Just finished a very strong sports novel based on women’s college basketball, the depression of the 1930’s, and the accomplishments of a man driven to take sport beyond just the bouncing of a ball on a court of opportunity. “Dust Bowl Girls” is a first novel for Lydia Reeder. She is the grandniece of the major character in the book, Sam Babb, the extraordinary basketball coach of a small college of the day, Oklahoma Presbyterian College of Durant.
OPC was a small college basketball team was made up of locally recruited women in it’s hay day, the early 1930’s. Reeder is able to show the determination and the want to work as a team of these young women and how they overcame age and lack of experience to qualified for the Women’s National tournament, sponsored by the AAU. The National’s were made up of many professional teams that featured the best females in not only the USA but the world. That list of great ball players included the greatest woman athlete in the world at that time, Babe Didrikson, who would win gold in the Olympic in track and field just a year or so later. OPC beat “the Babe’s” team on their road to the championship. The two consecutive women’s AAU titles were part of the OPC Cardinals 89 game winning streak from March 1931 to March 1934. The road to the women’s basketball trophy came through Durant and the fields of the depression of the day.
Enough for the details but take my word this is a great read and when the movie producers get the agreement signed with the author and publisher, we will have another “Hoosiers” for sports fans to view on the big screen.
You will hear about this story in the near future that is for sure.