Meet a Faculty Member: Myra Waters
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, when Myra Waters played offense for the University of Maryland, College Park women’s basketball team, Title IX had barely been in existence for a decade, and scholarships for female athletes were few and far between. Ohio native Waters, now director of UB’s Counseling Center and an adjunct faculty member, took full advantage of the academic opportunities her athleticism afforded her and earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as a Terp. Along the way, she helped lead the team to three Atlantic Coast Conference championships and to the first-ever NCAA Women’s Final Four in her senior year. In February, she was named to the eighth annual class of ACC Women’s Basketball Legends.
Q: You left Ohio to play basketball for the University of Maryland, College Park at a time when doing so was uncommon for female athletes. Looking back, what is your perspective on making this leap?
A: Now, I can see that it was a leap of faith and a bold move. Accepting an athletic scholarship to UMCP allowed me to begin pursuit of a career path in counseling psychology; to join a team of gifted, dedicated women’s basketball players who had gone to the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national final game the year before; and to gain exposure to a very progressive and multicultural region of the country. The decision to attend college near the nation’s capital was the best decision I have ever made.
Q: You still hold a spot on a couple of UMCP top 10 lists (for rebounds and career steals), and you’re ranked No. 14 in scoring—even 30 years later. What’s your take on this?
A: The women who played during my era were very highly skilled at the fundamentals of the game, very well coached and athletic. I believe that mastery of the basics is what distinguishes the great players from the average players. I still enjoy a wonderfully executed three-player fast break, a pick-and-roll play, the give-and-go or pinpoint passing from guards into the post area for an easy score. Basketball played at its best is a beautiful thing to watch.
Q: How did you react to being named an ACC Women’s Basketball Legend?
A: Needless to say, I was shocked that I was selected for this honor—after all, my college career ended 30 years ago.
The ACC Legends experience allowed me to reflect on a significant part of my life that I rarely get a chance to share with others or to celebrate. It was certainly an extraordinary event for me, as a Legends inductee, to watch the Terps win [in March] another ACC Women’s Basketball Championship!