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Feb. 20, 2003, Gazette

Sea-Hawks celebrate past with the present

When Memorial’s nationally-ranked team heads into the Atlantic championships next week at the Field House, the history of Memorial women’s basketball will be right behind them.

A highlight of the weekend during which Memorial will host its first Atlantic university basketball championship is a reunion of women players from decades past.

The idea was the brainchild of former coach Dr. Bill Redden who called ex-player Frances Horwood as soon as the decision was made to grant the 2003 Atlantic University Sport championships to Memorial. Ms. Horwood, who played on Memorial basketball teams in the 1960s, jumped at the chance and began the task of tracking down as many former players as possible. It wasn’t as difficult as she originally thought it would be.

“We sent out 250 letters to former players,” she explained. “And we had responses from right across Canada.”

As of last week, 81 former players were signed up to attend the reunion and the tournament, which will run at the Field House Feb. 28-March 2. The basketball veterans will sit directly behind the home team bench. They will also attend a reunion luncheon.

Meanwhile, Dr. Redden, who spearheaded the reunion, will miss the gathering of former players. He’s out of town during the tournament. In his absence, former president Dr. Art May has been serving as chair of the reunion committee.

The reunion committee and the former players are putting any money raised during the weekend into the Nita Chambers (Sutton) Scholarship Fund.

Ms. Horwood said the game has changed significantly since her time at Memorial. Among the biggest changes were the switch from uniform skirts to shorts, and the change to the rules of the game.

“When I first started playing, there were six on a team,” she said. “There were three guards who couldn’t cross half-court. Before I finished, we were playing five-on-five.”

The current version of the Memorial basketball team will head into the tournament as defending champions and one of the top-ranked teams in the country.