I was too young to really remember this but it was back in 1971 when a young lady named Cathy Rush took the Women’s College Basketball League by storm. She would go on to be crowned national champion for the first time in women’s basketball.
Immaculata College, a tiny all-women’s Catholic college in Philadelphia, was looking for a new coach as other collegiate teams were also trying to prepare their teams to win that first title.
At the start of this career she realized the challenges getting her program started were more difficult than the teams Immaculata would face on the court. Cathy learned there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school’s Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. And, she may not even have enough players to field her own team.
The movie also stars Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John who isn’t very interested in basketball. She’s just hoping Cathy “can use these activities to suppress their hormones”.
Cathy was dealing with those who thought a newly married woman had no business even working let alone coaching a women’s basketball team (so 1950’s). With the help of some unlikely supporters, she pulls through with much success.
This sounds like a must see film. This isn’t just a film for the girls either. It’s a sports movie that should be seen by all those that think “girls” shouldn’t try to play in the big leagues! Go get ‘um ladies!
Interestingly the actress that plays Cathy Rush is Carla Gugino and she was born August 29, 1971. Do you have memories of playing sports in College? Did you go to a Catholic High School that had mostly nuns as teachers? Boy have things changed….