By Manny Miguel
First U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Coach, Billie Moore spoke last Tuesday in the second of three events held at E9 103 East Los Angeles college that celebrate women’s history month.
Moore coached the 1976 Women’s Olympic Basketball team that went on to earn a Silver Medal. They lost to the Soviet Union in the medal round, who at the time were the best team in the world for over a decade.
Moor talked about the significance of the accomplishments she and her team had in the 1976 Olympics held in Moscow, but also gave encouraging words to young adults to stride to become the best one can become.
She added that since Title IX was implemented, which banned discrimination, based on sex, in education and federally funded programs, that women have made strides in sports, that women in sports have come a long way from where they were at forty years ago.
She said that for example the WNBA are at a higher level of playing since it first started in 1997. The game is more competitive, the athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger. She hopes that one day WNBA athletes are able to make livable money. She remembers when women’s only choice to pursue playing basketball professionally was to play overseas.
Moor went on to say that the biggest strides women in sports have made have been at the “grassroots.” The way they are trained, the way they are educated, and the way they are thought that they are able to play sports and get an education, and become something has changed. That they are not longer thought to be quiet and be second to men.
Ten players from the 1976 Olympic team went on to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Moore message that she gave to her athletes and to everyone is, “Stride for perfection, to be more than good.”
She explained how in order to make the Olympics that they had to win a qualifying tournament in where the top two plus the host would enter the olympics. In that tournament no one gave them a chance, and no one believed that they would place anything better than 8th from 14 teams. They ended up placing second.
She also became the first women’s basketball coach to win the national championship with two different schools with California State University, Fullerton and University of California, Los Angeles.
Moore was in enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame that same year.
She continued on to say that people should not feel that they do not have a role.
“When you’re part of a team that there’s no status quo. You either move them forward or back, but you are a difference maker.”
Moore explained that in order to become a leader one needs to find a gift, develop that gift, and share that gift.
She ended the event by saying that everyone has four things that they have control everyday of their lives. They are one’s attitude, How hard one works, how you treat others, and how you treat yourself.