Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Monday, November 16, 2009

Some fabulous, fabulous history from North Carolina's News & Observer
At 92, Vivian Sansom recalls when women played basketball on a half-court. They couldn't dribble more than twice at a time. Nobody dunked. Nobody got on television.

It was a different world in 1940, when she coached her first squad. When she took a teaching job at N.C. College for Negroes - now N.C. Central University - the president asked her why a woman would want to work at all. Once hired, if she needed so much as a basketball, she had to ask the president to fetch it out of a locked closet.

But tonight, Sansom will sit down front at a Shaw University tournament named in her honor, watching women who play on scholarships and dream of a spot in the WNBA. Here, the hoop dreams reach across five decades, and the inspiration comes from a great-grandmother who played golf into her late 80s.