Laurel Bower Burgmaier: When and where did you play six on six?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: I started playing basketball when I was young and I had a couple of sisters that played also, but our family played at home quite a bit and that was fun. I went to Andrew High School, that's where we're at here. I graduated in '77. So, I was in high school from '77, '76, '75, '74, and that's where I spent my days. It was all six on six at that time.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Tell me about your family’s history with the game of six on six.
Kim (Peters) Wilson: I had older sisters that played. Kathy's my oldest sister. Kathy would have been a senior, but I was in eighth grade, and so during that year in '73 was the first time that Andrew went to the state tournament, which was pretty exciting. So you have Andrew, a town of 300 people or something, and the town empties out and everybody and then probably their cousins and second cousins and neighbors and everybody that knows everybody else ends up in Des Moines with a couple thousand people from a town of 350.
And then Karen was next. She graduated in '74. So she was a senior when I was a freshman, and that would have been the first year that I got to play with the team that went to state, because we went to state that year, too. When I was a sophomore and junior we also went to state, but then the rest of the family. I have two older sisters, two younger sisters, an older brother, and a younger brother. So, we did a lot of basketball at home, which was fun. I mean, I remember Mom getting in the middle of it all the time and playing and doing her elevator lay-up and stuff like that. It was real fun, playing at night after we get done with chores.
But Mom's dad, this would have been my Grandpa Guyer. Mom's dad played basketball, and I don't want to say it was a semi-pro team but he got paid to play. If I think I remember the story, it was something like he would get on a train south of Maquoketa, south of Andrew, and go into Cedar Rapids. I'm not sure exactly how it went, but they went into Cedar Rapids for the day or stayed overnight there and then came back and were paid a dollar or two to play games. That was a big deal at that time because of course the Depression and those early times, but that was something that he always told us and talked about when we were kids growing up and how important that was to him.
My mom then played for Elwood, and she had three sisters that played also. My mom was always called the runt of the family, and my aunts were pretty tall. Six foot, six one, five eleven, and Mom's probably five six or five seven. She was kind of smaller, but she was pretty quick, as I understand her telling about things. Which was kind of fun to listen to those stories, and I think they had a pretty good basketball team at Elwood when she was growing up. So, I mean, it goes through the whole the whole family. It just so happens that one of my mom's sisters is Ellen LaFrentz. Well, Raef played for KU and has gone on to play professional NBA ball. So, there's a lot of athleticism. Maybe some of its natural, but there's a lot of family members that have done a lot with athletics.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: How your parents supported the whole family, sit at the kitchen table and hash over the game. Explain that to me.
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Yeah, Mom and Dad, they were there at all of our games. I'm almost sure there was one game that they missed, and that happened to be -- I think I was a freshman, and I played on the junior varsity team -- and if I remember right, it was at Clinton. At the time Clinton had a parochial school, it was Saint Mary's, and so we were playing, and somehow I don't know, but I had something called against me I didn't think was quite right. And so I probably had a fit or something on the floor and the coach pulled me and I sat on the bench. So, rightfully so -- in hindsight, at the time I probably thought it was wrong -- but so I sat on the bench for the rest of the game and it was like one or two minutes into the game. Okay? And I wasn't used to sitting or thinking it was that wrong. Anyway, so I sat on the bench. Mom and Dad didn't come to that game, thank goodness.
It was probably something with chores or something important it had to be done. Otherwise they came to all the games. I mean they were there. I can remember on Saturday we were in tournaments, and I think was my junior year we played in tournaments in Dubuque, and Steve was playing either probably our regular season game in Clinton and he was a year older than I was. So the boys team playing in Clinton in the afternoon, and I think we played in Dubuque at night, but somehow in-between Mom and Dad had to get chores done and such. And so coming from Clinton up to Dubuque and getting to where they need to get to in time. I think Dad was going a little bit probably too fast than he should have. Anyway, he got stopped, and he was going fast, and so he's trying to explain to this policeman. "I have a real reason, well, this is about the best reason I can give you."
