It’s not the same game. After all, now women can dribble and run up and down the court. Berenson, in fact, modified the game to a six-on-six version, so it was less strenuous for women, and followed that up with her “Basketball Guide for Women.”
As Oberbillig said, “I think Senda would be amazed at what women’s basketball is today. It would be foreign to her, but I think she would be proud.”
Berenson finally presides over what she started at Smith, with a banner in the gym, with her name on the court. Just 30 minutes away, her picture — in profile — is up with the basketball greats at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, labeled as the “Mother of Women’s Basketball.” She is near Tommy Heinsohn and Dean Smith, John Havlicek and Sam Jones.
And over at Smith, they feel grateful for her contribution, grateful for what she did for them. Grateful, too, that they’ve been able to balance athletics with academics, that they’ve been able to have it all.
“It’s just a pride thing for us,” Hersey said. “We want to make the people before us feel proud of what we’re trying to accomplish today.
“We’re bringing the Smith name into a different limelight and we’re doing it in a way that’s filled with integrity. Our ancestors in this sport here would be very proud of us.”