Below are several responses that we have received about the book. With the permission of the authors, we are sharing their letters with you.
"My mother played high school girls basketball during the first era in Pennsylvania. She is now 93 years of age and still recalls the stories of her days as an athlete.
When we learned about your book, we ordered it as a Christmas gift for my mother. We have now received the book and I had to write and tell you how pleased I am with it. I had only read about it, but seeing the actual book was just wonderful! It obviously required a lot of research.
Thank you for personalizing the book with a message to my mother. I´ m sure she will enjoy all of the anecdotes and photos. I especially like the ´family memories´ section where she can record her own experiences for us."
Jan Westcott, Pennsylvania
"When I graduated in 1963, my high school in Michigan (2,300 students) had not one girls´ team, except cheerleading and synchronized swimming. Thirty-one years later my daughter, Anna, graduated with almost ten years of competitive ball under her belt. It happened because of the efforts of many individuals who recognized the inequity and unfairness of it all.
It was too late for me but in time for my daughter and now her daughter Emily who at age 1½ years is in the 97th percentile for height for her age. We have a budding new basketball player in the family!!
We would like to get your book for Anna as a surprise birthday present. I´ll check with our bookstore in Traverse City and see if they would be interested in carrying your book, and perhaps facilitating a signing.
Thanks so much for your help!
Mary Lou Dodge, Traverse City, Michigan
Thank you for sending me your book, Daughters of the Game. I read the book cover-to-cover and found myself reading the book a second time because I could not believe what I read the first time."
The stories that those women told you just blew me away, but I also realized that those were the times and that is the way it was.
Thank goodness we as a people got our act together so the young women today get the chance to be all that they can be.
All high schools in Minnesota should get this book to put in their school libraries so the young people, both male and female, can have a better understanding of what the young women of the first era went through for the betterment of the young women today.
Hopefully you or somebody will pick up the time from 1942 to the present and write another book about this topic.
Great job and great book!! It is a must- read for everybody, male and female!"
Harry Harrison, Champlin, Minnesota
Harry is a long-time sports fan and enjoys high school sports for boys and girls.
"When I got my book, I sat down and read it through from cover to cover. Every time I got to a funny story, it would get me to laughing, and then I´d read another one, and laugh some more.
I think my neighbors thought I had gone crazy with all that laughing."
Marie Keeler, St. Paul
View a "Then and Now" picture of Marie. Marie played on the Belle Plaine girls basketball team from 1922-1926. She is one of the book´s best story tellers.
The new book, Daughters of the Game - the First Era of Minnesota Girls High School Basketball, 1891-1942 exemplifies just how far the game of women´s basketball has evolved. The fact that it specifically portrays Minnesota athletes and the towns that supported their cause is a "must-read" for everyone, regardless of age.
Growing up in Minnesota in the 1960s-1970s, I appreciated the opportunity to be able to participate in organized sports. In 1972, the passage of Title IX provided an equal opportunity for girls to participate in sports and for a twelve-year old, the timing couldn´t have been better. My twin sister and I went out for every sport offered! We were just so grateful to have the same opportunities as the boys.
In reading the book, it is obvious that not everyone was as fortunate and yet Daughters of the Game is still able to capture the passion and drive of these women growing up in the first era of Minnesota girl´s high school basketball. The stories and pictures truly exhibit just how much fun these women had, even with the challenges of facilities, travel and the ever-changing rules.
As an early product of Title IX, I was fortunate enough to continue playing basketball in college- even receiving a full-ride scholarship. As our team traveled across the country to play both our conference and non-conference games, I soon discovered my own passion for travel and decided to pursue playing overseas. Being of Scandinavian-German descent, I opted to play in Norway while my twin decided to play her first year in Germany. Initially, the contracts were not big, but money wasn´t the issue as we were truly in love with the game. We were delighted that someone would even pay us to play our game!
After a playing and coaching career of twelve years in Europe, I eventually returned to Minnesota and was amazed to see the changes in women´s sports - some good, some bad. Daughters of the Game recaptures the passion that the role of sport plays in society and the real reasons we should participate - truly for the love of the game.
