The GIST - Sunday Scroll: What about Pearl Moore?

Celebrating Black excellence ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Sunday Scroll
From The GIST Team

Happy Sunday!

Welcome to The GIST’s Sunday Scroll, where we dive deep into one timely sports topic.

With Black History Month coming to an end and Women’s History Month beginning later this week, today we’re celebrating a few Black women trailblazers and their historic contributions to sports. Let’s dive in.

Quote of The Day
Quote At the end of the day, there are different paths to greatness. And I feel like we don’t hear that message enough, especially as Black women.
WNBA Finals MVP A’ja Wilson smiles for a photo.

– Las Vegas Aces superstar, reigning WNBA Finals MVP, Olympic gold medalist, and as of this month, New York Times bestselling author A’ja Wilson. Just a multi-hyphenate icon living.

The Scroll

🏀 The hardwood trailblazers

Harlem Globetrotter Lynette Woodard spins a ball on her finger.
Source: Bettmann/Getty Images

Long before No. 4 Iowa’s Caitlin Clark was making NCAA history, Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore were the giants of women’s college basketball. Clark currently holds the all-time NCAA women’s scoring title, but she’s yet to break the non-NCAA scoring records these legends set.

Woodard played for the University of Kansas in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) Large College division, comparable to the NCAA’s Division I, from 1977 to 1981, netting a Division 1 record 3,649 career points.

  • And it’s no wonder given Woodard’s no stranger to making history. The Hall of Famer won an Olympic gold medal in 1984, became the first woman to hoop for the iconic Harlem Globetrotters in 1985, and even came out of retirement to play in the WNBA’s first two seasons.

As for the all-time college basketball scoring record, that still belongs to Moore, who played in the AIAW Small College division for Anderson Junior College and then Francis Marion University in the 1970s, amassing an unfathomable 4,061 career points. Buckets on buckets.

🏀 Signed, sealed, delivered

Sheryl Swoopes and Cynthia Cooper appear in a game for the Houston Comets of the WNBA.
Source: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

After the aforementioned NCAA trailblazers came the Black women who led on and off the court in the WNBA.

In 1996, Sheryl Swoopes signed with the Houston Comets, becoming the first woman to ink a WNBA contract. Swoopes then led the Comets to the league’s first-ever championship (and the next three after that!).

  • She went on to become the first three-time WNBA MVP and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. And she did it all in style thanks to her 1995 contract with Nike, which made her the first woman to have a signature athletic shoe. Straight fire.
  • Plus, Swoopes continues to impact the game today. In 2019, she founded an organization called “Back to Our Roots” which aims to empower and educate youth with things like sports and farming. What a combo.

Lisa Leslie, a fellow member of the WNBA’s inaugural signing trio, also revolutionized the sport. On the court, Leslie’s long list of accomplishments includes being the first player to dunk in a WNBA game, plus winning three league MVP titles and two championships.

  • Leslie continued to break the mold beyond the hardwood, adding author, actress, model, and team owner to her already towering resume. Nowadays, she works as a BIG3 league coach and a basketball analyst for Bally Sports Florida.

With icons like these laying the foundation, it’s no wonder the Black women of the WNBA (nearly 70% of W hoopers) are the blueprint. From the league’s historic 2020 collective bargaining agreement to flipping the U.S. Senate in 2021, where would we be without the W?

Together With The GIST

🎙️ Sound off

The GIST of IT podcast
Source: The GIST

Looking for a new podcast? Then you have to check out our twice-weekly podcast, The GIST of It. Hosted by BFFs Ellen Hyslop and Stephanie Rotz, it’s the women-produced and -hosted sports podcast you’ve been waiting for.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what our listeners are saying:

  • “They are enthusiastic and funny, and I don’t miss an episode!” (Ronbenlisa)
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Join the conversation (and these happy listeners!) by subscribing to The GIST of It wherever you tune into podcasts.

🎾The original queen of the court

American tennis star Althea Gibson during her singles match at the Surrey Grass Court Championship, held at the Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club in 1956.
Source: Bettmann/Getty Images

Before Venus and Serena Williams came Althea Gibson. The first Black athlete to win a Major, Gibson grew up in Harlem, NY, where her exceptional ping pong skills eventually led her to tennis. She won two American Tennis Association (ATA) girls’ championships as a teen before rattling off 10 straight titles at the women’s level.

  • Despite her talent, Gibson was not allowed to compete at the international tournaments with tennis still being segregated. Thanks to a strongly-worded letter from former World No. 1 player Alice Marble, Gibson was invited to the U.S. Open Championship (the precursor to the U.S. Open) in 1950.
  • She’d go on to dominate the sport, winning not only that tournament in 1957 and 1958, but Wimbledon and the French Open, while also finding the time to become the first Black woman to join the LPGA tour. What couldn’t she do?

⚽ Kicking down the door

US goalkeeper Briana Scurry (L) lunges as she stops the penalty kick by Liu Ying of the Chinese soccer team in a shoot-out at the finals of the 1999 Women's World Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Source: Hector Mata/AFP via Getty Images

In 1986, Kim Crabbe became the first Black woman called up to represent the USWNT. Crabbe never appeared in an official game (Sandi Gordon would become the first Black woman to receive a cap a year later), but Crabbe’s impact endures through her work as an advocate and coach.

Perhaps best known for her heroics at the 1999 World Cup, goalkeeper Briana Scurry followed in Crabbe’s trailblazing cleat marks. Scurry competed in three Olympic Games over her impressive career, leading the USWNT to two gold medals. In 2017, she became the first Black woman elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the first female goalie chosen for the Hall.

As for the next generation, the USWNT boasts more incredible Black women on its roster than ever before, with standouts like Crystal Dunn and 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup breakout star Naomi Girma leading the charge.

  • 2022 NWSL champ and league MVP Sophia Smith also continues to dazzle after making history in 2022 as the first Black woman to ever win U.S. Soccer Player of the Year by leading both club and country in goals. LFG.
  • It’s no different north of the border, with the likes of Ashley Lawrence, Kadeisha Buchanan, and Desiree Scott holding it down for CanWNT.
The GIST's Picks

Here’s what passed The GIST squad’s vibe check this week:

🏀 Who (else) to know

Lusia Harris, who scored the first points in women’s Olympic basketball history. The daughter of sharecroppers from Mississippi, she won three national championships and remains the only woman to be officially drafted by an NBA team. Ballin’.

❤️ What to support

Organizations changing the game for Black women. On the pitch, the Black Women’s Player Collective works to advance opportunities for Black girls in sports and beyond, while on the ice, Black Girl Hockey Club strives to make the game more inclusive for all. Show ’em some love.

🎧 What to listen to

Sometimes I Hoop. The podcast hosted by WNBAer Haley Jones gives the inside scoop on some of the biggest names in pro and college basketball.

⚾ What to watch

This animated short about the women of baseball’s Negro Leagues, including barrier-breakers Toni Stone, Connie Morgan, and Mamie “Peanut” Johnson.

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Older messages

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Monday, January 29, 2024

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Sunday, January 28, 2024

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Cheers to the freakin’ weekend

Friday, January 26, 2024

Women's sports remain the moment ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Kenough is enough

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The cat's meow ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Have a minute?

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

We'd love to get to know you! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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