Without the All American Red Heads, there would be no WNBA 

The Arkansas-rooted professional team showed the world that women belong in basketball.

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But before Camp Courage, the Red Heads' two-week summer training session was held in the Caraway High School gym, and the players would sleep at the Moores' house. "Sometimes there were a dozen people around. We put beds everywhere," Harrison remembers. "For me it was a big slumber party. There was a lot of short-sheeting or someone coming around a corner, shrieking like they were grabbed from behind ... of course, I thought somebody was really getting them."

Moore could be strict and patronizing with his players. "We prefer getting our girls young, fresh out of school. They are easier to coach, easier to fit the Red Head way when they are young," he told Sports Illustrated in 1974. But he was also a playful and optimistic man. He liked to call the Red Heads "the All American Matrimonial Bureau," because he believed that association with the team made women so appealing, they often quit to get married.

Moore had a solid, if somewhat ethically dubious, business philosophy. Players were only given their schedule a few weeks in advance, and they were sworn to secrecy. He thought any leak might invite another attraction to set up in town a day or so before the Red Heads, competing for limited disposable income. And the players never knew exactly when their season would end, since Moore kept them on the road till he turned a profit. He would show up at Red Heads games unannounced, just to check that things were on par. "They always made sure that they had that hair especially dyed if they knew my dad was coming. He was real big on them having red hair and making sure they looked like ladies," Harrison said. "He wanted them to wear dresses or skirts in the car, but I think in the later years, like the '80s, he even allowed them to wear jeans. I guess he had to change some with the times — not that he liked it."

From her Sherwood kitchen, Judy Cameron, 67, recites the rules: "If you smoked when you got on the team, you could still smoke, but you couldn't smoke in uniform. And you couldn't take up the habit after you got on the team. There was no drinking. We couldn't date anybody but the guys we played against, and of course, they couldn't be married. And it had to be two of us to go out, it couldn't be just one guy and a girl. We were pretty tough, we could protect ourselves, but those were the rules." They also rotated roommates because Moore didn't want any cliques, and he never wanted one player to outshine the others. If someone was scoring too much, she was encouraged to pass more and shoot less.

To this day, Cameron hates blue eye shadow.

Pat and Ben Overman were both with the Red Heads until 1973. Now they live in a sprawling brick house at the end of a shady cul-de-sac in Jonesboro.

Last summer they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. These days, Pat does something she rarely had to do as a Red Head — dyes her hair red. She still can't say, exactly, why she agreed to marry the coach. The best she can manage is, "We both loved the same thing. We loved the Red Heads." She was 18.


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