Borough President Vanessa Gibson Joins Manhattan College Women’s Basketball Team to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX

Marianne Reilly, Manhattan’s director of athletics honored as a “trailblazer” for being part of the first women’s varsity basketball team.

Title IX Halftime CeremonyOn Thursday, February 2, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson joined the Manhattan College women’s basketball team for their game against Fairfield, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and National Women and Girls in Sports Day. The Jaspers defeated the Stags 53-46. 

The borough president spoke with female student-athletes before the game and took part in a halftime ceremony with Marianne Reilly ’82, Manhattan College director of athletics. Reilly was a member of the first varsity women’s basketball team at the College and is one of a few dozen female athletic directors in NCAA Division I. Riley was also the first 1,000 point scorer in school history and the first woman inducted into Manhattan’s athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. 

Title IX of the education amendments of 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs receiving federal financial assistance. Athletics are considered an integral part of an institution's education program and are therefore covered by this law. The law opened doors and removed barriers for girls and women in athletics and was patterned after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

“It is wonderful to see first hand the impact that Title IX has had in breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for our former and current student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” said Reilly. “Now we have to prepare to keep Title IX relevant and moving forward for the next 50 years."

On Saturday, February 4, Manhattan College will host a sports clinic to celebrate National Women and Girls in Sports Day. The clinic celebrates a day that inspires girls and women to play and be active in sports and will begin after the conclusion of the Manhattan College women’s basketball team’s game against St Peter’s. 

The clinic is free for all young people ages five through 12, and admission to the game is free to registered participants. 

By David Koeppel