Patricia Ferguson’s success on the basketball court can’t be chalked up to the fact that everyone believed in her abilities.
The person who inspired her to first step on a basketball court at 11 years old was a boy outside of a gym in Detroit who told her that she couldn’t play with him and his friends because she was a girl.
“So I told that little boy, I said, ‘You listen. I’m gonna come back here next year and I’m taking your place,’” Ferguson says.
She did.
But even after proving her talent to the boys playing outside of the Kronk gym, Ferguson still was frequently passed over in favor of the taller boys.
A decade and a half later, a recruiter for the U.S. women’s national team told her the only advantage another qualifier had over her was measurable not in skill, but in the 5 inches taller she stood. And again, Ferguson was passed over.
“I will never forget …