The National Basketball Association (NBA) has long been seen as a male dominated sport, but one woman was determined to break through the glass ceiling and make history. That woman was Ann Meyers, the first woman to ever play in the NBA. In 1979, she became the first woman to sign a contract with an NBA team and her story is an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved when someone has a dream and the courage to follow it.
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Meyers’ Early Life
Ann Meyers was born in 1957 in California to parents who were both passionate about sports. Her father was a successful basketball coach and her mother was a volleyball player. Meyers was exposed to basketball from a young age, and quickly developed a passion for the sport. She was a multi-sport athlete in high school, competing in basketball, volleyball, and softball, and she went on to become the first player in California history to receive a full athletic scholarship to college in all three sports.
Meyers’ College Career
Meyers attended UCLA, where she made history once again as the first woman to receive an athletic scholarship to the university. She was a four-time All-American basketball player, a three-time All-American volleyball player, and an All-American softball player. During her time at UCLA, she also won the Broderick Award, which is the highest honor a collegiate athlete can receive.
Meyers in the WBL
In 1978, Meyers was drafted into the Women’s Basketball League (WBL) and she played for three seasons. She was selected as the WBL’s Most Valuable Player in 1979 and she led her team, the New Jersey Gems, to the league championship. During her time in the WBL, she was one of the most popular players and she was known for her hard work and determination.
Meyers’ NBA Story
In 1979, Meyers made history once again when she became the first woman to sign a contract with an NBA team. She signed with the Indiana Pacers, but the contract was never officially ratified. However, Meyers’ journey to the NBA was a significant milestone in the history of the sport and it inspired other female athletes to pursue their dreams.
Meyers’ Post-NBA Career
After her short stint in the NBA, Meyers went on to have a successful career in broadcasting. She was a commentator for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, and she was the first woman to do color commentary for a nationally televised NBA game. She was also the first woman to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and she was the first woman to be named an NBA Executive of the Year.
Ann Meyers’ story is an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved when someone has a dream and the courage to pursue it. She not only made history as the first woman to sign a contract with an NBA team, but she also had a successful career in broadcasting and she was the first woman to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Her story is a testament to the power of determination and hard work, and it serves as an inspiration for female athletes everywhere.