West Chester U. Hall to induct '69 title team

This file photo shows the 1969 West Chester State College women’s basketball team, which won a national championship that season. — PHOTO/WEST CHESTER ATHLETICS

Before Title IX, there was great women’s basketball played at then West Chester State College (now West Chester University). The Golden Rams capped an undefeated season with a 56-39 victory over Western Carolina in the 1969 National Invitational Collegiate Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game at Hollinger Field House, sponsored by the Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW).

The hall of fame ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Wyndham Gardens Exton Valley Forge. The class of seven individuals and the 1969 women’s basketball national championship team will also be introduced at halftime of West Chester’s football game against Gannon University that same afternoon.

This was the very first national championship end of season tournament for college women’s basketball and was organized by West Chester head coach Carol Eckman. Only four of West Chester’s 10 opponents reached 40 points against the Golden Rams defense. Co-captains Pat Ferguson and Diane Wright led a starting five that consisted of all seniors and juniors. Ferguson and Marian Washington were the only two African Americans on the team. Washington was the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Kansas for 31 years.

“It’s truly a great experience” said Ferguson, who was a point guard on that team. “I thought when I got inducted into the hall of fame individually I thought that was pretty supreme. But I think this is going to top it. It’s really great because I’ll have my teammates there. Some of them I haven’t seen in a long time. We had a feeling that we had a good chance to win. We went undefeated our last season. We had a lot of talent.”

West Chester defeated the following teams: Gettysburg, East Stroudsburg (twice), Ursinus (twice), Southern Connecticut State, Lock Haven, Glassboro State (now Rowan), Northeastern, Lynchburg, Iowa and Western Carolina.


Youth Interlock Society holds Midnight Madness

The Youth Interlock Society will hold its annual Midnight Madness at Chester High School, Ninth and Barclay Streets on Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9. On Saturday, there will be a free SAT Strategy Session from 8:30 a.m. to noon. There will be free SAT books given to the first 100 students.

Starting at noon there will be nine basketball games for high school boys and girls. The last two games will feature all-star high players from nationally ranked schools from New York to Virginia. In attendance will be several of the top basketball playing ratings and high school scouting services.

On Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. there will be seven basketball featuring the best youth boys and girls from the Tri-State area from ages 10-14. In addition, the final two games will again feature nationally ranked all-star high school players from New York to Virginia.


SBN Black College Football Poll released

The SBN Black College Football Poll has issued its weekly top 10 featuring the top HBCU teams in the country.

  1. Norfolk State
  2. Bethune-Cookman
  3. South Carolina State
  4. Winston-Salem State
  5. Jackson State
  6. Alabama State
  7. Tennessee State
  8. Texas Southern
  9. Grambling State
  10. Fort Valley State

Contact staff writer Donald Hunt at (215) 893-5719 or dhunt@phillytrib.com.

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