About Dust Bowl Girls

A true story about a team of Oklahoma farm girls led by a tough, visionary coach who — against all odds — became inspirational heroes and pioneers for female athletes today.

At the height of the Great Depression, Sam Babb, the charismatic basketball coach of tiny Oklahoma Presbyterian College, began dreaming. Like so many others, he wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm, he recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education if they would come play for his basketball team, the Cardinals.

Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices that would be faced by their families, the women followed Babb and his dream. He shaped the Cardinals into a formidable team, and something extraordinary began to happen: with passion for the game and heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach, they won every game. The team’s improbable journey leads to an epic showdown with the prevailing national champions, helmed by the legendary Babe Didrikson.

DUST BOWL GIRLS captures a moment in American history when female athletes faced incredible scrutiny, and when a struggling nation most needed inspiration and hope. Through sacrifice, determination, teamwork, and heart, this unlikely group led by a resourceful coach beat the odds, achieving much more than a championship season.

The Story Behind the Book

Historical Timeline

More Gutsy Players than Men