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NCAAW Basketball – 1985 – Special – The Ball Size Change + 1st Dunk + Iowa Sets Attendance Record


This 1986 NCAA women’s basketball special was aired on CBS Sports and hosted by Brent Musburger just before the Women’s Final Four was to take place at the University of Texas Erwin Center….with the first spotlight being cast on the decision to change the size of the basketball played in NCAA sanctioned games.  

Basketball sizes vary by age, gender, and level of play….as the official size of the basketball used by the NBA is 29.5 inches in circumference….which is the same size used throughout men’s college and high school basketball leagues….whereas the WNBA uses a slightly smaller ball that measures 28.5 inches in circumference.  For international play, specifically FIBA, the basketball used is what’s called a Molten GL7 for men and Molten GL6 for women. These basketballs typically feature two different colors and are slightly bigger, with a 30.7-inch circumference for the men’s ball and a 29-inch circumference for the women’s.   

The 1st official woman to dunk in an NCAA game was West Virginia’s Georgeann Wells in December of 1985 in a game against Xavier….which makes this video a piece of NCAA Women’s Basketball history….and thus becomes another “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories. 

Iowa Coach Vivian Stringer wrote a open letter to the Lady Hawkeye’s fan base encouraging them to show up to break the NCAA Women’s Basketball attendance record of 10,622….and to her surprise 22,157….a record that still stands today….so, any way you cut the pie…this video is a double-dip piece of history in women’s collegiate basketball.

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