Young women and their parents need to know this history and evolution of women´s sports and never take it for granted. Now, as a high school and college official, it is still possible to stay involved and to give back to a game that has given me and so many others such great opportunities and memories.
Thank you Dorothy and Marian, for keeping the memories of so many alive!
Deb Weinreis, St. Paul
Deb continues to serve Minnesota high schools as an official and most recently was an official at the 2006 MSHSL State Girls Basketball Tournament
"After I heard you give a presentation about your book, Daughters of the Game, at the Amazon Bookstore last November, I thought it would be interesting to see how the statewide story you uncovered would play itself out within just one small town."
Dan has completed a thirty page history titled, "Why Did They Take That Game Away From Us? The Story of Cokato High School Girls Basketball, 1903-1931."
The history of Cokato´s girls basketball teams parallel the stories in many Minnesota communities, but chronicles the entire first era of the Cokato teams until their team was also discontinued in 1931.
The stories will make you smile as each year´s teams share their stories and their local heroes. It will bring another tear to the eye to read the 1931 newspaper headline, "Basket Ball Practice Opens; Girls´ Team Dropped This Year." The 1931 Cokato team picture
The history was researched with the assistance of the Cokato Museum. Copies of this publication are available through The Cokato Museum, P.O. Box 686, Cokato, MN 55321. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tele. 320/286-2427. The museum is located at 175 W. 4th Street, Cokato. Visit the website.
Dan Conrad, Phd, is a retired teacher, living in Minneapolis. Two of his aunts were captains of a Cokato girls basketball team: Ruth Johnson, in 1918-1919 and Ruby Johnson, 1924-1925.
All I can say is that the book-signing on February 14, 2006 was a "best in my career" moment! I am the Communications Coordinator with the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District and I have never coordinated an event such as this!!
I was in touch with Dorothy about the book the spring/summer before it was published. My initial thoughts were to just write a story about the book that highlighted players from the Buffalo basketball team. When I found out that three of the women who were featured in the book as members of the Buffalo girls basketball teams, 1922-1932, were living in Buffalo, it grew into something much more-a book signing event coupled with a recognition night.
I wasn´t sure if the authors would be willing to drive all the way out to Buffalo. To my surprise, they accepted the event idea with great enthusiasm (so did the three Buffalo women) and the book signing event was underway.
I had no idea what to expect. The event was being held in conjunction with the varsity girls basketball game where they were also celebrating Girls and Women in Sports Day. It had been publicized everywhere for weeks. I wanted to make sure the evening was a success.
Dorothy arrived with boxes and boxes of books. People began to mingle around waiting for the three featured women to arrive. Soon, books were flying out of the boxes as Dorothy, Vera Templin, Honey Mattson and Babe Durand were quickly signing to keep up.
Just before the start of the game, the women were introduced and parts of their stories were told to the enthusiastic crowd. To thunderous applause, the women were presented with certificates of achievement. They passed the game ball to the officials and then without missing a beat, both Buffalo and the visiting basketball teams lined up to shake the women´s hands and thank them for their contributions to girls basketball. It was a touching sight to see the generations linked through their mutual love of basketball.
It was an evening that I will never forget. It is just so amazing how Daughters of the Game has sparked so many wonderful conversations and events to honor and recognize these pioneers of girls/women´s basketball. Marian and Dorothy have done a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the era and preserving a history that is all too easily forgotten. The book is getting people talking, talking about something that didn´t seem so special at the time; something that was taken for granted, until it was lost.
Now that girls and women´s sports are back, stronger than ever, it´s important for these young players to know the history and appreciate all that has been done to preserve a place for them on the field, the rink, the course, the track and the court.
Laura Barta, Communications Director, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District
Our aunt, Evelyn Olson Kukkola, is so excited about being included in the book, Daughters of the Game!! We are having an All-School Reunion in Underwood on July 1-2, 2006. I promised Aunt Evelyn that I would have the book on display.
