December 6, 2023
Locked On Women’s Basketball: The WBL’s 45th anniversary, the legacy of the league and Legends of the Ball, Inc.
Natalie and Chicago Hustle alum Elizabeth Galloway-McQuitter talk about the first years of the league and its lasting influence
On this episode of the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast, host Natalie Heavren celebrates the incredible history of the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL). The Chicago Hustle and Milwaukee Does played in the league’s first game 45 years ago this week, Dec. 9, 1978. Elizabeth Galloway-McQuitter, Hustle alum and president of Legends of the Ball, Inc., joined Natalie to discuss her experience in the league and the WBL‘s lasting legacy.
“The first game was just pure joy and pure excitement for a group of young women who had recently ended their collegiate careers, and really had no idea before that, that they would have the opportunity to play professional basketball,” Galloway-McQuitter said. “So before that, just the love of the game and the opportunity to continue playing. I always say continue the love affair that we had begun with basketball. But on that day, we realize the magnitude and the significance of it.”
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Galloway-McQuitter continued to describe her first season in Chicago with coach Doug Bruno, who is now at DePaul, as well as the WBL players’ roles as trailblazers in the post-Title IX era.
“We had our own beat writers we had a lot of the local papers,” Galloway-McQuitter said. “So everything was set in motion for us to succeed. The PR campaigns to bring fans in. We played at DePaul’s Alumni Gym, which was cozy. So Chicago really became like the model franchise for how to make it successful. And then all we had to do was sell the product. And that’s what we did.”
Add Locked On Women’s Basketball to your daily routine
Here at The Next, in addition to the 24/7/365 written content our staff provides, we also host the daily Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Join us Monday through Saturday each week as we discuss all things WNBA, collegiate basketball, basketball history and much more. Listen wherever you find podcasts or watch on YouTube.
Make sure to subscribe to Locked on Women’s Basketball, where we have new shows every weekday. For more coverage of women’s basketball history from The Next, check out our WBL Archives page. The Next is proud to partner with Legends of the Ball, Inc. to tell the stories of the history of women’s basketball.