Day 1 of our trip to the Northeast is complete and we spent it at Cheyney State – Now Cheyney University – in Cheyney, Penn. We explored the campus with Val Walker and Yolanda Laney, who were both members of the 1982 team that played in the first NCAA championship game. Kyle Adams was invaluable too, offering his insight as an alumnus and former coach. It was an emotional day and we cannot wait to tell you more about our conversations with these early legends of the game. 

You can see pictures of our tour here, on the If Not For Them gallery page

Walker was a two-time All-American for Cheyney and a senior on the historic 1982 team that advanced to the finals. Laney was her teammate and a sophomore at the time. Their careers spanned 1978 to 1984 and the team did not lose a single home game with them on the roster.

So who better to lead us around the campus on a warm May afternoon and commemorate the 40th anniversary of the title game? They reminisced about Coach Stringer, the hill by the track where they ran sprints during practice and that undefeated streak at home. They also told stories about practicing with John Chaney’s men’s team at Cope Hall.

Adams talked about his grandmother too, who is also a Cheyney alum. He watched the 1982 game with her and a few of her sorority sisters remembering the excitement and pride that they showed when the team was in the national spotlight. 

Day 2 will take us to Immaculata – home of the Mighty Macs. Stay tuned to this page for more updates about If Not For Them and follow our new social media accounts too. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at @IfNotForThem. Longer interviews will still live on our YouTube channel If Not For Them; Brenda VanLengen, Exec Producer.

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