People packed the bleachers and gymnasium of Moravia High School, giving a standing ovation to a former athlete famed as a pioneer of womenâ??s professional basketball.
"We were all really proud to be pioneers, at the time we knew we were breaking new ground, and that it wasn't gonna be easy and we were all in it for the love of the game,â?? former WBL athlete Molly Bolin-Kazmer said.
Her classmates first knew her as Molly Van Benthuysen playing for Maravia High School in the 1970s, then Molly Bolin in her college and pro basketball days, and today that name has changed once again to Molly Kazmer, but â??Machine Gun Mollyâ?? is the name that will always resonate with her fans.â??It's just a real inspiration,â?? a senior at MHS/varsity basketball player Katelynn Tracy said. â??She came from such a small school and yet she's this big icon now for women's basketball it's just a real amazing feeling to have her backing us up.â??
Just three years after graduating from Moravia High School, Molly would play a significant part in basketball history becoming the first woman to sign a contract for the WBL.
â??We knew that it was ground breaking for women's sports and that it would make a difference,â?? Molly said. â??And here we are all these years later with a successful WNBA.â??
Molly currently resides in California, but her roots to Moravia keep her humbled, even as alma-mater inducts her officially to the wall of fame.
â??Thatâ??s better than any award or reward, to know that you've touched someone's life, that's gonna succeed or achieve something because you were able to inspire someone,â?? Molly said. â??There's no reward greater than that.â??
And her legacy will inspire future generations of female basketball players.
â??I am playing college basketball and I'll also be wearing number 30, she also wore number 30 in college, so that's pretty neat.â?? Machine Gun Molly scored 83 points her senior year in 1975, setting a record that no MHS basketball player has been able to break.