Nebraska Women’s Sports: A Walk through time

Nebraska Women’s Sports: History in the Making 

The Nebraska women’s sports community is only growing stronger each year, and with good reason; with excellent teams and dedicated athletes, Nebraska positions itself as one of the strongest states for women’s sports. 

However, this success was not an overnight win; it’s been building for quite some time. Women’s sports in Nebraska have a rich history of resilience, discipline, and talent. 

Today, we travel to the past, to Nebraska’s sports beginnings, to understand how these talented athletes have built their success through the years and to imagine the bright future that awaits them. 

Nebraska Women’s Sports_ History in the Making

Nebraska Women’s Sports History

The story of women’s sports in Nebraska mirrors a familiar narrative seen around the globe. Initially, the sports scene was dominated by men, leaving little room for women to engage in athletic pursuits.

However, between 1880 and 1890, collegiate sports began to take root and gain popularity within Nebraska’s universities. It wasn’t until around the turn of the century, circa 1900, that women began to carve out their own niche in athletics, forming groups that were somewhat dismissively termed “Minor Athletics.”

Naturally, the landscape of sports has transformed dramatically over the past century.

Back then, women’s athletic attire prioritized modesty over performance, making it far from ideal for competition or physical activity.

Photographs from the era highlights this disparity: men were often captured in dynamic, in-game moments, exuding energy and enthusiasm. In stark contrast, women’s team photos were formal and restrained, with little to no indication of the sports equipment they used.

Despite these challenges, women’s sports teams at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln began to flourish, gradually establishing a strong presence and creating a legacy that continues to evolve today.

UNL File Nebraska Women’s Sports_ History in the Making
Nebraska U collaborative history

Intercollegiate Competition: The Beginning of Nebraska Women’s Sports

The dawn of women’s intercollegiate competition marked a pivotal moment in the history of Nebraska’s sports.

Nebraska’s teams were not alone; across the country, women’s sports teams were emerging, fueled by determination and a passion for competition.

As these teams ventured into the competitive arena, they began to participate in intercollegiate matches, quickly establishing themselves as formidable opponents. Their skill and dedication were undeniable.

In a landmark event in 1901, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) women’s basketball team took to the court for their first intercollegiate game. In an impressive debut, they emerged victorious against the University of Missouri, setting the stage for a rich legacy of women’s sports in Nebraska.

The End of an Era: What Did the Future Hold for Women in Sport?

The journey of women’s sports in Nebraska reached a significant turning point in 1908 when, despite the excellence of the UNL team, the governing board decided to discontinue intercollegiate competitions for women.

This decision cast a long shadow over the future of women’s sports, effectively putting a halt to these competitions for nearly six decades. It seemed, for a time, that the vibrant history of women’s athletics might fade into obscurity.

However, the passion and determination for women’s sports didn’t completely vanish. Within the walls of universities, interclass games continued to thrive, providing a glimmer of hope and continuity.

As society evolved and attitudes towards women’s sports began to change, the sports community grew stronger and more resilient.

This resurgence of spirit and community eventually paved the way for the return of intercollegiate competitions for women, rekindling the flame that had been momentarily extinguished.

The enduring legacy of women’s sports in Nebraska, therefore, is a testament to perseverance and the unyielding desire to break barriers and redefine possibilities.

UNL Women’s Athletic Association

The founding of the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA) in March 1917 marked a significant milestone in the history of women’s sports at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and beyond.

Spearheaded by physical education instructors Dorothy Baldwin and Jessie Beghtol Lee, the WAA played a crucial role in promoting and overseeing athletic competitions for women.

The establishment of the WAA was not just about organizing sports events; it was a movement towards recognizing and valuing women’s athletic achievements.

By implementing a system of awards for successful competitors, the association underscored the importance of women’s sports and encouraged participation and excellence.

The legacy of the WAA continues to influence the world of women’s sports today, serving as a testament to its enduring impact on fostering and advancing athletic opportunities for women.

The Return Of Intercollegiate Athletics

The revival of intercollegiate athletics for women in Nebraska on April 22, 1967, marked a pivotal moment in the state’s sports history. This day saw representatives from colleges and universities across Nebraska come together to discuss the creation of a league dedicated to women’s intercollegiate sports.

