Ann Meyers Drysdale’s resume must be running out of space for there isn’t much she hasn’t conquered on or off the court in her 57 years.
The basketball pioneer, college superstar, UCLA legend, Olympian, sports crusader, broadcaster and NBA and WNBA executive, has now added “author” to her long list of accomplishments. Meyers Drysdale recently penned You Let Some Girl Beat You? (Behler Publications, $15.95), her long-awaited autobiography. The 231-page book details her adversity, triumphs and ultimate acceptance in the sports and broadcasting world, and is timed for publication as the 40th anniversary of Title IX is being celebrated.
“When I was in the fourth grade I read a book on Babe Didrikson Zaharis, and it gave me my dream to be an Olympian,” Meyers Drysdale said. “So I’m hoping that my book will open up doors for other young girls and give them the dreams that they want.”
Meyers Drysdale will sign her book 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 13, 2012, at the US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. She will sign books preceding the Phoenix Mercury game against the Seattle Storm, and again at halftime in section 119-120 on the main concourse.
Named by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 Female Sports Pioneers of all time, Meyers Drysdale is the only woman ever to play for an NBA team (the Indiana Pacers in 1979) and the only woman to sign a no-cut contract with the NBA. She was also the first woman ever to do color commentary of an NBA game, as well as the first woman to announce an NBA game on network television.
Meyers Drysdale was the first woman ever signed to a four-year athletic scholarship to UCLA, where she led the Women’s basketball team to their only National Championship in 1978. She was also a National Champion in Track & Field (both the pentathlon & high jump). To this day, she is the only four-time Bruin basketball All American, male or female.
A key figure in challenging many of the stereotypes that had long limited women’s opportunities in sport, Meyers Drysdale defied convention upon graduating from UCLA when she accepted a $150,000 free agent contract with the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. While the contract did not lead to a roster spot for Meyers Drysdale and was itself controversial at the time, she helped lay the foundation for women to play professional basketball in the United States.
After her athletic career she married Don Drysdale, legendary pitcher and announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, making them the first ever married couple enshrined in their respective sports’ Halls of Fame. In her role as WNBA General Manager of the Phoenix Mercury and the Vice President of the Phoenix Suns, she assembled championship basketball squads in 2007 and 2009.
Today Meyers Drysdale continues to break barriers in her role as a broadcaster. She covered the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Olympics for NBC and will be covering the 2012 Olympics in London this August. She also has an ongoing relationship with Fox, having just broadcast the Stanford vs. Cal Pac 10 men’s basketball finals in 2012.
If you go:
What: Ann Meyers Drysdale book signing, You Let Some Girl Beat You?
Where: US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2012