CHINESE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL LEAGUES / by Molly Schiot

Beginning in the early 1930s in San Francisco, basketball leagues were a venue for Asian American immigrants to build community in their adopted homeland.  For Chinese women, basketball was also a powerful outlet to challenge gender and racial stereotypes.  The first Chinese women's team to win the city's rec league, the Mei Wahs, were known for their fast physical play and garnered headlines labelling them "as good as the boys". Marginalized by mainstream and Chinese communities, many young Chinese women embraced the sport for providing opportunities to be dominant and celebrated.

Beginning in the early 1930s in San Francisco, basketball leagues were a venue for Asian American immigrants to build community in their adopted homeland.  For Chinese women, basketball was also a powerful outlet to challenge gender and racial stereotypes.  The first Chinese women's team to win the city's rec league, the Mei Wahs, were known for their fast physical play and garnered headlines labelling them "as good as the boys". Marginalized by mainstream and Chinese communities, many young Chinese women embraced the sport for providing opportunities to be dominant and celebrated.