The All- American Readheads

1936-1986

Written by : Tina Easley

Updated

06/26/2008

I can remember seeing this group of womens professional basketball players at Greene County Tech my 7th grade year they were amazing. So I decided to do some research and here is what I found out. Hope you enjoy .

tina@grnco.net

Thank You So much from all the Players for giving permission to post your information to the site.

Keep checking back for more information .

Feb. 25 , 1951 - The Paris News Sports - Edition ,

"Caption - Below Photo"

AT DELMAR TODAY - THESE ALL-AMERICAN RED HEADS, NATIONALLY KNOWN TRAVELING TEAM OF GIRL CAGERS , WILL PLAY THE PARIS TRAVELERS IN AN EXHIBITION GAME THIS AFTERNOON AT DELMAR HIGH GYM , SOUTH OF PARIS ON THE DALLAS HIGHWAY.

RED HEADS ARE LEFT TO REGHT , RED MASON , BUTCH MOORE , JOHNNYE FARLEY , MYRTLE WALLACE , BONNIE GILLILAND , MABLE MATLOCK AND RUBY HAYES. STAR OF THE TEAM IS RED MASON , CALLED THE FEMALE " RED SKELTON " OF THE BASKETBALL COURT.

Donated by Tyler Matlock

THANK YOU !

Throughout the 1930s and '40s, crowds gathered regularly to watch women play basketball. The AAU--Amateur Athletic Union--consisted of teams sponsored by companies such as Hanes Hosiery and Dr Pepper. The All-American Redheads were an exhibition team much like the Harlem Globetrotters. Before TV, women's basketball often drew larger crowds than men's, according to Elva E. Bishop's documentary .

The All- American Readheads womens basketball team they played from 1936 to 1986 . In 1936, the All-American Redheads became the first women’s team to play by men’s rules and against men’s teams.

In 1938 C. M . Olson sponsored the Redheads as well as the Ozark Hillbillies, Olson's Terrible Swedes . In 1938 the Redheads were from Cassville , Mo. The femine courtsters, who were touring the east in 1938 claimed to have played before a half million people since they begin in 1936.

The starting line up in 1938 was six - footers Hazel Smith , Gladys Lommler , Ruth Oshburn , Blue and Kay Kirkpatrick . Two of the members don't quite make the six-foot mark are Hazel Vickers , Peggy Lawson . This femine team plays only men's teams under men's rules . The girls are employees of the Olson Beauty Salons in Missouri.

Orwell Moore of Craighead County , Arkansas began coaching the All - American team in 1948 . His wife Lorene "Butch" Moore played on the team and was the most successful scorer in the history of the Redheads , scoring 35,426 points in 11 seasons . She could sink 25 free throws in a row from a kneeling position at the free throw line. Orwell and Lorene bought the team and moved its to Caraway , Arkansas in 1955. Orwell Moore was highly successful high school coach before taking over the Redheads .In 1953 Moore was receiving a salary better in comparison to the best college coaches.

 

In 1953 Ruby "Tex" Hayes from Senath , Missouri was the top defensive ace and helped uncork many of the Redheads tricks and comedy acts. She was a standout rebounder in 1953 she was in her fourth season with the Redheads .

Players List

Name Notes and Years Played
Retha "Rusty" Carter Goodson I played basketball and softball at Greene County Tech. I graduated from there in 1954. I played basketball with The All American Redheads for two years. 1958-59 and 1959-60
Pat Overman Pat Overman and I played with the All American Red Heads from 1962 until 1973.  I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas with my husband who was the coach for the Red Heads from 1961 to 1973. (Ben Overman)
Marsha Tate Marsha Tate and I played with the Red Heads for 3 years from 1974-1977. I am originally from Black Rock but now live in Jonesboro.
Judy Cameron Played 1963-1968, I am from Sherwood
Barbara Wells Gwinn I'm from Caraway,Arkansas and I played on the Red Heads in the year of 1956 & 57.  Yes I would like to be listed on the site.
Aaronette Eifling Housley was born in Dyess Arkansas, lived in Joiner and went to school at Shawnee School through the eight grade(thats where I learned to play basketball).  Moved to Hughes, Ark. and lived there for 2 years before moving to Louisiana. 65-66
Shelby Teddar Light , Arkansas
Barbara Schrable Viola , Arkansas
Georgia Norris Played from 1961 to 1966 (one year out with a knee injury)
Kathy Styles Played 1971 , played 1 season
Diane Martinson 76 - 77
Phyllis Mauldin 1942 - 44 , Lives in Ohio
Red Mason 1951
Butch Moore 1951
Johnnye Farley 1951
Myrtle Wallace 1951
Bonnie Gilliland 1951
Mable Matlock 1951
Ruby Hayes 1951