One of the first women to play professional basketball will share her story in a free, public lecture at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Pat McKinzie-Lechault will present “A Mother’s Aspiration, A Daughter’s Destiny – Four Decades, Three Generations, Two Continents, One Game,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18. The talk will be held in the Laird Room at the Dreyfus University Center on campus and is the final event of the year-long “Access to Opportunity” lecture series. Her daughter, Nathalie Lechault, a 2009 alumna of UW-Stevens Point, will also speak. Lechault chose UW-Stevens Point to play Pointer basketball with Coach Shirley Egner.
The lecture series marks UW-Stevens Point’s hosting of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball championships March 21-22, and centers on the access to opportunity Title IX gave young women playing scholastic sports.
“For me it will truly be a celebration of women and how far we have come,” said McKinzie-Lechault of her talk. The author of an autobiography, “Home Sweet Hardwood,” she will talk about the personal and professional challenges she faced and why she was inspired to write her book.
“Home Sweet Hardwood” will be available for purchase at the lecture, with a portion of the profits supporting the UW-Stevens Point women’s basketball team. McKinzie-Lechault will sign copies.
The first female athletic scholarship recipient in Illinois, McKinzie-Lechault was also the first female player to score 1,000 points at Illinois State University. She is one of the first Women’s Professional Basketball League draftees and female inductees into the Hall of Fame at Illinois State. After a 1983 car accident ended her playing career, she began coaching, teaching and writing. She currently teaches and coaches at the International School of Switzerland and writes a blog at http://pattymackz.com/wordpress.