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Ann Meyers

Sports Career Played To Conclusion

In the women's league it was the New Jersey Gems that offered Meyers $145,000 to play for three years. She signed with the team on November 14, 1979. That season she was named to the All-Pro team and played for the East in the second-ever league All-Star game, held in Chicago on January 30, 1980. The West prevailed in the game, although the final score of 115-112 hinged on a controversial call over a play by Meyers.

Awards and Accomplishments

Meyers left twelve college records when she graduated from University of California at Los Angeles, including third all-time career scorer, with 1,685 points. She led the school in career assists with 544 (5.6 average per game) and in steals with 403 (4.2 average per game). She was the only player at the school to post a quadruple double.
1971-73 Named high school MVP three years in succession
1974 Leads college team in scoring, rebounds, and assists; only freshman named to Kodak College All-American team
1975 Gold medal at the Pan American Games
1975-78 Becomes first player named to All-American Team for four years in succession
1976 Silver medal at the summer Olympics; gold medal at the Jones Cup
1976-78 Named college All-American
1977 Silver medal in the World University Games
1977-78 Named most valuable player by the Amateur Athletic Union
1977-79 Amateur Athletic Union All-American
1978 Won Broderick Cup; has college jersey, Number 15, retired at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame
1979 Gold medal at the World Championship games; silver medal at the Pan American games; named most valuable player of the Women's Basketball League
1980-82 Takes the first place ($50,000 prize) in the American Broadcasting Company's Superstars competition
1993 Is enshrined as a player at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on May 10
1999 Is enshrined with the inaugural class at the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Related Biography: Baseball Player Don Drysdale

Right-handed Hall-of-Fame pitcher Donald Scott Drysdale was born in Van Nuys, California, on July 23, 1936.

A Cy Young Award winner in 1962, Drysdale played for the Dodgers in Brooklyn and later in Los Angeles. Together with Sandy Koufax in the 1960s Drysdale earned a reputation for his aggressive pitching style and sidearm fastballs. In 1968 he pitched a record fifty-eight scoreless innings. He retired having pitched six seasons with 200 or more strikeouts, which was a National League record at that time. As a right-handed batter Drysdale likewise left his mark as the only .300 hitter with the Dodgers in 1965.

After meeting on the set of ABC's sports Superstars, Drysdale and Meyers married in November 1986. Drysdale was fifty-one years old to the day when their eldest son, Don Jr., was born. They would have two more children together: Darren, and Drew, before his untimely death on July 3, 1993, at age 56. He died in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, of a heart attack.

Playing guard, and wearing jersey number 14 for the Gems, she culminated her first WBL season with an average of 22.2 points per game, to finish fifth in the league. She finished first in steals, with 4.9 per game, and third in assists with an average 5.9 per game. Additionally she was sixth in rebounds with 10.3 per game. In April 1980 she shared season MVP honors with Molly "Machine Gun" Bolin of the Iowa Comets.

As luck would have it the league was in dire straits, and teams began to fold even prior to the interim between the third and final season. Two of the 1979-80 expansion teams—the Philadelphia Fox and the Washington Metros—failed to complete their inaugural season. The Angels, the team that won the inaugural WBL championship in 1979, collapsed before the start of the 1980 season. Along with it went the 1979-80 champions, the New York Stars. Likewise the Iowa Comets and the Milwaukee Does suspended operations at that point.

When on January 20, 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced a U.S. boycott of that year's summer Olympics, the move devastated the WBL, which looked to the Olympic basketball competition to generate more interest in the women's sport. The boycott was confirmed by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) on April 21, 1980. Although the decision by the USOC brought some of the finest U.S. amateur players, such as Nancy Lieberman-Cline, into the league, it was too little and too late.

Many of the WBL players received only partial salary payments as the season concluded in the spring of 1980. Meyers lost thousands of dollars of her pay and countered by failing to return to the team training camp in New Jersey in October 1980. She sat out the 1980-81 season. Other WBL stars—including co-MVP Bolin—had signed with the newly formed Ladies Professional Basketball Association for the 1980-81 season, causing further distress to the WBL. By 1981 both leagues had folded altogether, leaving Meyers unabated in her need for athletic competition.

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