A trailblazer in women’s basketball, Ann Meyers Drysdale wasn’t just the first woman to be signed to a four-year athletic collegiate scholarship when she signed to compete for UCLA, she also became the first woman to sign an NBA contract after signing with the Indiana Pacers in 1979.
A member of nine USA Basketball teams from 1975-79, Meyers most notably was on the 1976 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team that competed in the inaugural Olympic women’s basketball competition in Montreal. That squad had to first qualify for the Olympics and did so a few weeks ahead of the Olympics, earning gold with a 5-0 mark at the qualifying event.
Entering the six-team, round-robin Olympic competition, the USA fell to Japan in its opener, then collected a pair of victories before falling to the Soviet Union, which at the time was the most dominant women’s basketball program in the world. Undeterred, the 2-2 USA met also 2-2 Czechoslovakia and pulled out an 83-67 victory in its final game to secure the Olympic silver medal.
In all, Meyers earned four gold medals, three silver medals and compiled a 44-12 record from the 1976 Olympics, 1976 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, 1975 and 1979 FIBA World Cups, 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games, 1977 World University Games, 1979 Spartakiade and 1979 R. William Jones Cup.
Also notable in her USA Basketball career, Meyers was selected by her peers to carry the flag and lead the U.S. delegation into the 1979 Pan American Games Opening Ceremony.
In her four seasons (1974-75 through 1977-78) at UCLA, Meyers averaged 17.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 4.2 steals per game. The 5-foot-9 guard recorded the first quadruple-double in NCAA Division I history with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals against Stephen F. Austin University on Feb. 18, 1978.
In her final game as a Bruin, Meyers led her team to a 90-74 victory over the University of Maryland in the 1978 AIAW national championship game. The first four-time women’s basketball All-American, Meyers earned the 1978 Honda Sports Award as the nation’s top collegiate player and the Broderick Cup as the nation’s most outstanding women’s collegiate athlete of the year.
Meyers has been inducted into numerous halls of fame, most notably she is a 1993 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, a 1999 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2007 was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.
The California native lettered in seven sports during her prep career and helped her basketball squads, first at Cornelia Connelly High School and then at Sonora High School, to an impressive 80-5 overall record.
In 1986 Meyers married Don Drysdale, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the couple have three children. Drysdale died of a heart attack in 1993.
Halls of Fame
|1979 PAG||6||25- 51||.490||6- 13||.462||15/ 2.5||56/ 9.3||10|
|1979 WC||6||17-||n/a||7-8||.875||13/ 2.1||41/ 6.8||n/a|
|1979 SPAR||6||13- 42||.310||5- 7||.714||13/||32/5.3||10|
|1977 WUG||5||25- 53||.472||20- 25||.800||19/ 3.8||70/ 14.0||7|
|1975 WC||7||15-||n/a||10-18||.556||n/a||40/ 5.7||n/a|
NOTE: Statistics are unavailable for the 1979 R. William Jones Cup and 1975 Pan American Games, and complete statistics are missing from most other events. Totals include only totals from columns where all stats are available.