Almost 50 years ago, a young point guard named Muffet O’Brien and her teammates “all just sort of ended up” on Hawk Hill to form St. Joseph’s first varsity women’s basketball team. They didn’t have their own facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, or even scholarships at first, but they made it work. And O’Brien, better known as coaching legend Muffet McGraw, found herself at the forefront of a burgeoning women’s basketball scene, thanks in part to landmark legislation known as Title IX.
The coach’s office was a stairwell, they may have had to negotiate with the three Hawks men’s teams, and traveling to games by bus was a luxury, but the “Hawkettes” found kindred spirits in one another.
McGraw, her former teammates, and coach Theresa Shank Grentz recalled those early days of the program to Mike Jensen for the first installation of The Inquirer’s in-depth look at Title IX and its impact on women’s sports 50 years after being signed into law.
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Adam Sandler’s right-hand man? He’s from Philly
Adam Sandler’s Philly-based basketball movie, Hustle, debuts Wednesday on Netflix. It turns out that one of the film’s producers, Jonathan Loughran, is Philadelphia born and bred. Loughran played football and basketball at Archbishop Ryan and made a connection with Sandler over sports in the 1990s. They have been good friends ever since.
Loughran has played roles in several Sandler movies, starting with Bulletproof in 1996. “It’s pretty cool, I have to say,” Loughran said. “We travel around and I always say, ‘I’m semi-famous.’”
Kingery glad to be back with the Phillies
One year to the day after Scott Kingery was removed from the Phillies’ 40-man roster, he is back in the big leagues. It’s not exactly because he was standing out at triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he was hitting .185 with one homer in 16 games after returning from a 10-month rehabilitation from shoulder surgery. It’s because the Phillies have lost three infielders to injury in the last week. Kingery is just happy to be back. It might have only been a year, but to him “it felt like forever.”
A managerial change won’t be followed by a closer change. Corey Knebel’s role won’t change for now under Rob Thomson.
The Phillies just keep winning under Thomson. Alec Bohm and the newly promoted Matt Vierling launched home runs off Brewers star Josh Hader in the ninth to lead the Phillies to a 3-2 win, their fifth straight.
Next: The Phillies continue their series in Milwaukee at 8:10 p.m. Wednesday (NBCSP). Aaron Nola (3-4, 3.92) gets the start against Brewers right-hander Adrian Houser (3-5, 3.51).
Going in different directions
The New York Rangers are two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final, but it is easy to forget that they were a last-place team just four years ago.
Mike Sielski looks at the Rangers’ rebuild and how they positioned themselves for future success, in contrast to the Flyers, whose lack of a long-term plan has produced a last-place team with minimal promise.
Looking ahead, Giana Han has an update on the Flyers’ coaching search. There are several high-profile names on the market.
Like father, not like the son.
Yes, by playing soccer, Tim Weah has followed in the footsteps of his legendary father, George Weah, a Ballon D’Or winner, legendary club player for a number of Europe’s top teams, and Liberia’s top all-time scorer in international games.
But the Brooklyn-born forward likely is headed to the World Cup as a member of the United States men’s national team. That’s a tournament in which his dad never got the chance to play, as Liberia has never qualified.
Jonathan Tannenwald talked to Weah about how long it’s been on his mind to work for the chance to participate in the competition his father couldn’t reach.
Meet the new front office
From the outside, it looked like the Eagles made massive changes to their front office, but the moves really served to reinforce general manager Howie Roseman’s power, Jeff McLane writes.
Worth a look
Recruiting pipeline: Linebacker Semaj Bridgeman has played at Bishop McDevitt and Archbishop Wood. For his senior season, he is suiting up for Imhotep Charter, where Power 5 recruiters regularly visit.
Staying alive: West Chester fought off elimination, rallying past Southern New Hampshire in the Division II College World Series.
Trivia Tuesday answer
We asked our readers: What was the first sports film to win the Academy Award for best picture?
Answer: D) Rocky. Sylvester Stallone’s breakout movie won the Oscar in 1977.
Gregory F. was the first with the correct response.
We compiled today’s newsletter using reporting from Matt Breen, Mike Sielski, Jonathan Tannenwald, Joey Piatt, Brett Friedlander, Giana Han, Scott Lauber, and Mike Jensen.