Memories of the Historic 6-On-6 Iowa Girls' Basketball


| 3/6/2015 8:46:00 AM


Tags: 6 On 6 Iowa Girls Basketball, Write Your Memories, Hoosiers, Washta Iowa, Des Moines Iowa, Mary Conley,

Mary ConleyDear friends,

My name is Mary Moore Conley. Recently, Deb Warth White read my post on How and Why You Should Write Your Memories. What caught her eye was my high school basketball photo, and she suggested I join the “I Played 6-on-6 Basketball in Iowa” Facebook page. So I did! She was also kind enough to share my post to that site.

Oh, my! As I scanned, I saw photographs of teams from way back even before my time (I graduated in 1960) and read some of the history of the unique game. On one of Deb’s entries, she mentioned two of her favorite things to watch is the movie, “Hoosiers,”and the Iowa Public Television video “Watch More Than a Game: 6-On-6 Basketball In Iowa.” I agree. We have that video, and I can almost see myself in much of it. Yes, I wore one of those very modest uniforms! As for the movie, my husband, Larry, and I can fully relate to the cracker box gymnasium in the story, as ours was even smaller. In fact, there is one scene our team experienced. We were about to go to a tournament held in a large gymnasium in Sioux City. Our coach took us there for a practice so we could get a feel for it. Then he used a tape measure to show us that the basket was the same distance from the free-throw line and same height from the floor as in our little gym where the two free throw circles overlapped the center circle! What he couldn’t do, though, was to give me the energy to run such a large court!

Also, as I scanned the Facebook page, I felt left out. I couldn’t identify with the many photos with trophies. Mostly LARGE trophies winning state. Wow! They don’t make them like that anymore! No, we never had a team that played at state, so Washta never had the chance to talk for years about the big game at Des Moines that shut down our little town for the day. However, there are so many wonderful memories in the hearts of us girls that should be mentioned, I think I may have to do just that!

Where to start is the problem. I’m thinking it will take more than one blog post because I want to recall several memories of those times. I’ve decided that I can only start from the beginning of my own story, knowing that much of it will also be the story of so many of the girls. I was not the star player on my team, but still, I can only tell my story. 

It began in a school building that housed kindergarten through 12th grade. First, though, you’ll need to realize that back then, parents didn’t pay for their children to play on teams starting in grade school like at the present. So, I first started playing basketball in seventh grade on our little junior high team.

HoffmanGirls
6/16/2016 9:47:56 PM

Great story Miss Mary!Keep writing more stories!I can't wait to read all of them. Abby Hoffman


Mary
3/15/2015 5:53:38 PM

Hi, Reneeb! Thanks you for commenting! Glad you had a nice walk down memory lane! Mary


RENEEB
3/15/2015 12:58:03 PM

This sure is a walk down memory lane! I am from Iowa, too (Marshalltown) and, boy, we sure did have a time with "girls" basketball in those days. I graduated in 68 so you have a couple years on me. We all followed Denise Long from Union-Whitten. She was a big celebrity in these parts.





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