born 1952

Theresa Shank Grentz never imagined that playing center for tiny Immaculata College's basketball team in suburban Philadelphia would turn her into a legend + catalyst for the sport of women's basketball. 

Her college team, The Mighty Macs, lived a true-life Cinderella story. Their unlikely run as national champs inspired a film based on their experience. It also earned them a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. She is known as one of the greatest players in the history of basketball and one of its greatest coaches. 

Today, Theresa leads the women's basketball program at Lafayette College, bringing with her prior experience as head coach at Rutgers and having led the US Women's Team to a World Championship.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Theresa Grentz (15)

"There were five boys on the block so I was the sixth player and I wasn't very tall then. … I went through an awful lot of loafers in those days because I was too embarrassed to wear sneakers."

She's The Center Of Attention | april 1973

"I wasn't impressed with organized ball when I started. Half court, limited dribbles, two rovers. I said to myself, 'I don't want to play this way.' I'd cheat like mad to make it up the court in three dribbles."

She's The Center Of Attention | april 1973

"I wonder if they have fun playing? They don't even look excited and that's the best part of a tournament."

She's The Center Of Attention | april 1973

"If you project big goals, you may fall short, but you'll achieve more than you thought possible. Very rarely will you ever achieve anything you can't see yourself doing."

Coach and Athletic Director | march 1999

"I can remember being in games, honestly, and thinking, 'I thumbed up to school three times this week to come here. I am not losing this game.'"

Where did it all begin? Just ask Immaculata's Mighty Macs | april 2008

"When you're winning, you're golden. And we were winning."

Mighty Macs | may 2009

"I had two choices—I could learn to do what the boys were doing, which was play sports, or I could help my mother clean."

Sixers Radio Network | october 2010

"God sometimes works in the strangest ways, or, as I said when I was coaching at Illinois, Rutgers and St. Joseph's, God writes all things straight with a crooked line."

ESPN | october 2011

"So many players are concerned with scoring points that they miss the message of being a player."

If you plan to play AAU basketball this summer, be sure to bring your "floor game" | february 2014

"Challenges create needs and needs create deeds."

Lessons Learned from Playing a Child's Game | march 2014

"When I'm on the floor, nothing hurts. When I walk out of the gym, everything hurts."

Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz still finds joy in coaching | august 2014

"Coaching was always like a business. There were wins and losses. You tried not to get too high or too low."

Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz still finds joy in coaching | august 2014

"You want to stay on the bench, stay there."

Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz still finds joy in coaching | august 2014

"We had a saying when we played: To play the game was great. To win the game was greater. To love the game was greatest."

Immaculata Hall of Fame Speech | august 2014

"Cathy [Rush] not only taught us a lot about basketball, but she taught us a great deal about life. One of the lessons she taught all of us was you could have a career and a family, too."

Basketball Hall of Fame induction | august 2014
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curated with care by Pauline Weger {july 2015}