march 20, 2015

The NCAA women's basketball tournament tips off today. Have you filled out your bracket?

We're doing our part to feed the March Madness...by bringing you a few of the game's glass-shattering stars ~
3 major playmakers who've raised the sport's profile in international arenas.

Ladies have been taking it to the net since the 1890s, but women's basketball didn't become an Olympic event until 1976, an NCAA sport until 1982 and part of the pro circuit until 1997.

Today, more girls than ever are participating in organized sports. And ~ take it from these competitors ~ the impact of sports experiences goes well beyond the court.


p.s. Need a pep talk? Check out She coaches + She competes in our discovery engine!

"Fair play comes first—defeat or
victory afterwards."

Senda Berenson Abbott
the mother of women's basketball

senda abbott_newsletter.jpg

{unforgettable | She coaches...}

A Lithuanian immigrant who grew up in Boston. A sickly child who found her calling as a pioneering phys ed teacher after taking gymnastics restored her health.

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Senda became the director of Phys Ed at Smith College in 1892. The following year, she organized the first women's collegiate basketball game ~ a showdown between the freshmen and sophomores. The stakes? The losing side had to host the winners for dinner.

Senda formalized how girls played the game with Basket Ball for Women in 1899. Much of the 128-page rule book was dedicated to moral regulations.

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Senda was the first woman inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985.

The adapted rules Senda helped establish endured into the 20th century. Women's basketball didn't go full-court until 1971!

The energetic gym teacher was an all-around health + fitness advocate. "One can develop beauty of body and soul," she advised in a university lecture. "We may not all be beautiful young girls, but it is our fault if we do not become beautiful old ladies."

looking for a #MotivationalMonday tip?...see more Senda speeches!

"It's harder to stay on top than it is to make the climb."

Pat Summitt
the coach of the century

pat summitt _newsletter.jpg

{remarkable | She coaches...}

The daughter of dairy farmers who got her first coaching gig at 22 and kept it for 38 years. Self-described "yeller" + one of the most successful coaches of all time.

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Pat was hired by the University of Tennessee in 1975. She locked down her place as a hall-of-famer in the 1990s when she won 3 back-to-back NCAA titles. After her second consecutive championship win in 1997, Pat wrote the bestselling Reach for the Summit to share the secrets of her success. The next year, her team pulled off a perfect 39-0 record on their way to the three-peat.

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Pat coached the Lady Vols to 18 Final Four appearances and 8 national championship titles. She was the first NCAA coach to rack up 1000+ wins.

The stat that makes her proudest? The 100% grad rate for her players.

Pat was co-captain of the first female US Olympic team. They made it to the gold-medal game in Montreal but lost to the Soviet Union.

The 7-time NCAA Coach of the Year retired following a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's in 2012. Since then, Pat has brought her legendary leadership + winning spirit to a new arena, establishing a foundation that's at the forefront of Alzheimer's research and advocacy. In her words ~ "Dementia robs you of so many things. Don't let laughter be one of them!”

discover more...about Pat's "Definite Dozen" commandments for success

"You're not designed
to thrive by yourself."

Maya Moore
the player of the decade

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{notable | She competes...}

A born baller who began competing at age 8. A college star turned pro power forward. A committed Christian whose faith keeps her humble + focused on service.

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The 25-year-old Maya has practically every title + award in the game on her mantle. At UConn, she led the Huskies to back-to-back championships and an NCAA-record winning streak {90 games}. Picked #1 in the 2011 WNBA draft, Maya has won two titles with the Minnesota Lynx. Plus, an Olympic gold with Team USA.

The 2014 WNBA MVP reflected on her storied career during an in-depth interview with Lynx Radio. Maya has thrived as an individual player, but she couldn't do it alone. For her, the best part of the game is community.

quoteur connections
The hoops hero was named after this literary legend.

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During her last title trip to DC, President Obama joked he's adding a "Maya Moore wing" to the White House to accommodate her frequent championship visits.

Maya was the first female player signed to rep Nike's Air Jordan brand.

Pat Summitt famously said she didn't like the word "girl" because it implied "someone who was taught not to keep score"...The young Maya clearly bucked that lesson. Her high-school team the Georgia Metros lost only 3 times during her tenure. After proving "she got game", the talented teen told the adoring press ~ "Anything where you're keeping score, I want to win."

hear more...about how Maya's mentoring
the next gen of game-changers with
her leadership academy

Fixing the
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theme: sports


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We recently asked for quotes about STEM. Among our favorites:




Sharing quotes is a great way to inspire your team + community ~ browse by STEM...

What's she saying now? Conversation starters on trending topics...

"Business is really black and white. It either works or it doesn't. Where Hollywood is a lot more about fluff and a lot more about buzz."

~ Jessica Alba
the actress + entrepreneur   |   speaking at SXSW about founding Honest Co. to create a line of non-toxic baby and household products

" We cannot afford to be color blind. We must be color brave."

~ Mellody Hobson
the president of Ariel Investments   +   Starbucks board member   |   speaking at Starbucks' annual meeting about the company's controversial #RaceTogether initiative to get customers talking about race relations

~ ~ ~

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