So, I don't know if he got a ticket or not, but anyway it was one of those things that, yeah, he made it up to Dubuque in time. So they were there all the time. But after the games we come home, and whether we rode home with Mom or Dad or rode home on the bus, I think we always had to ride home on the bus, because it was a team thing. That was something that the coaches had said you need to do. So, we came back to the school, got our stuff, hop in the car got home. By that time Mom and Dad were home. So, Dad would flip on the radio and it was WMT Sports Scores, and we'd sit and listen to whatever scores and what team that we were especially interested in, and Mom would get the frying pan out and make some grilled cheese sandwiches, and everybody would have your grilled cheese sandwich and sit and talk about what was good with the game, what was bad with the game. Maybe some games you didn't want to talk about them, but you sat and talked about them and what was good and what was bad and what needed to be changed or what we needed to do the same next time.
It was fun. It was fun and that was just kind of a routine. I mean, that was kind of what we did, and so everybody sat and talked about it, and that was part of what was neat about it all.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Why do you think it was so important to the small rural communities like Andrew that played for decades?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Well, for one thing in the rural community with schools, that was a place where everybody met. There's schools, everybody kind of had a vested interest in their schools, and people still do. But there's a lot more going on in kids' lives these days then there was when we were growing up, and I just think that's sign of the times and in some ways that's sad, but in some ways that's good. It's how things are now. But everybody had a vested interest and in a small rural community, everybody knew who everybody else was and everybody knows what the neighbors are doing, and that neighbor knows what that neighbor's doing and on down the line.
It ends up that it's a community project - making a team. Making a school, and then making a team and making programs for the school. So, the first couple years we went to state, everybody was involved in some way or another. I can remember our art teacher making little pins and painting them and then firing them in the kiln to have pins for everybody in community -- little hawks to put on here, and I can remember community people sending telegrams and baskets of flowers and all sorts of ways of showing support when we were in Des Moines during the week.
And the receptions when we came back from the tournaments. But everybody was involved in one way or another, whether even like the food stands. When we were getting ready for the basketball season to begin. Okay, so the girls would ask each other what do we want to wear, how do we want to let everybody know that we're a team? So our Moms would make our outfits for us, but that's how you did it. Everybody looked the same, everybody’s all part of that team. I think that really added to it. Somebody else, parents, the community were a part of that, and that's what made it everybody's team.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: How would the town of Andrew treat you when you would return from state?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Well, I remember the first time we came back and it was, if somebody told you it was going to be like the reception like it was. If somebody’s going to tell you that, you'd say: no, no, no. So, I can remember we rode the school bus out in back and it was somewhere at Maquoketa or this side of Maquoketa meeting the caravan of cars. If there was one car, there was two hundred cars and a police escort, sheriff escort. And then when we got here, the gym was packed. There was a welcoming line, and the band played and people gave speeches and I mean, just everybody. Even though, I can remember some feelings after some games because we kind of had hard hits when we went to the tournament for a couple years.
You felt like you were obligated to win, and you felt kind of that you didn't do your part, but yet when you came back, everybody was like: no it's okay, this was really cool. This was fun for everybody. We'll try again next year. So, it was beyond what you could imagine it would be.
And all that happened while we were finishing it in Des Moines, So, the organization of it all and everything.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Why did you become a guard and what about that position did you like?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: That's kind of a funny question for me, because actually when I started playing, when I was little, of course, when we played at home, I shot the ball; we played one on one once in a while or two on two. But in middle school in junior high, I started as a forward, because everybody wants to shoot the ball. Everyone wants to score a point. Everyone wants to be the big time, and when you're young, that's how you kind of think about the game. Well, after about when I was in eighth grade, sometime along the way, one of the coaches said to me or said to maybe my Mom and Dad. I don't remember exactly how the story went, but we have to help Kim or do something because she goes out on the court and she starts dribbling down the left hand side of the court -- which is the only way I can dribble -- hey if they have any brains at all, she's done for the game.
