OLATHE, Kan., July 13, 2023 – Executive Producer Brenda VanLengen announced that “If Not For Them” and Do Good Productions have received a generous donation of $125,000 toward the production of the “If Not For Them” documentary series. The gift is from UCLA professors emeriti Sherie and Don Morrison.

“If Not For Them” is an epic story of the forgotten women who changed the world through the love of their sport. For decades in the 20th Century, cultural and social norms persisted that denied girls and women opportunities to compete in sports, especially team sports. The women that were fortunate to have opportunities in the 1950s and 60s, alongside those who had been denied access, banded together to become the leaders when it was needed the most … and they changed the world.

“Sherie is enthusiastic about this project as she was a pioneer in the field of life sciences and a supporter of all women who worked so hard to change the course of history,” shared Don Morrison. “Having been major supporters of the UCLA Women’s Basketball program for decades, we are absolutely delighted to contribute to this documentary series featuring the pioneering women in basketball.”

UCLA and the growth of women’s basketball on the West Coast will be featured in one of the ten episodes in the series. Naismith Hall of Fame Coach Billie Moore led UCLA to the 1978 AIAW National Championship after leading the United States to a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics, the first Olympic competition that included women’s basketball. UCLA Legends Dr. Judith Holland, the late Billie Moore, Ann Meyers, Anita Ortega, Denise Curry and Colleen Matsuhara were all interviewed for the docuseries, along with over 100 women, and the men who supported them, across the country.

“Sherie and Don are renowned scholars, generous philanthropists and ardent women’s basketball fans and we are incredibly grateful for and excited about their support of the “If Not For Them” documentary series,” shared Executive Producer, Brenda VanLengen.

VanLengen and the “If Not For Them” production crew have traveled the country to collect over 200 hours of interviews, then produce a preview of each of the ten episodes. The “Sneak Preview” premiered at the 2023 Women’s Final Four in Dallas.

“Sherie and Don’s gift jump starts Phase Three as we begin full production of each of the ten episodes,” explains VanLengen. “We expect their gift will inspire other philanthropists and corporations to support the preservation of this important history through this groundbreaking project.”

Sherie, a distinguished professor emerita of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in the UCLA College, is a world-renowned scientist whose research led to major advancements in the area of genetically engineered antibodies. Don, a professor emeritus of marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, was the Faculty Athletic Representative for UCLA for twenty years mentoring countless student-athletes.

The Morrisons have financially supported athletic advancements over the years at UCLA and MIT, where Don was a record-setting long jumper as a student. They have established endowed chairs and supported the remodeling of the Faculty Club at UCLA. Their remarkable philanthropy has enhanced a multitude of projects and initiatives.

VanLengen, a veteran women’s basketball broadcaster, is leading the “If Not For Them” documentary project with advisement from a diverse team of women’s basketball enthusiasts. VanLengen has announced over 1,200 women’s basketball games on ESPN, Fox Sports and other networks throughout her 28-year broadcasting career.

Through grassroots fundraising, “If Not For Them” has now secured nearly one-third of the $1.5 Million budget to complete the production of the ten-episode docuseries. Real Media, a company based in Overland Park, Kan., is filming and producing the project.

“If Not For Them” accepts charitable contributions through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and Do Good Productions so all donations to the production are tax deductible. For more information, please visit: ifnotforthem.com/join-the-team/


“If Not For Them” seeks to explore the rich and mostly forgotten history of women’s basketball through the eyes of the players, coaches and administrators who built the game before the NCAA era. Brenda VanLengen, who is a former NCAA Division I basketball coach turned Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, and the documentary team have gathered over 200 hours of interviews and produced a “Sneak Preview” of each of the ten episodes. The final product will be a multi-episode docuseries tracing the sport from the early days in Iowa high schools to the passage of Title IX and beyond.

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