Of all the players on the roster of the women’s basketball team at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA, one stands out from all the rest.
Gabrielle Ludwig is the tallest on the roster, at 6-foot-6. She’s also the oldest, at an amazing 50 years old. And she is also a transsexual.
Ludwig explained to USA Today’s Eric Prisbell for a Wednesday story that she was born a man, Robert John Ludwig, but never felt connected to her gender. After playing one semester of basketball at Nassau Community College in New York, Ludwig joined the Navy, married twice and had a daughter.
This past July, Ludwig underwent a sex change operation. After being offered a roster spot by Mission College’s women’s coach, Ludwig enrolled in 12 credits of online courses and joined the team.
In her first game action of the season, Ludwig scored three points and grabbed four rebounds last Saturday. While she’s happy to be back on a college court after a 30-year absence, Ludwig sees her amazing story as being more than basketball.
“It was not like that before,” she said to Prisbell. “It was just about playing basketball. It’s about more (now) because I see an injustice.”