Members of a UGA 1968-69 women's basketball team are honored at the UGA Lady Bulldogs versus the Florida Gators game Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at Stegeman Coliseum. There team pre-dated the officially sanctioned team, but set in motion what a few years later would become Georgia's first official women's basketball team. 
Photo: Savannah Cole/Special to AJC
Photo: Savannah Cole/Special to AJC

Georgia women’s basketball recognizes anniversary of 1969 team

During the Lady Bulldogs’ game against Florida at Stegeman Coliseum, UGA honored a women’s basketball team that represented the university in the 1968-69 academic year. Members of that team were recognized on the court for the 50th anniversary of their influential performances. 

“We talk about it all the time, like when you come to Georgia and you put on this uniform it’s about honoring the people who got it started,” coach Joni Taylor said. “And I can’t think of a better team to talk about than the 1969 team.” 

Eleven of the original 13 members, including coach Jean Dowell, were in attendance at the game. In front of a loud home crowd, these women were recognized as some of the early trailblazers for women’s sports at UGA. 

In a time before the 1972 passage of Title IX, women’s basketball was not a sanctioned sport by the university, so these women played for the love of the game. They played four game that season and bought their own uniforms and provided their own transportation to the away games. 

“You’ve got to be persistent in the pursuit of what it is you want to do and you know it’s the right thing, and what better lesson and role model than that 1969 team,” Taylor said.