So, I don't know if coaches talked to me, Mom, Dad, or maybe my older sisters. I'll give it a shot at guard court, and luckily I was quick enough and I think I just wanted to play enough that it was okay. It was okay, and maybe it also had something to do with I've got to think seventh or eighth grade. I think it was seventh grade and I was a forward, and we were playing in just a small, small, small gym. The score was seven to two at half time, we were behind, and I think we lost seven to four. So, maybe it didn't work. So I'm like okay, I don't know, but I think somebody probably had me pegged way, way back then too. So, what do you do that's for the team that you can be successful and be good in rather than just what you want to do yourself? And not think of everything else but the team.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: What was it about being a guard that you enjoyed?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Well I think the biggest thing was okay, I'm a defender, I don't know what's going to happen, but my job is to figure out what's going to happen and that's a challenge versus offensively, if I run my offense right, pretty much I'm going to be okay. I have the gun, I have the ammunition. I have the hammer. I can go. But I think the defense part was trying to figure out what the offense was going to do and then once you did, just frustrating them. I mean, I don't know. That sounds kind of silly, maybe, but I mean, that was part of that, defensive player is not letting them do what they were planning on doing. And that was your best offensive tool is defense, so there you go, and so that was fun to me.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: What made you a good guard?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: One thing is I think I could anticipate well. So, out in the court you're looking for passes, you're looking to see where your person's going to go or where other forwards are going to go. So, that anticipation and be able to tell her next move or what they’re going to do. That was one thing, that's huge. Quickness, we worked on quickness a lot. We worked on quickness every single night, and in drills and did a lot of fundamental drills that way. And the fundamentals overall - but quickness was one of them. We worked a lot on jumping, and I think that's kind of a lost art. I think jumping is a skill. It's not just something that you're giving, but you have to learn how to jump. You have to also be strong to jump, and you have to have strong legs and you have to have strong arms.
The whole nine yards and then that, the anticipation, and the timing along with it. But I think that’s something that that needs to be worked on. In watching basketball, I think that is one thing that can be improved that is an isolated skill that would be good. Jumping, quickness, that anticipation, I think those things all put together kind of make a good defender, and then just hustling and being aggressive. Not being aggressive to a point where you're taking advantage of your offensive opponent. But being aggressive in that going after what it is that you can stop them from doing. And that frustration, there goes building that frustration on that offensive player again.
Those are all important if you're a defensive player.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: What would you say about the role of guards on six on six?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Well, I mean in any team, there's role players, there are players that seem to stand out, there are ones that are right underneath the ones who stand out. It's inevitable, it's human nature to look at those two players that stand out because they've scored so many more points or their percentage is high. But in the true sense of a team, if you don't have all the components that needs to make a team, it's not going to happen. And I've been involved with coaching teams since I was in high school. You might have one or two very good players, and if the rest of the people aren't there to help them or do their job also, the team isn't going to be a team.
It isn't going to be successful, and later on in life you learn that, as far as a team, in your job and those sorts of things, but those people over the years that have stood out, I'm sure everybody, right off the top of my head I can think of: Deb Coates, Jeanette Olson, Lynn Lorenzen, if you ask any one of those, I probably would say: well, I needed this person to make sure they fed the ball into me well. Or if our guard court didn't do well, we were sunk.
My coach always said in high school, he'd always go: well, if you don't let them score any points, you’re not going to lose. And our guard court was always okay, even though we had a real, real good offensive girl, Angie Sommers. I mean, she was on fire most nights. And when we were in state tournament, she did absolutely wonderful. She was a very, very good forward. She went on and played at Drake, but without the whole team, it's kind of impossible. So, everybody needs to be a part of it and everybody needs to do their job or things fall apart real fast.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: You were one of the few six on six guards named captain of the all tournament team and that was in '76. How did that make you feel?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Well if I sit and think about it a lot -- and I've kind of thought about it over the years -- but somebody had sent me a tape of that night after the tournament in 1976. It was a radio tape, and so it just had the audio, and it went through naming of the all-tournament team. Listening to that tape, you can kind of relive some of the feelings that you had. And I do remember that night -- such an emotional week, and a couple of the games where huge emotions were coming out. I don't even know if I had very many emotions left on that Saturday night or not. After Friday night and I think we played Saturday afternoon or maybe it was earlier Saturday night in the consolation game. But, that night I can remember them.
