Joseph talks preparation ahead of Minnesota – Panhandle

To commemorate 50 years of Title IX, Nebraska will celebrate a trailblazer in women’s athletics at every home football game. Maurice Ivy will be recognized and honored at the Minnesota game this Saturday.

Title IX of the Civil Rights Act was signed into law on June 23, 1972, when Ivy was just 5 years old and growing up in Omaha. She spent her primary and secondary days on the cement courts of Fontenelle Park, opposite her home, competing against neighborhood boys. The playgrounds and gymnasiums of Omaha became the testing ground for his talents.

So was the football field, where she spent five seasons playing as a center linebacker for her father and football coach, Tom, for the Gate City Steelers. Her mental and physical strength allowed her to become the first middle schooler to compete at Central Omaha University.

After graduating from Omaha Central at age 16 in 1984, Ivy came to Nebraska to help turn around a struggling program. She scored nearly 2,000 points during her career at Central, leading the Eagles to a pair of Class A state titles and 50 straight wins. She led the state in scoring three times and led the Metro Conference four straight seasons.

The Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star chose her as high school athlete of the year in 1984 after helping Central’s track team win two state championships as well, winning half a dozen gold medals along the way. .

After receiving offers from hundreds of schools, Ivy called the Devaney Center home to show the world her athleticism.

She was recruited to Nebraska by freshman coach Kelly Hill, who coached the Huskers for Ivy’s freshman and sophomore seasons. NU suffered two losing campaigns despite Ivy’s explosive production. Coach Angela Beck arrived for Ivy’s junior season, and the Huskers’ fortunes changed.

The Big Red fought their way to a winning season in 1986-87 that included a trip to the semi-finals of the Big Eight tournament. Ivy set the tone for Nebraska’s rise by averaging a school-high 23.6 points per game.

The Huskers have fully arrived in Ivy’s senior season. Nebraska, which had never finished better than fourth in the Big Eight standings, sprinted to the 1988 conference regular season title with Ivy averaging 19.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

“Of course I was a shooter and a scorer, individually you can do certain things but you can’t do it without your team,” Ivy said in Nebraska Public Media’s recent production commemorating Title IX. “We bonded and gelled and went to work.”

The first female basketball player in school history to score 2,000 career points, Ivy reached the milestone on “Maurtice Ivy Night” at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Mayor Bernie Simon declared it “Maurtice Ivy Day” in Omaha on Feb. 17, 1988, and Ivy showed her flair for the dramatic by scoring a free throw with 23 seconds left to put the Huskers ahead while reaching 2,001 points. in career. She added three more free throws to give NU a 76-72 win over a Kansas team they had beaten just three times in their previous 22 meetings. On the same day, Omaha Central announced the retirement of their No. 22 jersey.

Ivy paved the way for other Husker basketball players. Not only was she the first Husker to reach 2,000 career points, she was the first Husker to average 20 per game in a season (23.6 points per game, 1986-87). She was NU’s No. 1 Conference Player of the Year and three-time No. 1 pick from all conferences. She led Nebraska to its first conference title and its first NCAA tournament.

In January 2011, Nebraska retired Ivy’s No. 30 jersey and the banner displaying it hangs next to 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings’ No. 51 and All-American No. 23. Kelsey Griffin inside Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Ivy was a prolific scorer who totaled eight 30-point games, including a massive 46-point effort against Illinois in 1986, but the scoring still showed only a sliver of Ivy’s impact. She ranks No. 2 all-time in Nebraska in scoring average (19.2 ppg), No. 3 in points (2,131) and free throws (431), seventh in blocks (104) and eighth in rebounds (778) and steals (215).

Ivy’s rebounding and blocking totals might be the best examples of her remarkable athleticism. At 5-9, Ivy played on the rim, hovering over taller players to finish iron or flying across the lane to help the defense block shots. As a sophomore in 1985-86, she averaged 8.6 rebounds to go along with 19.7 points. As a junior, she added 7.8 boards to her 23.6 points.

After setting the stage for success in Nebraska, Ivy also became a trailblazer as a professional, spending two years in Denmark. She continued to find ways to compete while earning her bachelor’s degree in communications from Nebraska in 1992.
She was a national-level competitor on some dominant “Hoop It Up” teams when street play swept the country in the 1990s.

In 1993, she led the Nebraska Express in the Women’s Basketball Association. During the WBA’s three official seasons (1993-95), Ivy was a bona fide summer league star who helped lay the foundation for the WNBA. In 1994, Ivy led the Express to the WBA title as Finals MVP. In 1993, Ivy propelled the Express to a league-best 13-2 regular season record before falling to the best of five WBA Championship Series against the Kansas Crusaders.

In 1996, Ivy and another former Omaha Central standout, Jessica Haynes, propelled a team to a national “Hoop It Up” title.

“I think I was a pioneer in women’s basketball,” Ivy told Omaha reporter Leo Biga. “I’m always flattered when they compare the players who now come up to me.”

She was inducted into the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame, Nebraska High School Hall of Fame (1998), Omaha Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame (2006), Omaha Sports Hall of Fame (2009) and in 2020 she was member of the Nebraska Athletic Hall of Fame class. In 2000, she was also recognized as one of Nebraska’s 25 Women of Distinction and a member of the Women’s All-Century Basketball Team at NU’s Silver Anniversary Celebration of College Sports. feminine.

She added a master’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from the UN, where she was an assistant women’s basketball coach. She was also the head coach of the State of Peru.

She has been a senior executive at Charles Drew Health Center in Omaha since 2013 and CEO of the nonprofit Ivy League Youth Sports Academy in Omaha.

“I recognize the importance of Title IX and the impact it has had on my life,” Ivy said. “Success breeds success. It does something for your confidence as a young girl and as a woman.”