Indiana accepted girls basketball as an official sport. It was not the first time girls were allowed to play basketball, but it was the first time schools put teams on the court. The GAA program was in place prior to that, and the high quality of play in those years laid the foundation for a strong start to the IHSAA years (see the two banners hanging in the Tiger Den). Many of those girls went on to college, where there was no formal infrastructure in place either. But it didn’t bother them, and they blazed the trail for what we have today.
That same fall, Grace College fielded a women’s basketball team and it was a good team.
Notre Dame was getting ready to graduate its first-ever class that included women. In 1972, ladies were allowed to cross the street from St. Mary’s and attend Notre Dame for the first time. They offered their first women’s basketball team for competition in 1977.
They had a team before that. Call it a club team or an extra-curricular organization or whatever you want, but they had a team that had Notre Dame printed on their uniforms, and in the winter of 1975-1976 Notre Dame and Grace played a women’s basketball game against each other.
That game was played on the grandest of stages – the Athletic and Convocation Center on the campus of Notre Dame (now called Purcell Pavilion). You can imagine that in an arena of 9,000 seats, it felt like hardly anyone was there watching. But they played just the same with the echoes of the coaches’ instructions, the bouncing of the dribbled ball and the huffing and puffing of the players rattling around the catwalks of the ACC’s domed ceiling.
And Grace won.
Click here to read the complete story.