The Pasadena Senior Games has teamed up with the California Senior Games Association to produce a monthly Zoom series of sports-related panel discussions by seasoned current and former professional athletes followed by questions from viewers of the live events.
Four former stars in women’s professional basketball will be featured at 4 p.m. Monday, May 10: Sue Wicks, Ann Meyers, Laurie Byrd and Kirsten Cummings.
Anyone 50 or older may register by visiting www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org and clicking on Events, Clubs and Lectures, then Online Events or calling 626-795-4331. Everyone who registers will receive a link via email for joining the Zoom discussion. Membership in the Pasadena Senior Center and residency in Pasadena are not required. Anyone who does not have Internet access may call 626-795-4331 to receive a number to call to listen to the live event by phone.
Sue Wicks played women’s basketball from 1984 to 1988 for Rutgers University in New Jersey where she was a three-time All-American and remains the record-holder as lead scorer with 2,655 points and lead rebounder with 1,357 rebounds. She was Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Tournament MVP three years in a row from 1986 to 1988 and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Player of the Year in 1988. She played for the
Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) New York Liberty from 1997 to 2002 and was a member of the WNBA All-Star Team in 2000. She is a former assistant coach for the women’s basketball teams at Rutgers and Saint Francis College in Brooklyn. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
A trailblazer all her life, Ann Meyers was the first woman accepted by an American university on a four-year athletic scholarship. She led the UCLA Bruins to a national championship and became the first four-time All-American women’s basketball player. She recorded the first quadruple-double in NCAA history, male or female, then was the first and only woman to sign with an NBA team, the Indiana Pacers. Although her name was not on the final roster, she made history again, just as she did in 1976 when she led the first USA women’s Olympic team to a silver medal. She was the first player drafted by the pre-WNBA Women’s Professional Basketball League in 1978, playing for the New Jersey Gems. When ESPN came calling in 1983, she became the first woman to serve as a sports analyst for the new network, and went on to be a basketball analyst for NBC Sports and CBS Sports. She and late baseball legend Don Drysdale were the first married couple inducted into their respective halls of fame. Currently she is vice president of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
As a girl growing up on the streets of Detroit, Laurie Byrd developed a love of basketball, and at a youth summer camp she beat Lakers and Pistons legend John Salley in a one-on-one matchup. As a college student, she played on the Eastern Michigan University Hurons (now the Eagles) women’s basketball team from 1978 to 1982 and scored 1,899 points, a record that was not surpassed by women or men players until 2011. Before there was a WNBA, Byrd played professionally for 11 years in the American Basketball League, the Women’s Basketball Association and for seven years in Europe. Between 2003 and 2011, after her playing career, she was assistant coach of WNBA teams including Detroit Shock, New York Liberty, Houston Comets and Washington Mystics. She now is head coach of the MiraCosta College women’s basketball team.
Her deafness never defined Kirsten Cummings or stopped her from becoming one of the best women’s basketball players in the U.S. As the first deaf player named a first-team All-American, she excelled on the top-ranked Long Beach State women’s basketball team in the mid-1980s, then played professional basketball for two years in the U.S. in the Women’s Basketball League and 12 years in five other countries. After retiring from pro basketball at age 36, she cofounded the National Senior Athletes Association, a resource center for older adults who want to play competitive sports and/or stay fit for the rest of their lives. She is a former women’s basketball commissioner for the San Diego Senior Games and currently is executive director of the San Diego Senior Games and owner of Silver Swan Training for female and male athletes 50 and older.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Anne Warner Cribbs, a founder of the pre-WNBA American Basketball Association. She is president of the California Senior Games.
Instead of a big 35th anniversary celebration of the Pasadena Senior Games this spring and summer presented by the Pasadena Senior Center, the games have been canceled due to COVID-19. A celebration may be scheduled later in the year depending on how long the COVID issue continues.
In addition to online classes and other Zoom activities, members and nonmembers of the Pasadena Senior Center are encouraged to visit the website regularly for COVID-19 updates for older adults and other timely information, a weekly blog, monthly magazine, ongoing activities throughout the year and more.