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Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite
Battling to make women’s basketball what it has become today was not an easy journey and Pat McKinzie’s story, Home Sweet Hardwood: A Title IX Trailblazer Breaks Barriers Through Basketball, shows exactly how difficult it was. From early in life, Pat was more comfortable running, jumping, throwing, and shooting, than she was playing with dolls and easy-bake ovens. In a time when there were both racial tensions and struggles with gender roles, Pat continued to fight for the game that she loved. After the passage of Title IX, which was the beginning of equalizing sports programs for women, Pat got her chance to move forward, doing what she loved. She was the first female athletic scholarship in Illinois and built upon that victory, though many challenges still lay in her path. Without faltering, Pat continued to pursue her dream and was one of the inaugural draftees in the Women’s professional basketball league. Her resilience and determination have been an inspiration to countless people through the years.
It is impossible to be anything but inspired by Pat McKinzie’s account of her battle as a pioneer of women’s basketball. Home Sweet Hardwood is an interesting, informative, and enlightening story. Observing the courage and determination with which Pat pursued her dream goes beyond gender and racial lines to reach a much deeper place within us all. This is a profound story of the strength of the human spirit in the face of extreme challenges. Inspiring, illuminating and awesome; Home Sweet Hardwood is certain to have a profound impact, not only on women of all ages, but upon anyone who has ever aspired to overcome all odds for something or someone that they love.