First Woman to Have a Basketball Court Named in Her Honor in New York City
FLUSHING, N.Y. – Legendary former Queens College women's basketball coach Lucille Kyvallos will have her name forever imprinted on the Queens College basketball court on Saturday, Oct. 14. Queens will hold a court dedication ceremony for Kyvallos inside Fitzgerald Gymnasium, unveiling the Lucille Kyvallos Court.
The public unveiling of the court will take place at 1 p.m. Doors will open at noon. For directions to Queens College's Fitzgerald Gymnasium, click here.
"Coach Kyvallos was a pioneer in women's basketball," said Cathy Andruzzi, Chair of the Lucille Kyvallos Court Fundraising Committee. "A great basketball player in her day, Coach Kyvallos' influence on the growth of women's basketball expanded beyond the basketball courts; she was on the forefront of the Title IX movement and positioned women's basketball on the national sports media scene."
Kyvallos became head coach of the Queens College women's basketball team in 1968 and coached the team until 1981. A member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, she compiled a record of 239-77 during her time with Queens.
With Kyvallos at the helm, the Knights were consistently ranked among the nation's best, and in 1973, they hosted the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Championship in Fitzgerald Gymnasium. Kyvallos' 1972-73 squad was the first women's basketball team to be inducted into the NYC Basketball Hall of Fame.
Her success opened the door to a Madison Square Garden appearance for the Knights on Feb. 22, 1975. It was the first women's college basketball game held in The Garden and drew a crowd of roughly 12,000 fans.
A woman of vision, Kyvallos was the first coach to incorporate aerobic conditioning and weight training into her team's regimen. She taught women to be winners by maximizing their skills and competitive abilities. She made a major contribution to changes in public attitudes and helped propel cultural and societal acceptance of the female athlete.
Kyvallos was the Lady Champion Sportswear Coach of the Year in 1976 and was selected to serve as the head coach of the United States women's basketball team at the 1977 World University Games. In 2015, she was recognized with the Lapchick Character Award. Kyvallos was inducted into the Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012, while her 1972 team was inducted as a Team of Distinction the following year. She brought the national spotlight to women's basketball competition at Queens College.
Kyvallos competes nationally and internationally in senior women's tennis, and she has been ranked and selected for US teams in world competition. Currently, she is the USTA 2017 National Women's 85's Clay Court Champion.