I think they went to the forwards first and then named the guards and even in alphabetical order there's something about how it was going or whatever, it was fun to be there. And I can remember at a certain point Angie was on all-tournament team. Angie Sommers, my teammate, and I, was like oh my gosh just crazy happy, listening to that and at the end it was the captain, and when they named me, I don't think I knew what was going on at the time. I mean it's just like I didn't even know what hit me. And I don't think I knew it hit me. Probably the next day or the next week and probably even years afterwards, and it really, really starts to sink in when people, years later -- because I'm saying even twenty years later -- come up and say: I remember when you played and were captain of the all tournament team. And I'm like okay, that's twenty years ago or ten years ago and you still remember that night.
I mean I remember that night too, but why was it so important to you that you remembered that, but okay, just remember it. But what does it mean? It was like all these other how many hundreds of girls thousands across the state that are right there, too, and it could have been them, or it should have been them, but it wasn't. And then I go back and I started thinking about it -- okay, all those girls that I don't know but the ones that I do know that I met at like basketball camp when I was in junior high or high school, it was fun to be around them, and then when you see them after that, when I saw them after that time. And it was fun to see them again, but for the same reasons it was fun to see them the first time, because they were good people and it was fun to be around them and the friendships that you made go into those places.
So, being captain was something that is still sinking in. I think even after all these years, it’s something I'm very, very proud of and at the same time, I'm so compelled to say that other people, the gratitude or how to say thank you for even remembering or wondering why you remembered what was going on or after this many years can still remember it. That's to me and I'm still in awe about some of that.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: What are some of your fondest memories of playing at Vets?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: And we did play at Vets then. I mean, Wells Fargo Arena is open now. We've had our boys’ team from Northeast have gone the last couple years. So, we've played in that, but and Vets was - it's not being used. First time I can remember going to Vets, I was in 8th grade, and so my two older sisters played. And we played Roland-Story, and they were the defending state tournament champions. So, of course Andrew the first time they're going to the tournament and we have to play Roland-Story and I'm just - oh the “bigger than a giant team,” you know?
I remember sitting like probably row twenty-five in section double F to watch my sisters play. I don't think I had binoculars, but maybe I should have had binoculars. And just how awesome it was in the big barn. A lot of people there. That always amazed me. That six on six, it was so huge for the state of Iowa, because I think it really, it showcased women, girls, and their athletic abilities.
And I think that's part of why six on six was so special and people have fond memories of it. It was a sport and way of a basketball game that really showcased their abilities, their athleticism.
My freshman year, we went and we played. I had an older sister Karen that was a senior, and I remember after that first round tournament game, and we lost first round again. We're walking from Vets down to Hotel Savery, because that's where our team stayed. And I can remember I can go through the names: Kathy and Kathy and Mary Lou and Sue and Dianna, and they were crying and bawling and bawling. And I think they just felt so obligated to win and felt like they had probably let everybody down in Andrew. Everybody that had come to watch that the bottom fell out of their life, seemingly so, anyway.
And I can remember with that wailing down to Hotel Savery and it was one of the longest walks, because I looked up to them. They were seniors, you know? Then my sophomore year, we went to state tournament again and that year there were seven or eight seniors on the team and we lost first round again. Well, this was going to be kind of old, but I think that year the feeling was we should have done it. We blew it. But that's the way the ball bounced. But at the same time, we played well, everybody played their hardest. I always think after getting done with a game like that, what could have somebody done differently? Well, who on that court didn't want to win?
