Bringing Swagger to the Court Since 1910

Dee Bowers

Girls' Senior Basketball team, Adelphi College yearbook, 1910
Senior Basket Ball Team, Adelphi College yearbook, 1910. Brooklyn Yearbook collection, BCMS.0031. Brooklyn Public Library, Center for Brooklyn History.

For this Photo of the Week we have a captivating portrait of the Adelphi College senior basketball team from their 1910 yearbook. These six women, with their puffy, ruffled dresses, elaborate updos, and, in one case, an enormous hair bow, hardly fit our modern conception of athletic. Nonetheless, they project a confidence, even a ruthlessness, that makes it clear they were formidable on the court. Look at the defiant look of Captain Margaret Schradieck, for example. Or how about the knowing smirk of Manager Ethel M. Kipp? (Not to mention her muscled forearms...) The yearbook is part of our Brooklyn Yearbook collection. We also have historic yearbooks in our Brooklyn Schools collection.

Adelphi College was founded in 1896, the very same year as Brooklyn Public Library, which would make it 125 years old, just like us. The school has since left Brooklyn for Garden City, and become Adelphi University. Happily, women's basketball is alive and well in the borough. The WNBA team the New York Liberty plays their home games at the Barclay's Center in Downtown Brooklyn. Founded in 1997 along with the WNBA itself, the Liberty were among the first WNBA teams to draft a player when they secured college standout Rebecca Lobo. In 2020, they moved to Brooklyn. This year's WNBA draft just happened, and the regular season starts in a few short weeks. I can only assume the current Liberty players will come to the court with at least as much swagger as the Adelphi ladies brought to their yearbook photo so many years ago.

Interested in seeing more photos from CBH’s collections? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images, or the digital collections portal at Brooklyn Public Library. We look forward to inviting you to CBH in the future to research in our entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections. In the meantime, please visit our resources page to search our collections. Questions? Our reference staff is available to help with your research! You can reach us at


This blog post reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of Brooklyn Public Library.


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