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Book tells of scrappy young basketball players among the first to benefit from Title IX

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

As this year marks 50 years since Title IX became law, we listen back to a conversation with one of the female student-athletes granted the opportunity to play in the 1970s because of this decision.

Title IX became law in 1972. As a result, any school that receives any federal money is required to provide fair and equal treatment of the sexes in all areas, including sports. Change didn’t happen all at once, but during the 1970s girls who had been forced to watch from the sidelines started to have real opportunities to join teams and compete. Melissa Isaacson was one of those girls.

In 1975, Isaacson was a freshman at Niles West High School in Suburban Chicago. She joined the brand new girls basketball team and, four years later, they won the state championship. Isaacson shares her story and her team's story in the new book, State: A Team, A Triumph, A Transformation. Isaacson went on to an award-winning career as a sports writer and is now on faculty at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

This episode was originally produced September 9, 2019.


Melissa Issacson, author, State: A Team, A Triumph, A Transformation

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Dennis Reese was the mid-day host for Iowa Public Radio