Okay, so if you think about that and put it in perspective, it was like well, let’s try again. So then when it was my junior year, we went again. I think a lot of people had [the two losses] in the back of their minds, because we had graduated so many seniors. So, we had three seniors on the team I think that year. Angie, Holly, and Cheryl and we went back that year. We didn't have a whole lot to lose when we started the year, graduating so many seniors from the year before. So, I mean that was kind of extra sweet maybe. So, going to state tournament was a lot of fun that year. Lots of fun. Just because a little bit more unexpected, I think.
And then finally getting the first win after those years, that was fun too. But at the same time all the teammates that had played the last three and four years before that, and they were right there, too. And if it wasn't for them, we probably wouldn't have been good as we were that year, because we worked and worked with them. And we were working hard enough the last three or four years to be able to get there in '76 like that.
So, that was a fun year. That first night winning the first round game was real sweet, and I can't remember if was the first game or second game that year. Before the game I had a bloody nose. I think it was nerves, I'm not even sure I went out to the starting line-up because my nose was bleeding. So, right before the game I remember the coach said: are you going to play? And I said yeah, and my nose stopped bleeding.
So, I went out and played and at half-time I had a bloody nose. It just started bleeding and it was either between the first and second quarter or second and third quarter, just bleeding the whole time, but I think it was just nerves. And this was the second round, but the second round game and we won that game, and that was so exciting. I mean, they were nail biters and that was, that game.
I think that was one that my Mom was real sick, she had the flu. She was real, sick but she had the flu and it was like, “Okay Mom, are you coming to Des Moines?” Well she wasn't going to miss it for love nor money, you know? So, yeah, she comes to Des Moines. So the second night -- and mind you, Mom and Dad had been traveling back and forth to Des Moines to the games -- so they might get done at ten o'clock in Des Moines.
They come home and get a couple hours sleep. Do chores, turn around and come back, so it was hard. But so that particular game we were I think a point ahead and there was maybe eight or nine seconds left, and Dad said to her “Aren't you going to stand up and watch?” Because the opposing team had the ball in their forward court. And she goes “No, I can watch the basket from here. If they make it, I know what's going to happen.”
Well it didn't go in. So, the story goes - yeah we won, by a point. I mean she was that sick, just kind of sat in the middle of the crowd was jumping up and down, anyway.
So, then that was second round. Third round we played Manilla. And after the fact, I kind of got a chuckle out of this, Bud McCrea had coached Lakeview-Auburn for many, many years and I had worked basketball camps with him, but he had told me later on, he said, “I didn't want to play you third round because I didn't know if we could make it through.”
Well they ended up winning the championship that year. But we played Manilla third round and it was a very close, very close game, but we didn't pull it off, and I think that was the first two wins, such excitement and the third one not.
Such a downer that I think by the time we got to the consolation game against Cedar Rapids Washington, we just didn't have anything left. It was kind of a hard night. It was long second half, but anyway. So, we ended up getting fourth in 1976, but real fond memories, fond memories. I can remember going to the luncheon in the morning that businesses and the girls union would put on.
I can remember the businesses would sponsor a space in their windows downtown for team displays and you would just display things about your school or about your team, and everybody would take a look at those and see what was going on there. One year Erasport, one year he was at Vets and came with the idea that he was going to showcase the Iowa Girls Basketball because it was such special sport.
And so I can remember I think Angie Sommers and I had gone up and talked to him for a while, and that was part of his showcasing how nationally, six on six basketball was really a highlight to many families and many girls.
That was fun. Good memories. Good memories.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: How do you think playing six on six in Iowa impacted your life? How do you think it influenced the person that you've become?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: I think being a part of six on six team probably is fairly indicative of maybe how I grew up. Six on six in a small school. I mean, we were pretty close team and close family. We worked hard in practice. We worked hard at home, growing up and with our 4-H projects and such.
We grew up on farm and all of us kids were involved in that, and all very much depended on each other and needed each other in order to do well and be successful and part of that family. And I just think family carried over into the six on six.
Six on six carried over into the family. Both ways but they pretty closely resemble each other and kind of how things work. Not different than the coaches. You listen to the coaches, and respected what they said, but very much were part of what went on as far as if you were going to change things, they listened.
