In addition to inducting the Class of 2018, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame will recognize the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL) for their contributions to the game with a display at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame entitled “Trailblazers of the Game”. The WBL will join eight other teams and organizations that have been recognized as “Trailblazers of the Game.” The WBL was the first professional women’s basketball league in the United States, playing three seasons from 1978 to 1981. Any former WBL players, coaches, and administrators are requested to contact the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame to receive information to participate in this celebration of the WBL (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All-time coaching record of 510-284 in 26 seasons with 12 NCAA tournament appearances, including six Sweet 16, and three Elite Eight appearances.
Big Eight Coach of the Year four times (1989, 1993, 1994, 1995).
- 1994 U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Coach of the Year.
ROSE MARIE BATTAGLIA (Veteran – Contributor)
NJCAA Hall of Fame inductee with four NJCAA Final Four in 38 years of coaching and an overall record of 702-240-2.
- Led Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, New Jersey) to two consecutive state championships.
- 1998 WBCA Jostens-Berenson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
- As Connecticut’s top assistant coach for the last 32 years, the Huskies have posted a 1015-135 overall record en route to 11 NCAA National Championships.
- Helped develop 19 Huskies into First Team All-Americans and eight National Players of the Year.
- Inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Her overall record as an assistant coach is 845-207.
- As an assistant, she helped guide Tennessee to six NCAA National Championships and 12 NCAA Women’s Final Four appearances.
Two-year stint as an assistant for the Indiana Fever including their 2012 WNBA Championship season.
All-time leading scorer and rebounder at Tennessee, leading the Lady Vols to three NCAA National Championships (1996, 1997, 1998) and was recognized as a four-time Kodak/WBCA All-American and two-time WBCA NCAA Division I Player of the Year.
- Helped guide USA Basketball to a gold medal in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
- 1999 WNBA Rookie of the Year and a six-time WNBA All-Star.
- Three-time Olympic Games Gold Medalist (2000, 2004, 2008).
- Led Detroit Shock to two WNBA Championships in 2006 and 2008, and was named the 2008 WNBA Finals MVP.
- Two-time Kodak/WBCA All-American (1993 & 1996) and Big Ten Player of the Year (1996) while at Ohio State.
- Two-time Olympic Games Gold Medalist (2004, 2008).
- Number 1 pick in the inaugural 1997 WNBA draft, guiding the Houston Comets to the first four WNBA Championships (1997-2000).
- Named one of the WNBA Top 15 Players of all time in 2011.
- First professional women’s basketball league in the United States, playing three seasons from 1978-1981.
- The league was created by sports promoter Bill Byrne and featured eight teams during its inaugural season.
- Many notable Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductees participated in the WBL including Carol Blazejowski, Cindy Brogdon, Nancy Dunkle, Peggie Gillom-Granderson, Lusia Harris Stewart, Tara Heiss, Nancy Lieberman, Muffet McGraw, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Pearl Moore, Inge Nissen, Patricia Roberts, Rosie Walker, and Holly Warlick.