2004-01-16 / Community

Queens College Women’s Basketball Stars Reunite

Queens College Women’s Basketball Stars Reunite

Althea Gwyn (right) played for the Women Basketball League’s New York Stars in 1979-1980.Althea Gwyn (right) played for the Women Basketball League’s New York Stars in 1979-1980.

Long before the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) propelled women’s basketball to the forefront of today’s sports world, a group of basketball players from Queens College was garnering unprecedented media attention, setting new records and breaking ground for women’s athletics across the nation.

The Queens College women’s basketball team from 1968-1981 enjoyed a period of unprecedented success, unparalleled to this day, with one member going on to compete for the U.S. Olympic Team, European leagues, and many playing professionally for the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL), the forerunner of today’s WNBA. On Saturday, January 17, 2004 starting at 5 p.m., this group will hold a reunion, bringing together the former superstars and coaches to commemorate this important era. According to the reunion organizers, the team during this era involved some 83 players, coaches and managers.

Indeed, the Queens College women’s basketball team during this period was one of New York’s finest, becoming the first ever to compete in a national tournament. The team ranked among the top 10 nationwide from 1972-1978, and finished second in the country in 1973. The following season, it went on to beat Immaculata College, the number one team, and in 1975, the Queens College team became the first women’s basketball team ever to play in the famed Madison Square Garden.

The event will be held in the Fitzgerald Gymnasium at Queens College, beginning at 4 pm. At 5 pm, the current Queens College women’s basketball team will compete against CW Post College. A ceremony honoring these trailblazers will be held during half-time, and following the game, there will be a dinner reception.

"This reunion marks a culmination—an acknowledgment of this era," said Gail Marquis, former Queens College team member, Olympic silver medalist, and player for the New York Stars and New Jersey Gems, both WBL teams. "The years from 1968-1981 were not only the glory days for women’s basketball at Queens College, but also for New York."

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