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Coretta (Coco) Daniels is grateful for the journey.  Growing up idolizing Earl “the Pearl” Monroe and Walt Frazier, former Women’s Basketball League  (WBL) player Coretta Daniels the -original number “23” became the first female Inductee into the U of D Titans basketball Hall of Fame in 1989.

Coretta’s career in women’s basketball came about at a time when Dick Vital who coached NCAA tournaments at U of D, and greats such as Terry Tyler, John Law, Terry Duerod and retired Piston player Earl Cureton took a strong stand in support of Title IX which required that men and women be provided equitable opportunities in sports. Coretta shared that without Title IX there would have been no Coretta or her coach Sue Kruszewski-Hardy.

At 5’2” Coretta had attitude that was unquenchable on the basketball court.  In her first season with the U of D Titans her scoring average was 14.5. These stats were from back-in-the-day when field goals were 2pts.  She had consecutive 28-point efforts in 1979 which made her an award winner. Coretta was constantly heralded as an outstanding athlete by the Detroit Free Press and was chosen as All-State and All-American by the then National Scouting Association; she went on to sign with the St. Louis Streaks the first women’s pro basketball league. Coretta also played for the Minnesota Fillies.

Coretta’s credits her former coaches Susan Kruszewski-Hardy from U of D Mercy- formerly U of D- and Lydia Sims for her becoming the leader and a winner she is today.”

“For what Coretta has accomplished on and off the court over the years, I was proud to have coached her, and equally proud to call her my friend.

“Coretta was the first woman athlete I recruited when I began the women’s program at the University of Detroit. She was an exceptional athlete. Becoming the team leader, she went on to have a very successful college career,” said Coach Hardy.

In June the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (WBHOF) housed in Knoxville, TN inducted anyone who played from 1978-1981. These women are WBL “Trailblazers” who set the bar for female basketball players everywhere. Detroit’s own Coretta Daniels was among the group of inductee’s.

Coretta still “hoops” with fellow employees at the Northeast Guidance Center where she is the Information Technology Specialist and a recipient of last year’s 2017 Presidents award. Coretta never expected that just playing basketball would ever get her to a Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame level.  As she humbly stated “I just never thought about it. The Lord blessed me to be a seed; all I ever wanted to do was play basketball and, to play to win.”

 

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