Elizabeth McQuitter: Before the WNBA

Credit: Katherine Taylor
Savanna Collins
Jun 09, 2022

Elizabeth McQuitter is a basketball coach and president of Legends of the Ball for the history of Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL), the first professional women’s basketball league in the United States.

McQuitter was a high school standout and personally experienced the impact of Title IX being passed during her playing career. She competed collegiately for the Temple Junior College Leopardettes, winning the first NJCAA National Championship. She transferred to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and became one of the first female basketball players to receive athletic scholarships at the university due to Title IX.

After graduation, she entered grad school and was invited to Chicago to try out for the WBL. She made the squad and played in the first women’s professional game in the United States.

The league survived only three years and McQuitter began her career as a coach. She’s held positions as a head coach and assistant at the Division I level. She now serves as president of the nonprofit, Legends of the Ball, whose mission is to promote the historic and social relevance of the WBL. 

Her TEDxBoston talk focused on the importance of the WBL and how it paved the way. You can watch her full talk here:

We are more than the three years we played. We are not a league that failed; we are a league that propelled the game forward.
Elizabeth McQuitter

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