Former Immaculata basketball star Mary Scharff, a pioneer for women in the sport, has died of complications from a 40-year battle with a brain tumor, writes Phil Anastasia for the Philadelphia Inquirer. She was 64.
Scharff was the first woman to score 1,000 points at Paul VI High School in Haddonfield, N.J. She was part of a vanguard that turned women’s basketball from a 6-on-6 game into a fast-paced, 5-on-5 game with emphasis on speed, skill, and outside shooting.
Scharff also won a national title as a member of Immaculata’s legendary “Mighty Macs.”
“She was so far ahead of her time,” said Deirdre Kane, her teammate at Paul VI and the longtime women’s basketball coach at West Chester University.
Scharff was a Kodak All-American as a senior at Immaculata and finished her college career with 1,231 points.
After graduating, she played for the California Dreams in the Women’s Professional Basketball League. She was also a longtime coach, including the head coach at Immaculata from 1987-98.
Read more about Mary Scharff in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.