Book Reviews

“Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team that Barnstormed its Way to Basketball Glory” By Lydia Reeder

Book review at Knup Sports

Tom looks women’s basketball in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The issues they faced including some huge obstacles.

This story makes me think of a similar story about baseball called “ A League of our Own.” there are some real parallels in both. But this one allows the girls involved to get off the farms and get an education while playing basketball for Sam Babb.

Babb got injured early in life and lost a leg in his teenage years. It didn’t stop him from going to college and eventually becoming a high school superintendent in Oklahoma. He took on a job as a part-time girls basketball coach and loved it and was good at it which led to becoming the head girls basketball coach at Oklahoma Presbyterian College.

To be a coach and successful you must recruit. His prize player was a poor farm girl named Doll Harris. Now let me interject here that nothing is directly stated but there feels like a chemistry exists between them that may not have been all athletic. Babb gets a team together and they win a sportsmanship trophy at the AAU national tournament. That is not enough for Babb and he begins scouring the country for talent girls for a basketball scholarship.

The story relates how Doll Harris comes into a direct competition to a sports star Babe Didrikson who is the darling of women sports and a very good athlete. The rest of the book goes into detail about how the OPC girls team must fight for everything they get. It deals with some inner relationship problems among players and how they used that to better the team.

There is a revelation in this book that shows the many challenges that faced female athletes during this time frame. This would be a book loved by young eager female athletes but it really has little appeal to the majority of the sports fans. It may be considered inspirational but you have to have an interest in girls sports and women’s rights.

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