Aunt Evelyn played on the 1937 Underwood girls basketball team that is featured in the book. The yearbook, The Misquah, reported that they had a successful season and Aunt Evelyn was the team captain. Their team played St. John´s, Pelican Rapids, Frazee, and Glyndon. They played their home game in the Woodman´s Hall in Underwood.
Aunt Evelyn said, "No one ever came to see us play, not even our parents." She added, "but mostly no one came to see the boys play either, other than Marv Kester and Irvin Throndson."
She played to have fun, and Aunt Evelyn added, "As far as Mom and Dad were concerned, they didn´t know what basketball was, only that I was playing with friends."
Aunt Evelyn loves sports and when I asked if she could have been a 3-point shooter, she laughed and said, "Maybe, I do remember hitting one from the corner by the furnace!"
One of my aunt´s favorite memories is, "Each girl took one of us home for the night. I ended up at one of those beautiful big farm homes. I came from a very poor family and really didn´t know how to act, plus being shy. I had my own room and breakfast was outstanding. I´ll never forget that place."
Thank you for preserving our aunt´s history as a member of the Underwood girls basketball team! Aunt Evelyn asked us to tell you that "it surely is a book of love!"
Delores Peterson, Underwood, niece of Evelyn Olson Kukkola, 1934-1937, now living in Sacramento, CA.
"Congratulations on your excellent book! It is fascinating history for me because our family history is full of girls high school basketball.
My mother, Ruth DeLaHunt Rawn, played at Willmar in 1913-14. She provided information for your book, Daughters of the Game, when she was 100 years of age. She said, "I never heard of any disapproval of girls playing basketball. We were heroes." My mother said she enjoyed basketball because she ran everywhere. With seven siblings waiting for a bathroom at home, she was always running to get to school on time.
My mother´s sister, Eleanor DeLaHunt Strand, played from 1917-1921. She provided an interview at the age of 95 years. My Aunt Eleanor tells this story in your book about how her teams traveled by train, the Great Northern Flyer: ´We all wanted to stay for the party after the game at Dassel. But, no, we had to get down to the depot and get ready to take the train back to Willmar. So we all got down to the depot and our superintendent was there. It was his job to see that we got on the train. I can still remember how he looked when the train went by ´swoosh!!´ It never stopped! So we went back to the party.´
Another sister also played at Willmar in 1927. Her name was Addie DeLaHunt Osterberg Larson, youngest sister of Ruth and Eleanor DeLaHunt. My sister and at least two cousins have granddaughters who play basketball. The great-granddaughters love the game and enjoy the book, especially the parts about Ruth, Eleanor and Addie.
When you sent me a copy of the Willmar team information, it arrived on my birthday. Reading my mother´s words again was just the best birthday present I could have received."
Florence DeLaHunt Rawn, Duluth, MN
Our family is very appreciative of your efforts to send the book, Daughters of the Game, to us in time for my grandmother´s 90th birthday party last Saturday. Her name is Myrtle Matteson Larson. We just learned that Adams and her team were in the book. It was a wonderful surprise to present her with her own book with over fifty family members present.
I don´t think that she put the book down for the entire three hours of her party!!
Grandmother told us that she played and lettered all four years on the Adams girls basketball team from 1931-1934. It was "something fun and interesting to do." She said that the school would only provide the girls´ team with their shirts because the school wanted only to fund the boys´ sports programs. So the girls sold Christmas cards to raise money for their bloomers.
Family members also want the book so I´m sure you´ll be hearing from them. I hope to bring my mom, Myrtle´s oldest child, to your book signing in Austin on April 1st. Thanks again for all that you did to make this happen - it was a huge success with my family!
Dawn Lubinski, Byron, granddaughter of first era player from Adams, Myrtle Matteson Larson.
The book, Daughters of the Game, is an important contribution to the history of women´s sports. Authors Dorothy McIntyre and Marian Johnson have brought to life the stories of these long forgotten female athletes. Without their commitment to telling these stories, the first era of girl´s basketball would be mythology rather than documented history.
