For Erin Scholz, it all started at Sabin Middle School.
"I mean in 7th grade I was 5'11", apparently that's tall," laughed Scholz, who now lives in Fresno, California.
Nervous she wouldn’t even make her middle school team, Scholz quickly realized she was an exceptional basketball player.
"I worked very hard in conditioning and I worked very hard in the fundamentals. And so I really think what made me a great player was just how hard I would play and being committed to my teammates," she said.
Just a few years later, Scholz became an All-American while at Doherty High School and was a two-time Colorado state player of the year. She led Doherty to a state championship in 1992 before committing to CU-Boulder. That’s where she went on to be named an honorable mention All-American, where she became one of the greatest basketball players to wear a Buffalos jersey.
"As a freshman in college, playing at the University of Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse, to a packed building... "It was deafening," she said.
"That was just so intense. And so winning that game, that came down to the wire, in that environment, ya know, having to look so intently at your teammates and coaches to be able to know what they're saying, was a really, really unique and valuable experience."
Scholz ranks second all-time on CU’s all-time rebounding list (1067) and is one of just three CU Buffs to have recorded 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Aside from the records, playing basketball revealed things about herself nothing else could.
"What's my character? Do I have a temper? Am I impatient with things? Am I a perfectionist? ...Basketball gave me an opportunity to see who I was for better, for worse," said Scholz.
And Scholz truly appreciates the avenue Title IX helped provide.
"So I really am thankful that I had the opportunities with basketball that I did, because it kept me occupied. It kept me focused. It kept me driven in a positive way."
Scholz led the Buffalos to four NCAA tournaments. After she graduated in 1999, she played two seasons professionally for the Colorado Chill and later became a collegiate assistant coach. She lives in Fresno, California now where she's focused on her Christian ministry.
This summer is the 50th anniversary of Title Nine. The law prohibited sex-based discrimination in schools, guaranteeing a level playing field for female athletics for the first time in our nation’s history. To celebrate the anniversary, Josh Helmuth is showcasing nine of the most remarkable female athletes to come out of southern Colorado.