Wayland Baptist Honored by Hall of Fame as Trailblazers

Article excerpt

The Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens, who blazed a trail across the sky and into the record book in the 1950s, were honored this weekend as "Trailblazers of the Game" by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

The school won a national-record 131 consecutive games from 1953- 58. Since the hall was founded in 1999, Wayland has had four players, three coaches and a sponsor recognized -- second only to the nine Tennessee Lady Vol inductees.

The program is only the fourth trailblazer to be recognized, joining the All-American Red Heads, Edmonton Grads and the Former Helms/Citizens Savings/Founders Bank. Each group has a display at the Hall of Fame.

Wayland Baptist was known as the Hutcherson Flying Queens. They carried the name of their sponsor, Claude Hutcherson, a local fixed- base operator who flew the teams to their games in his fleet of Bonanza aircraft. During the win streak, Wayland Baptist won four consecutive AAU championships.

Texas Monthly magazine did a feature on the streak in March and a company in Denver is planning a documentary on the same subject.

Only 31 players made up those five teams. Twenty-one of the 25 living players were here this weekend.

"It's an honor for the Flying Queens," said Wayland Baptist coach Harley Redin, a member of the hall's inaugural class in 1999. "I'm really glad to see the program get that recognition."

Second Career: Inductee Jennifer Rizzotti is building an impressive resume as a coach. …

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