The outcome of this meeting was the formation of the Nebraska Women’s Intercollegiate Sports Council (NWISC), a monumental step in reinvigorating women’s athletics in the state.

This development was significant for several reasons.

Firstly, it showcased a unified commitment among Nebraska’s educational institutions to support and enhance women’s sports, a commitment that had been sporadic since women’s intercollegiate competitions were halted in 1908.

Secondly, the NWISC played a crucial role in bringing women’s sports into the public eye by organizing state tournaments, which in turn boosted participation and interest in women’s athletics.

Looking back at the broader history of sports in Nebraska, the 1920s and 1930s were notable for the formation of women’s teams across various schools. However, these early forays into women’s team sports were often overshadowed by more established men’s sports like basketball and track.

During this period, women’s sports were largely seen as recreational rather than competitive, with formal matches being a rarity.

Despite these humble beginnings, the efforts of organizations like the NWISC and the foundational work in the early 20th century laid the groundwork for Nebraska to become a formidable presence in women’s collegiate sports.

The state’s commitment to developing and promoting women’s athletics has contributed significantly to its reputation as a powerhouse in the sports arena.

Nebraska Women’s Sports
Nebraska’s club volleyball program in the early 1970s

UNO Softball 

The rise of intercollegiate competition in Nebraska saw a significant surge in interest and participation in women’s sports, leading to the establishment of more teams across the state.

This interest set the stage for a momentous achievement in Nebraska’s sports history.

In 1975, during the AIAW Women’s College World Series, the women’s softball team from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) showcased their talent and determination. In a thrilling deciding game, they emerged victorious over Northern Iowa with a score of 6-4.

This victory was not just a win; it was a historic moment for UNO, as it secured the university’s first-team national championship.

This achievement underscored the growing prominence and potential of women’s sports in Nebraska, marking UNO’s softball team’s victory as a landmark event in the state’s rich sports history.

Nebraska Women’s Sports Teams Finding Their Own Space

Despite the growing popularity and success of women’s sports, the journey towards equality in Nebraska was fraught with challenges. The 1990s highlighted the disparities that still existed between men’s and women’s sports teams, particularly in terms of resources and recognition.

Space Constraints

As late as 1995, women athletes at Nebraska universities faced significant logistical hurdles. They lacked dedicated spaces for their teams, resulting in shared lockers and dressers with other teams. This lack of space forced them to transport and manage their equipment without the convenience of on-campus storage.

Access to facilities was another issue, with parking at stadiums often reserved exclusively for men’s events. Furthermore, women’s teams were required to set up their own playing fields and arrange seating before competitions.

Media Representation

The disparity extended into media coverage.

Major media outlets focused predominantly on men’s sports, especially football, leaving women’s sports, such as volleyball, in the shadows.

This lack of visibility not only marginalized women’s sports but also diminished the recognition of female athletes’ achievements and efforts.

Strides Towards Equity

Determined to bridge this gap, athletes, coaches, and supporters advocated for more equitable treatment and media representation.

Their efforts culminated in a significant victory in 1999 when local radio station 107.3 agreed to broadcast women’s volleyball games.

This decision allowed for both football and volleyball matches to be aired simultaneously on different channels, offering women’s sports much-needed exposure and recognition.

This moment was a critical step towards addressing the gender disparities in sports media coverage, highlighting the ongoing struggle for equality and the importance of visibility in advancing women’s sports.

Nebraska Women’s Sports_ History in the Making Nebraska

2009: The Time for Women’s Basketball

As the 2000s progressed, the Nebraska Huskers women’s basketball team was making notable strides in the NCAA Tournament, demonstrating their prowess by qualifying in two of the previous three seasons.

Yet, it was the 2009-10 season that would etch their name in the annals of collegiate basketball history.

Under the guidance of Head Coach Connie Yori, the Huskers embarked on a remarkable journey. They not only participated in the games; they dominated them, achieving an impeccable record throughout the regular season. This string of victories was not just a testament to their skill and hard work but also a clear sign of the team’s synergy and Yori’s leadership.

The crowning achievement of this extraordinary season was securing the Big 12 regular-season championship for the second time in the team’s history.