We had input in that regard our coaches in high school; they were pretty cool.
I really looked up to them too, you know?
I had quite a few of them throughout the four years, but when I was a freshman we had Bob Sampson. After my freshman year, he left and went to let's see, he was Walhert later on. I can't remember where he went…Waukon and then Walhert. When I was a sophomore, we had Brian Goffner and Les Johnson were here for a couple three years and were together. And those were the two coaches that probably impacted me the most, as far as really having fun playing the game. And whether it was just the way that they presented it, or liked playing it, probably a combination of both.
And then when I was a senior I had Bill McClintok and Les Johnson was the assistant again. So quite a few coaches and, and a lot of different styles but I certainly respected them, and had fun playing for them.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: What icons really stand out from the glory years of six on six?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Starting to name names that would just be endless, but I can remember, I will say, when we were in the state tournament, Duncan, Cooley, Smiley, those are names that you always remember. They were right in the mix of everything. And those were some of the people that made the parade and the celebration that always went on during the state tournament week. And even before, and during, they put the teams and the girls on the teams on a pedestal. They were so important and still are, but it was those people that were in the Union that were there and very much a part of it, and, directed things that made the pageantry and everything about the whole week so unique and so Iowa.
And then players. I mean, you could list players forever and day. I always had a lot of respect for the girls that I kind of feared. Those girls that were good. I was kind of afraid of as far as on the court and what figuring out what they were doing or how well they scored or used their other teammates if in fact they weren't scoring well that night.
And there were several of them. Teams, we always had huge rivalries right here in the Great River Conference. And then sometime along high school, maybe in sophomore year, junior year, we didn't have our conference tournaments and such anymore. But sometimes early on when we had conference tournaments around Christmas time, we might see a conference team six times in a year.
So by the time you've met them a third time, let alone a fourth time, and then we had play back in sectionals. So, you might see them five and six times, you had quite a bit of respect by the third and fourth time. So, those girls that were on those teams especially if they were kind of tough, you learned to respect them. I guess the people that I can think of.
At the state tournament and my coaches, my family being a big, big part of that. And then all the girls that were like on the team in Andrew, and all of us that were together. I just talked to a couple of them here today, when I walked into the school. And I might not have seen them for maybe a year or two or three, but when I see them it's just like we talked yesterday and the day before. And to me, that's really precious. I mean, that's about as good as it gets. So, I think those are probably the people that I think of.
And it’s the people that are important about it all. And the memories of playing high school.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Why did you like the six player game, especially for girls?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Well, I think watching the six player game, if somebody came in cold and hadn't seen it before, they'd probably think it looked fairly strange. Okay and this isn't basketball, it has nothing to do with watching a college game or a professional game. Well there's college girls, college guys, and some people would take the stand that six on six basketball maybe doesn't lend itself to being a good collegiate player. I think you can go either way on that, but I would tend to say in my experiences that I think the six on six really developed and pin-pointed skills for girls. It depends, well, offense or defenses, so yeah, if you went to a five on five game, maybe you weren't as skilled in one end or the other end offensively or defensively, but you were very good at what you did. That was one thing.
But the fact that if you take most of your high school athletes -- female athletes -- and put them in a six on six game versus a five on five game. What are we doing to the number of girls that maybe we can include in high school activates and high school sports and high school basketball? And be successful. [Six on six] is better for our gender than a full-court game. Not everybody, okay? But at the same time you take those girls and put them in a six on six game and I think you really improve the quality of a game that you have.
Whether it's speed, skill, and the number of girls. All those things combine and you have a much faster game I think overall than a five on five game. I've never had a six on six game on a tape here on screen and then a five on five game on a screen here and sat and watched, but I've been in a five on five game, and I've played five on five, and it and it was hard. And it was hard even though I was in track and ran and cross-country and such, it was hard. That conditioning, the physical part of it all, what it takes.