The women who were part of the first era of women´s basketball were true trailblazers. In spite of great obstacles, these courageous women forged a path that changed the course of history forever. As a participant in the second era of girls basketball, I am grateful for their commitment to women´s athletics because it allowed me to play a sport that I loved. Now as a high school principal, I continue the work they started by ensuring that meaningful athletic opportunities continue to exist for young women.
Dr. Jill P. Johnson, Principal, Richfield Senior High School, MN
Jill was a member of the Glencoe girls basketball team, 1973-1977, and played in the championship game of the first MSHSL State Girls Basketball tournament held at the Met Center in 1976.
"Your book, Daughters of the Game, is phenomenal! Without your concentrated efforts to research, write and publish this book, much of the wonderful history of the first era of Minnesota girls high school basketball would be lost and/or unknown. Your passion, your understanding of both the joys and the pains of these early years come through powerfully!
For me, I am filled with feelings of both excitement and sorrow. Great excitement because your book reveals the fact that many girls and women were able to do what I so passionately wanted to do when I was in high school: play ball as a member of a team. Sorrow, because those of us living in the 1940s and 1950s were not given a chance! But mostly, I rejoice because so many girls and women…great, great, great granddaughters of the first era…are being given a chance to truly live and love the game and all that this means!
Thank you for gifting our Community of Benedictine Sisters here in St. Joseph, MN with our own autographed copy! Once I ´release´ the book, (smile) I know that many of the Sisters will devour your well-researched history. I can just hear them laughing and loving the pictures and words, and reminiscing about the years and times you describe so well!"
From a passionate lover of the game,
Sister Lois Wedl
Sister Lois Wedl received a Breaking Barriers Awards from the College of St. Benedict and was recognized at the 2005 National Girls and Women in Sports Day in the Capitol rotunda, St. Paul.
"When we opened a copy of Daughters of the Game, we discovered that my wife Lynnette´s grandmother played basketball at Red Wing Seminary High School in 1926. The book reports that when her team played Red Wing High School, ´Esther ´Speed´ Nelson scored all 20 points in the 20-12 win.´
Our daughter, Darby Noreen, played at Albany High School and is now on the Blazer´s women´s basketball team at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph. We also have a daughter playing at Mankato State and a daughter playing at Albany where she is our top scorer. We also have a son playing for St. Cloud Apollo.
My wife and I always argue about where our six kids get their great basketball genes. My father and I both played basketball but since Esther is my wife´s grandmother, I think she is ´one up´ on me now!
We are going to go through family photos that include Esther and see if we can find more information on her basketball career. We will get back to you on what we find."
Jon Noreen, Girls Basketball Coach, Albany High School
Albany has a strong history in girls basketball since the renewal of girls basketball in the 1970. It is the only school in Minnesota to win both A and AA in the two-class system.
"Daughters of the Game is a wonderful resource for our high school students at Champlin Park High School. It is used in our Group Individual Recreational Lifetime Sports (G.I.R.L.S.) classes and our many other physical education electives.
This book provides our students with the true spirit of the game and allows them to learn how basketball evolved in Minnesota. It is a great educational and inspirational reference for our young women and men and is a literary treasure for life-long lessons.
Daughters of the Game is a powerful teaching tool!"
Joan Spehar, Instructor, Department of Physical Education, Champlin Park High School
Joan is an innovative teacher and seeks new ways to make learning interesting and fun for her students.
"What fun we are having with the book!
I took the book to the care facility to show it to Dorothy Iversen Viker, Hayfield 1925. She was absolutely amazed at the book. We sat together paging through each section. Dorothy said, ´Can you imagine a beautiful book like this all about girls basketball?!!´
When Dorothy saw the photo in the book of her 1925 team, she said, ´We were Hayfield´s 1925 pride and joy!´
As a family, we appreciate being included in the legacy section of the book. I well remember my playing days on the Austin High School team and the opportunity to play in the first MSHSL State Girls Basketball tournament in 1976 at the Met Center. What a thrill it was to be in games where we set the first state tournament records. My teammate was the first to score a basket and I was the first to be called for a foul. Those are special memories! Now my daughters, Annie and Megan, are enjoying their opportunity to play on teams for Austin High School.
