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DeRoos looks to start league of their own

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POSTED July 10, 2014 1:08 a.m.

Her name is synonymous with the sport of basketball in the Family City, yet Molly DeRoos is having a hard time finding a sanctioned game. 

Anywhere. 

The former Manteca High and Modesto Junior College standout has looked far and wide for a women’s league. She’s searched all the major Northern California markets – the Bay Area, Sacramento, Modesto and Stockton – but each search has fallen flat.

Like a brick.

Basketball players of her pedigree don’t like bricks.

“I would go to Sacramento every weekend if there was a team to play on,” said the 35-year-old mother of one, “but there are no women’s leagues anywhere.”

Could the City of Manteca be the first?

DeRoos has been working with the Parks and Recreation Department for eight months to establish a four- to six-team league that would run concurrently with the ever-popular men’s summer league. The season would be six weeks long and likely begin the weekend of July 26-27.

It’s all contingent upon signed-sealed participation. 

DeRoos has until Tuesday, July 15, to deliver payment, paperwork and rosters for six teams to the Parks and Recreation Department. Registration costs are $250 per team, and each team must have between 10-12 players.

DeRoos, who has been actively recruiting the area’s alumni on Facebook, says she has received confirmation from about 35 players, including a few that have signed on to be team managers. Of that group, only half have committed money. 

“I need about 10 more women to pad the teams up,” she said.

DeRoos understands the challenge ahead of her. To the best of anyone’s knowledge there hasn’t been a women’s city league in recent memory. There have been a few women who have played with the men, according to Parks and Recreation officials, and a few more who have feigned interest in starting their own. But none have been as headstrong as DeRoos, which fits the bill.

She started on the varsity team for three seasons at Manteca High, before embarking on a two-year career at Modesto Junior College. She says she made the team at San Jose State as a walk-on, but couldn’t afford to pay her own way.

Her collegiate career may have ended abruptly, but passion continues. 

Every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evening, DeRoos and a group of other women get together – with their kids – at Quail Ridge Park to play a few pick-up games. While the children terrorize the playground equipment near the court, the women hoop.

On Tuesday, DeRoos said 12 women laced ‘em up. 

“Girls come out and they love it. This is what we need,” she said. “They’re asking, ‘Can we go longer? Can we play another game?’ It’s like, ‘Dude, I got to get up at 3 a.m. … but OK, one more game.’ The women love it.”

Beyond that, DeRoos said it’s important for their children to see Mom – and not just Dad – in an athletic arena.

“It’s such a healthy way to live,” she added. “But the most important thing is our kids see us doing this. They get to see mom playing basketball.”

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