On This Day: Lynette Woodard becomes first female Harlem Globetrotters player

On October 7, 1985, Lynette Woodard, captain of the gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team in 1984, becomes the first female player for the Harlem Globetrotters. “I got chills, Woodard, 26, says of her selection. “I just shook my head and I said: ‘It’s me, I know it’s me.’” She beats out nine other finalists for the historic honor.

READ MORE: 10 Things You May Not Know About the Harlem Globetrotters

It was perhaps fitting that Woodard became the first female Globetrotter as her obsession with basketball began when her cousin, Herbert “Geese” Ausbie, then a member of the barnstorming team, visited her when she was 8. After witnessing Ausbie spin the ball on his finger and show off other Globetrotter moves, she was hooked. 

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