This accomplishment was more than just a win; it was a statement. It marked the Nebraska Huskers women’s basketball team’s arrival as a force to be reckoned with and set a new benchmark for what the team could achieve.

The 2009-10 season remains a high point in the team’s history, symbolizing not just their talent and determination but also the potential for future success in women’s basketball.

The Weight of Volleyball for Women Sports in Nebraska

Volleyball has undoubtedly been a cornerstone in establishing Nebraska as a trailblazer in women’s collegiate sports in the United States.

The Nebraska Huskers volleyball team, known for its exceptional talent and competitive spirit, has consistently made waves on the national stage, further cementing their legacy in the sport.

In a strategic move that would redefine their future, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln decided in 2010 to leave the Big 12 Conference, a partnership that had lasted fifteen years.

This decision was not taken lightly, considering the Cornhuskers’ dominant performance in the Big 12, where they left an indelible mark by winning the championship in 2010 with an impressive conference record of 278 wins to just 22 losses.

Transitioning to the Big Ten Conference in 2011 opened a new chapter for the University of Nebraska, allowing its athletic teams to compete against other storied programs like Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

This move was particularly significant for the volleyball team, which quickly proved its mettle by winning the Big Ten championship in their very first year in the conference.

The Huskers’ volleyball success significantly boosted the sport’s popularity in Nebraska, culminating in 2013 when the renovated Nebraska Devaney Center sold nearly 8,000 season tickets. This overwhelming support led the nation in attendance, with an average of 8,175 fans per match, showcasing the community’s passion and support for women’s volleyball.

This era not only highlighted the Huskers’ competitive excellence but also underscored the vital role volleyball plays in promoting women’s sports in Nebraska and beyond.

Volleyball record Nebraska

2023 Nebraska’s World Record

In an unprecedented display of support for women’s sports, Nebraska shattered the world record for attendance at a women’s sporting event in 2023.

A staggering crowd of 92,003 spectators filled Memorial Stadium, all gathered to watch the powerhouse Nebraska volleyball team, a five-time NCAA champion, take on the Omaha Mavericks. The match ended in a resounding 3-0 victory for the Nebraska Huskers team.

This momentous occasion eclipsed the previous world record for a women’s sports event attendance, which was set during the Women’s World Cup soccer final between Team USA and China, witnessed by 90,185 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

The significant turnout for the volleyball match in Nebraska not only etched a new chapter in the history books for women’s sports in Nebraska but also highlighted the increasing popularity and support for women’s sports nationwide.

This record-breaking event serves as a testament to the passion and enthusiasm that fans have for women’s sports, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards greater recognition and equality in sports.

The Future of Nebraska Women’s Sports

Looking ahead, the trajectory for women’s sports at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is set on an upward curve, promising even more achievements and milestones.

The remarkable progress and accomplishments witnessed in recent years signify just the beginning of what’s possible as UNL remains committed to elevating its female athletes and sports programs to global acclaim.

The university’s ongoing efforts to recruit elite talent from across the nation and around the globe are a testament to its dedication to excellence in women’s sports.

By offering state-of-the-art training facilities, a cadre of seasoned coaches, and a nurturing environment, UNL is not just attracting top-tier athletes; it’s crafting an ecosystem where these athletes can flourish and push the boundaries of their capabilities.

This investment in the future of women’s sports at UNL is not merely about maintaining competitive teams; it’s about building a legacy of empowerment, excellence, and equality.

As these efforts continue to unfold, the future for women’s sports at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shines bright, promising a new era of achievements, records, and global recognition.

Nebraska Has Talent

Nebraska’s commitment to enhancing its women’s sports programs reflects a broader goal of fostering diversity and inclusivity within athletics.

By continuously seeking to broaden the range of sports available to female athletes, Nebraska not only creates more opportunities for participation but also enriches the sports culture with a wider array of talents and perspectives.

This expansion is crucial for accommodating the diverse interests and abilities of female athletes, ensuring that every aspiring sportswoman finds her place in the competitive world of athletics.

The influence of Nebraska’s women’s sports teams transcends the boundaries of competition and athletic achievement. These athletes stand as beacons of inspiration, showing young girls that their aspirations in sports and beyond are valid and achievable.

Their success stories and journeys to excellence in their respective fields serve as powerful motivation that encourage the next generation to chase their dreams with vigor and determination.