There is one more special moment to share with you. The 1930 Elkton team photo includes two women of my congregation and I can hardly wait to take my book to church to talk with them and hear their stories."
Liz was a pioneer advocate for bringing sports back into the schools as a teacher and coach in the 1980s and was involved in state tournaments for many years.
"This book is a real tribute to the many fine female athletes from 1891-1942 in the world of Minnesota girls basketball. The time and effort that Dorothy and Marian put into the making of this book can only be called a ´labor of love.´
My mother, Pauline (Marjorie) Holmes Eiden, was on the Sherburn team, 1922-1925. She was so excited about the fact that finally others would know about girls basketball in her day. It was important to her that the beautiful silver trophy they won in 1925 be shared through the book and eventually find a permanent home.
It was her job to get the trophy from storage in Sherburn and get it polished up for all of the reunions their class had. It would take her several days to get it polished to her satisfaction. She loved to tell about the fun they had and the many little bloopers that happened.
It has been a fun book for me to read about the teams that Windom had during that time span. It was interesting to go through the list of players and recognize pictures or names of women that remained in the Windom area all of their lives.
Again, thanks to the authors for their devotion to this project and for taking the time to research and get the information from the women themselves or their families.
I wish my mother would have lived to see the finished book. She died in 2004 at the young age of 96."
Sharon McNeal Diemer, Windom, MN
"I am ordering a book for two of my former players at Pine City. I was a beginning coach with wonderful students who have gone on to teach and coach their own students.
I will send this book to my former students with this message, "to the generation that got to play from the generation that did not!"
Elisa Mill, teacher and coach, Pine City, MN
"I just want to thank you for making the book. My family just loved it, and my grandchildren didn´t really know I was a good player."
Thea Sletkolen Stay, Montevideo, MN 1931-1935
The Montevideo American News reported that Thea scored 15 more points in her senior season than Montevideo´s opponents.
Today we had Thanksgiving Dinner with my mother who is 94 years of age and living in a nursing home in Dawson. I am so grateful that Mom lived to see this BOOK about her era of girls basketball. I wanted a picture of her with the book. She directed me to the drawer where she keeps it so no one will come and take it while she is sleeping. She said, "I never dreamed our words and pictures would be in a book this big!! It is really heavy!" As she looked at the pictures and silently read, she added, "I wish so much that Edith had lived so we could read and see the pictures together." Edith was Ruth´s teammate, lifelong friend and roommate at the nursing home. She died last June.
As Mom reread the story about Milan, she said, "I think I might have to order this book…it´s pretty good!" Mom didn´t realize that I had bought the book for her. Yes, indeed, Dorothy and Marian, this book is more than pretty good: it is wonderful! You captured a great part of history. Thank you!
Audrey Loehr, Willmar, MN
Audry is the daughter of Ruth Olson Kleven. Ruth is featured on the book jacket with her two great-granddaughters, representing the legacy of the game.
I made my copy of the book available over Thanksgiving at the Silverness house and it was a hit! Among my mother, Marian, Proctor 1941, my wife´s mother, Mary, and a member of the Proctor class of 1931, Lorraine Caron, the book was in use for three hours!! I kid you not!!
The 1931 graduate knew so many of the players from those years and what had become of them. It was a treasure to hear the stories when they were in school and what had become of them after graduation.
It was remarkable for a school the size of Proctor to be so successful. It was the smallest school in the Head of the Lake Conference and had the smallest gym, nicknamed "the cracker box" by the classes. With so many negative factors to overcome and to be so successful, their spirit truly reflected the following quote of the times, found in the Proctorian yearbook of 1921:
"Success in basket ball depends not so much upon size or ability, as many think, as upon fighting spirit."