But at the same time, I guess it’s your own personal opinion, or what do you think a basketball game is. If it's five on five vs. six on six. But I think there's a really special place for that six on six, and what it showcases and the skills, and the people that it showcases.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Title 9- How did it impact you in a small school?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: I think you would have to do the research or this history on this, but I think a lot of the smaller schools actually probably started sports for women and women’s activities before larger schools. Like my Mom. Mom was born in '33, so she would have played in the later '40's. They had girls’ basketball. But with that also came a lot of other things; the residual effects that we're seeing years and years later. Like what sport are girls going to do instead of wrestling. Maybe not instead of wrestling; some girls have become involved in that, too. But I think just having opportunities for kids is huge.
And, being a teacher now for 25-26 years, you see the impact of when kids are connected to schools and kids are part of schools. And they are a part of an activity. Whether it's basketball for girls and boys, but I think just being involved and being a part of that family that school is huge for kids. And maybe even more so now, because of the dynamics of the family and society and everything. I think what we saw with Title 9 has brought about probably some real good changes.
Things that we hadn't seen years and years ago that are good now for our schools and all kids.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: What if anything do you think Iowa has lost with six on six ending?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: Oh boy. Well, there's a place in my heart. I mean, there's a lot of people have a place that's dear, that has a place in their heart that they've hung on to that six on six. I think a big part of it was that it was so unique and not very many other states had six on six. And so the state can call it its own. When a program like that is so integrated within every single school and every single county throughout the state, and everybody knows about it, and it's part of the fabric of your state, that everybody can identify with, I think that's part of what we lost. It was just something that was so unique to Iowa, and there are those things that Iowa has or had that you want to hang on to because it's so unique.
Can it be replaced? Is five on five the same? It's not the same. There are some good points and there are some things that we've given up, like I talked about earlier. But I think just because it was such a part of everybody's lives. Everybody knew about it - that made it so important to our state and what we lost. So, I'd say that's probably why it was good for our state.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Were you aware of how big six on six was when you were playing? And what a leader Iowa was in the nation for girls in athletics?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: I don't think totally I knew. I knew it was big in Iowa. And I knew it was something that Iowa treasured deeply. I don't think I realized how much of a national leader Iowa was in regard to the sport. And six on six - how much it was recognized and how much other states did look to us that way. Kind of funny -- after my senior year in high school and having the chance to play with some girls across all the states and coming from six on six.
I really had a hard time getting out on the basketball court and figuring out where I was suppose to be in regard to nine other people. Versus half the court and five other people. And talking to girls from other states, they couldn't quite understand the whole concept, and probably them going to six on six would be just as hard of an adjustment as the other way.
But I do think back to before, I do think we really did lose something -- that uniqueness that Iowa had, and the sport that we had that very few other states did have. But at the same time, changes do come. And I think we have to go with them sometimes.
Laurel Bower Burgmaier: Do you think girls today owe the generations, even your mother's generation, and all those years of playing in the state of Iowa?
Kim (Peters) Wilson: I do think things that have happened in the past and something that was such a big part of our life like this, that it's something that we talk about. It's something that is part of whether it is a family or part of a school and the school's history or the families’ history. As things come up, I'm not necessarily one that just sits and talks about, “when we did this in state tournament,” or “our team this” or “our team did that.”
But as it's come up over the last, maybe even month or two, Katie and Charlie have asked me, my daughter and my son have asked me “well, what about the state tournament this year” or “what about the state tournament that year?” And I'm thinking “okay, how much of this have I actually talked about without, tootin’ your horn all the time” and stuff like that. But actually, we talked about the game of basketball and what it was like and what about it was so important. To have the whole family involved in getting ready for a season.
Like I talked about before, whether it was the uniforms that you had, or moms that would maybe come together and, and fix a meal on certain night, or whatever it was. But passing that tradition down or at least the memories of that tradition, I think it's important. And I think you do that within your families. And certainly schools do it with the trophy cases and the pictures they have in their yearbooks, all those sorts of things. And who doesn't like to sit around and remember the good old days. “Remember when…”, and it's fun. It's fun to remember, and I do think it's something that that you need to teach people. It's history. It's history and history is important.