This year, the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL) is being honored as Trailblazers of the Game by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. We caught up with WBL first-round draft pick Ann Meyers Drysdale.
The California-native was inducted to the Hall’s inaugural class in 1999. This year, the WBL was honored during the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. I chatted with Meyers Drysdale about her basketball career, her current role as an announcer, and what is needed for the WNBA to succeed.
During the weekend, we caught up with Michelle McKenzie of New Mexico. She played for the Dayton Rockettes and the California Dreams during her WBL career. McKenzie was also an alternate for the 1976 Olympic Team, Meyers-Drysdale’s was on that team as well.
In one way or another, Meyers Drysdale has had a front seat for major milestones in the modern women’s game. She gave us an account of some of the highlights and hurdles of everything from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to the WNBA. The current Phoenix Mercury announcer also shared a few ideas for the current game.
Getting the facts straight
Meyers Drysdale believes modern-day college basketball records that often neglect to recognize women who played in AAU or Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW).
“I love the fact that we have the argument today on who is the greatest women’s player to play,” shared Meyers Drysdale. “What makes me mad … is that the NCAA will not recognize the women that played before-quote-NCAA took over in 1983 …” This leaves a lot of game statistics off the record books for players.
Meyers Drysdale reiterated her point on the Mercury broadcast this weekend. With Kelsey Plum at the line, her booth partner Tom Leander says, “This is our opportunity. I’ve been waiting for this because, everybody thinks that Kelsey Plum is the all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball …”
Meyers Drysdale interjects, “In college basketball. She has 3,526 points and Pearl Moore, back in 1975-79 from Francis Marian, has 3,884 [points]. Lynette Woodard from 1978-81 has 3,649. So, that puts Kelsey Plum at number three in my opinion.”
In my conversation with Meyers Drysdale, she went on to say even most players don’t know the history of basketball. More current players in the booth may help some, but most only know the history they’ve directly contributed to.
“I love that more women that have played the game are now getting into coaching or broadcasting, or just being a part of the game.
“We’ve seen that so much on the men’s side … I think it’s important for women to step up and start taking those roles.”
I’m ready for it Ann, let’s do it! Listen here: