Womens Basketball at Stetson


Carlye Mahler, News Writer

Basketball has been a central aspect of life for women at Stetson University dating back over a hundred years. In fact, it was so important that the 1924 Stetson Student Handbook from the Stetson Archives leads the Athletic Association Section of the handbook by stating that “The Major Girls’ sport at Stetson is basketball.”

Basketball continued to hold significance to the conversation around women at Stetson to 1941 where the group known as Alpha Deksioma, which was the largest social group on campus for women, made special mention of the basketball team when the girls basketball team was “complemented by the acting president”. The inclusion of this mention depicts the unity made between the most popular sports group for women on campus and the most popular social organization for women. Basketball held the ability to unite women across Stetson’s campus.

Because of basketball’s centrality to the place of women on Stetson’s campus, it is inevitable that basketball would serve as the battlefield for gendered issues on campus. A prime example of basketball finding itself as the topic of tension can be found in an opinion piece written for the 1980 issue of Stetson’s magazine, The Reporter, by Stetson student Bob Koslow ‘82. He penned the piece with the title “All the Way with Equality” where he discusses the introduction of Title IX, which majorly impacted sports and college life in general. He states that verbal harassment and booing during sports games is “all part of the game.” He goes even further to say that he “thought girl’s athletics had grown up since then.” 

This sentiment was not uncommon surrounding Title IX at the time, and this conversation surrounding women’s basketball at Stetson highlights just how central basketball is for the identity of women at Stetson. The fact that these gendered battles and social movements were discussed using basketball shows how important it has been.

Today the women’s basketball team at Stetson has evolved far beyond being referred to as the “Lady Hatters” or “girls basketball.” In a recent game, the Stetson women’s basketball team won against Johnson University, scoring 127 points. 

The tradition of women’s basketball at Stetson now continues on for future generations, Go Hatters!