History of Women in






1892 - Gymnastics instructor Senda Berenson introduced basketball to Smith College.

1896 - The first women's basketball championship was played before a crowd of 700 women.


1901 – Spalding put out the first women’s basketball rule book.

1914 - Women's basketball rules changed to allow half-court play.

1924 - The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) held the first national basketball tournament for women with six teams.

1926 - The AAU sponsored the first national women's basketball championship, using men's rules.

1953 – The USA women’s basketball team won the gold in the first international basketball game.

1966 - The first intercollegiate women's basketball tournament was played in Pennsylvania.

1971 - The five-player, full-court game and the thirty-second shot clock was introduced to women's basketball.

1974 - Ann Meyers was the first high school player to make the women's national basketball team.

1975 - On January 27th, the first-ever nationally televised women's college basketball game aired.

1976 - Ann Meyers became the first female recipient of a full athletic scholarship at UCLA.

1976 – Basketball became an Olympic event for women.

1977 - Lucy Harris was the first woman to be drafted by an NBA team.

1978 - Ann Meyers was the first woman to sign a contract with an NBA team.

1978 - The first game of the Women's Professional Basketball League (WBL) was played on December 8th.

1978 - Carol Blazejowski set a collegiate scoring record (male or female) in Madison Square Garden with fifty two points in a single game.

1979 - Ann Meyers was the first player taken in the Women’s Professional Basketball League draft. She is named the league’s first MVP at the end of the season.

1982 - The first NCAA college basketball championship for women was held.

1984 - Georgeann Wells-Blackwell was the first woman to dunk a basketball in a collegiate game.

1984 - Senda Berenson Abbott, Bertha Teague and Margaret Wade became the first women to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

1985 - Lynette Woodward and Jackie White became the first women to play for the Harlem Globetrotters.

1986 - Three-point field goal was introduced in women's basketball.

1986 - Nancy Lieberman-Cline became the first woman to play in a men's professional basketball league.

1989 - Judith Davidson became the only woman athletic director at a Division I school in charge of all sports including men's football and basketball.

1990 - Bernadette Locke became the first female Division I coach of a men's basketball team.

1991 - The women's Final Four of college basketball was televised live for the first time.

1993 - Ann Meyers became the first woman inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

1993 - Basketball player Lynette Woodard was the recipient of the Women's Sports Foundation's Flo Hyman Award.

1994 - Ground was broken for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, TN, the first sports hall of fame devoted solely to women's athletics.

1995 - Sheryl Swoopes had an athletic shoe named after her by Nike, the "Air Swoopes."

1995 - Kerri McTiernan was the first woman ever to coach a men's college team at this level.

1996 - Basketball player Teresa Edwards was the first US player to compete in four Olympics.

1997 - Dee Kantner and Violet Palmer were the first women to work regular-season games as referees in the NBA.

1998 - The US National Women's Basketball Team won the gold medal at the 1998 World Championships.

1999 - Chamique Holdsclaw became the first woman basketball player to win the Sullivan Award.

1999 - The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame opened it's doors on June 5 in Knoxville, TN. It is the first Hall of Fame dedicated to any woman's sport.

1999 - The first-ever WNBA All-Star game was played.

1999 - Sheryl Swoopes recorded the WNBA's first triple-double with fourteen points, fifteen rebounds and ten assists on July 27.

1999 - The Houston Comets completed a "3-peat," establishing themselves as the first WNBA dynasty.

1999 - Billie Moore, the first woman's coach to win national championships at two schools was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

1999 - forty-seven-year-old Pat Summitt became the youngest coach in college basketball history to win 700 games.


2000 - Identical twins Kelly and Coco Miller became the first athletes in the Sullivan Award’s seventy-year history to be nominated as a joint entry as the nation’s top amateur athlete in 1999

2001 - thrity-two-year veteran Texas Longhorn coach Jody Conradt, fifty-nine, became the first women’s basketball coach to work 1,000 games.

2001 - The United States won basketball gold at the World University Games, defeating China.

2002 - Lisa Boyer, was the only woman assistant coach in the NBA.

2002 - Lisa Leslie, became the first woman to dunk in a professional basketball game.

2003 - Pat Summitt became the first coach in women's basketball to win 800 career games.

2003 - The Lady Huskies of UConn had the longest home winning streak at seventy games of any college basketball team, men or women.

2004 - Candace Parker won the McDonald's High School All-American dunk contest competing against five boys.

2004 - Ashley McElhiney, became the first female head coach of a professional men's basketball team.

2005 - Anne Donovan became the first female WNBA coach to reach 100 victories.

2006 - Epiphanny Price set a new girls' high school basketball scoring record with 113 points in a game.

2006 - Violet Palmer, forty-one, became the first woman to referee an NBA playoff game. She is currently the only female official in the NBA.


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