Wayland Baptist University’s women’s basketball team, the Flying Queens, has been nominated for enshrinement into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class for 2019.
The Queens were nominated in Naismith’s new direct-elect committee for Women Veterans of the game.
According to a Naismith statement, the Women Veterans direct-elect committee aims to recognize the historical greats of the women’s game who may be overshadowed by those in the contemporary women’s game, such as nominees from the WNBA or the present-day college game.
“Wayland Baptist University appreciates this honor for the Flying Queens and salutes the Naismith Board of Directors for creating a new direct-elect committee that recognizes women basketball pioneers,” said Wayland Baptist University President Dr. Bobby Hall.
The Queens hold the record for most wins by a women’s collegiate team: 300 plus more wins than any other women’s college team in USA history. From the beginning of Wayland’s women’s basketball program in 1948-49 until the NCAA in 1982 began offering national championship events for all divisions of women’s athletics, the Flying Queens through the 1982-83 season had a winning percentage of .825; garnering 138 All American Honors and winning 10 National AAU Championships (American Athletic Union) and 9 consecutive NWIT Titles (National Women’s Invitational Tournament).
To date (2017-18) the Flying Queens have received 212 All American Honors; during the past 70 years (1948-49 through 2017-18) of basketball the Queens have a winning percentage of .743.
The Flying Queens are also the current record holder for consecutive wins by either a women’s’ or men’s’ team. From 1953 to 1958 the Flying Queens won 131 consecutive games.
In the early 1950s, Wayland began providing 13 full scholarships for women’s basketball players, becoming the first four-year college program to do so, decades prior to Title IX. As a result, annual tryouts attracted women from all over the nation.
“The Queens and their coaches, over the decades, have strongly influenced women’s collegiate basketball,” Hall said. “Through educating athletes, advancing the concept of postseason play, winning championships, modernizing rules and playing internationally, this team has a strong history of trailblazing that has laid the foundation for today’s game.”
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will announce the finalists for consideration in February from the North American and Women’s Committees. The entire Enshrinement Class, which will include the Direct-Elects, will be announced in March April during the NCAA Final Four. Induction of the selected 2019 Class will take place in September.