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Entries - Entry Category: Basketball - Starting with D

Dickey, Bettye Fiscus

Bettye Fiscus Dickey was the first true female college basketball star at the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Over a playing career that spanned from 1981 to 1985, she set numerous records, many of which still stood almost four decades later. Bettye Brooks Fiscus was born on July 20, 1963, to Jack Fiscus and Brooks Maddux Fiscus; she had three brothers. She grew up in Wynne (Cross County). Years later, she recalled that when she arrived in Wynne High School, it did not have a girls’ basketball program, but when she and a group of friends tried out as a group, one of the teachers took on the job of coach, and the program developed from there. …

Dodson v. Arkansas Activities Association

Dodson v. Arkansas Activities Association (1979) was a federal court decision concerning the rules for girls’ junior high and high school basketball in Arkansas. Diana Lee Dodson, then a fourteen-year-old student in the Arkadelphia (Clark County) public school system, filed a lawsuit against the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA), the governing body of public and private school athletic programs, asking that girls in Arkansas be permitted to play under the same full-court basketball rules as Arkansas boys played. Arkansas schools at that time required that basketball for girls be played under “half-court” rules. In this version of the game, which had been played in Arkansas and other states since at least the World War II era, girls’ teams had six players. …

Downing, Margaret Ruth

Margaret Downing was a pioneer in women’s sports, especially basketball, in Arkansas in the second half of the twentieth century. Her coaching accomplishments covered a wide range of sports, and she did much to help Southern Arkansas University (SAU)—where she spent the bulk of her career—transition into the new world of intercollegiate athletics ushered in by the enactment of Title IX. Margaret Ruth Downing was born on August 22, 1931, in Waldo (Columbia County). She grew up in Waldo before pursuing her undergraduate education at Arkansas State Teachers College (now the University of Central Arkansas), in Conway (Faulkner County) graduating in 1953 with a BSE. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee in 1960 before earning her …