With Daughters of the Game warming our hearts and memories, it was truly a "Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Day!"
Bob Silverness, Proctor School Board Director, Caribou Lake, MN
When I received the book, Daughters of the Game, I could hardly wait to settle down and read it cover to cover!! I did not realize when I provided information about my mother, Edith Anderson Bergan of Cloquet 1920–1925, that it would be so detailed and in hard cover. It is a wonderful book!
My family was home for Thanksgiving and the book was the center of their attention.
I can´t even fathom the time that it required to organize and put this marvelous book together. My sisters and children will also want a copy of their own. The price of the book is really a bargain. Thanks for all of your effort!!
Nancy Bergan Melby, Crookston, MN
My grandmother, Ruth Dahlke of Sherburn, so enjoys being a part of Daughters of the Game. Athletics played an enormous role in her life from childhood up to her current age of 95 years (she watches more sports than my husband).
Gram experienced some serious health problems this summer, but throughout her ordeal she could not wait to order her copy of Daughters of the Game. Now the book sits next to her armchair where she can read, re-read and share the stories with visitors.
Thank you for all of your hard work and diligence in breathing life back into these charming accounts of early women´s basketball.
Trudi Detert,St. Michael, MN
Trudi followed in her grandmother´s basketball footsteps as a Sherburn Raider
While researching University of Minnesota basketball, I found newspaper clippings of a women´s basketball team from the "U" playing area high schools in the first ten years of the 20th century.
As a journalist interested in Minnesota sports history, I was fascinated by the topic. I´m glad Marian Bemis Johnson and Dorothy E. McIntyre have uncovered the "hidden history" of girls basketball in Minnesota over the first 50 years of the 20th century.
Daughters of the Game is a well-researched history of the "first girls basketball era" in Minnesota.
Joel Rippel, author of "75 Memorable Moments in Minnesota Sports."
I recently received the book, Daughters of the Game – the First Era of Minnesota Girls Basketball, 1891–1942. I had done some research for the authors on our early Wadena teams. The book is a splendid and very impressive effort on the part of Johnson and McIntyre and I send my congratulations to them.
Robert C. Zosel, Wadena Historical Society
Your book is fabulous! I´ve spent hours looking through it, and love how you have organized it in "basketball" language such as "quarters," "halftime," etc.!!
The pictures of girls teams from years long ago, and the stories from women who played then, are priceless.
I usually give a little history about each sport that my elementary physical education students play and they have always enjoyed hearing about the origin of basketball. Now it will be exciting to share with my students the information about how the game came to Minnesota, and the many pictures of people and places that are in the book.
Thank you so much for keeping this history of girls basketball alive!
Deedee Marx, Physical Education Specialist, Austin Public Schools, Austin, MN
I heard about the book on Minnesota Public Radio and found the story enlightening and fascinating. I didn´t know the history of the game. More importantly, I don´t think today´s young female basketball players know the history and it is important that they learn about the players before them (and about the ones who couldn´t play!)
This book will be under the tree for my 17 year old basketball-playing daughter. I hope she and her fellow teammates find Daughters of the Game inspirational, fun and educational.
Thank you for telling and preserving this golden nugget of basketball history.
Kim Burmeister, Hopkins, MN
I wish I could find just the right words to express my thanks to you for all of the hard work you did to put this book together. What it has done for all of the women in the state is wonderful!!
I could not sleep Saturday night. How happy you made me feel going through the book!
Mabel Thompson Erickson, Burnsville, MN
Mabel played basketball from 1927 to 1931.
"I applaud your efforts to bring this period of Minnesota sports history to light and how proud my mother, Inez Uglum Schissel (1927-1932), is to be included in it. I remember how she would show my daughters that she could still shoot the ball and then laughing about her two-handed set shot while they were showing her their jump shots.
I have my mother´s school letter proudly displayed in my office to remind me of how special her accomplishments were."
Bob Schissel, Park Rapids, MN