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date: 20 September 2020

Wade, Margaretlocked

(30 December 1912–16 February 1995)
  • Pamela Grundy


Wade, Margaret (30 December 1912–16 February 1995), basketball coach and physical education teacher, was born Lily Margaret Wade, in McCool, Mississippi, the eighth and last child of Robert Miller Wade and Bettie Veal Wade, farmers. Margaret grew up at a time when high school women’s basketball was extremely popular in small towns and rural communities throughout the country. Her parents farmed land near Cleveland, Mississippi, and she played forward for the Lady Wildcats of Cleveland High School. After graduating in 1929 she enrolled at the recently opened Delta State Teachers College in Cleveland, where she studied physical education. Delta State started a women’s basketball team her freshman year, and Wade played the first three seasons. The team, however, proved short-lived. A national group of college-based female physical educators had launched a campaign against women’s competitive sports, arguing that women were better served by “moderate” exercise and noncompetitive play. After the 1932 season Delta State administrators succumbed to those arguments and ruled that basketball was “too strenuous for young ladies.” Wade and her teammates were furious. “We cried and burned our uniforms,” she later recalled, “but there was nothing else we could do.”...

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