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Grambling honors oldest female basketball player

By Staff Report
On January 15, 2015

Hazel Greenwood Douglas was honored at halftime of the Grambling vs. Southern women’s basketball game Saturday for being the oldest known living female basketball player.

Hazel Greenwood came to Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute (now Grambling State University) in 1936.

Having played basketball in high school at Webster High School in Minden, she naturally gravitated to the sport at her new school.

She played guard under the tutelage of Osiah Johnson, and later his wife, Fidelia Johnson, daughter of the founder of the institution, from 1936 to 1939.  Douglas remembers that they played a limited school schedule, but had the opportunity to compete against Lincoln Normal (now Alabama State); Arkansas AM&N; Tennessee A&I (now Tennessee State); Jarvis Christian, and Tuskegee Institute.

Having started early in the educational process of Grambling, she graduated from the institution three times.  Each time a new program in education was developed, she returned to secure another degree. Her last degree was obtained in 1944 when she graduated from the four- year program in teacher education. She went on to secure a master’s degree from Texas Southern in Houston, when Blacks were not allowed to do so at a Louisiana institution.

Douglas is a proud alumna, a supporter of the Lady Tigers, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., O.E.S., member of the New Rocky Valley Baptist Church in Grambling, Sunday school and daycare teacher, retired schoolteacher of 40 years, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and GSU football season-ticket-holder for 31 years.

She is the oldest known living female former student-athlete from the Louisiana Negro Normal and Industrial Institute Grambling College era. She proudly shares her age as 95 years old.

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