Basketball innovators go from hardwood to the big screen
Theresa Shank Grentz barely steps through the glass doors when the crowd, dressed inÂ ball gowns and tuxedos, erupts in cheers.
Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Grentz, one of the winningest coaches in women’s Division 1 basketball, is given a heroâ€™s welcome.
Flashing a made-for-TV smile, she clutches her husbandâ€™s arm and makes her way to the red carpet.
Outside the City of Brotherly Love, along a leafy back road, is the birthplace of big time women’s college basketball.
In 1972, Immaculata College, a tiny Catholic women’s college, won the first women’s national collegiate basketball championship.Â Grentz wasÂ the team’s star player, and a three-time all-American for women’s collegiate basketball.
Forty years after their Cinderella story began, the team’s storyÂ comes to life in â€œThe Mighty Macs,â€ opening nationwide Friday.
The film starring Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton, David Boreanaz and Ellen Burstyn is based on the true story of the school that set the stage for the future of womenâ€™s college hoops. Writer and director Tim Chambers watched the Macs practice when he was a kid.
â€œThe Mighty Macsâ€ follows the small team of players lead by the determined Coach Cathy Rush (wife of NBA referee Ed Rush). Despite not having a gym to practice in and wool tunics for uniforms, they went on to win the first dynasty in their game.
Grentz, her former teammates and alumni stepped out for the world premier of â€œThe Mighty Macsâ€ screened first, of course, in Philadelphia. [more]