At the Nebraska Greats Foundation, we look forward with anticipation to the unfolding future of women’s sports. The foundation is not just a spectator but a proud supporter of this journey, eager to witness and celebrate the milestones and triumphs that lie ahead.

As history continues to be written by these talented and determined women, their legacy will undoubtedly encourage more young girls to step into the world of sports, knowing that their dreams are within reach and that they, too, can become great.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation

This is where organizations like the Nebraska Greats Foundation step in. The foundation provides financial assistance and support to former letter-winning athletes from Nebraska’s colleges and universities who face significant medical expenses. 

This support can be a lifeline for athletes dealing with the aftermath of sports-related injuries, helping them access the necessary medical care and rehabilitative services.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation recognizes that athletes often give their all on the court, sometimes at the cost of their health. By providing financial aid, the foundation ensures these athletes can lead healthier lives after their athletic careers. 

It underscores the importance of caring for athletes’ health during their active years and beyond, emphasizing that their well-being is as important as the records they set and the games they win.

Nebraska Greats Foundation Nebraska Women’s Sports_ History in the Making

Husker Football Star Rick Czap Receives NGF Grant

Former Husker Football Star Rick Czap Receives Nebraska Greats Foundation Grant

At the Nebraska Greats Foundation, we know firsthand the power that Huskers football has in our community and how it can bring families, friends, and people together. 

We also know that this strong bond between Nebraska citizens couldn’t be achieved without the hard work and determination of all of our athletes. 

That’s why we are proud to announce that, once again, thanks to your help, we are able to assist former Husker football star Rick Czap.

We couldn’t be prouder to give back to this amazing sports community and the families and athletes that conform to it; thanks to the resilience and endurance of athletes like Rick, we have become a better society.

Nebraska Greats Foundation Grant recipient_ Husker Football Star Rick Czap

Former Husker Football Athlete Rick Czap

Born on December 7, 1943. Rick Czap is a Cornhusker who played from 1964 to 1966 as a defensive tackle in esteemed games such as the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl. 

He was a two-time league champion in the shot put and an undefeated state champion wrestler at Bay City Central.

He was an NFL draft pick, and while Rick never played in the NFL, he did compete briefly in the CFL. 

In 2002, he was inducted into the Bay County Sports Hall of Fame.

Despite their impressive football career, injuries are bound to happen. But he endures them all and continues his professional path.

Now, years later, while Rick is struggling with different kinds of health difficulties, like needing daily assistance with bathing and dressing, his spirit is unwavering, and he embodies the strength and resilience that characterized his time on the field.

Rick Czap’s Condition

At the age of 80, Rick has been navigating through a series of health adversities, including spinal complications that have required multiple surgeries and daily usage of a wheelchair.

However, these challenges have not diminished his spirit.

Life threw another curveball at him when Hurricane Ian roared through his Florida home, leaving him without many of his belongings, including his dentures. Yet, Rick remains resilient in the face of adversity.

His current hospitalization and reliance on oxygen have made communication with those beyond his immediate circle a bit more challenging.

However, his close friends have stepped forward to help bridge this communication gap, make him feel more comfortable, and help him get better. 

How The Nebraska Greats Foundation Served This Husker Football Star

We know how discouraging health conditions can be, especially for athletes who rely on their physical strength throughout their careers. 

The good news is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and health conditions are just part of the journey. 

With your help, the Nebraska Greats Foundation has approved a grant to provide Rick with a new scooter and dentures, aiming to improve his mobility and quality of life. 

Our actions are guided by the foundation’s mission, which is to provide unwavering support and uphold the dignity of Nebraska’s sporting legends. The gesture towards Rick is a testament to this commitment. 

We believe that every athlete deserves respect and support, especially when facing health challenges. 

Our goal is to ensure that these greats continue to live fulfilling lives, and we’re proud to play a part in Rick’s journey toward improved health and well-being.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

-Said Rick 
Husker Football Star Rick Czap NGF

Husker, Football, and The Nebraska Greats Foundation

For ten years now, the foundation has been serving athletes from the 16 colleges and universities in Nebraska. Our mission is to stand by our athletes, just like we did for Taylor in her times of need.

We have helped over 35 athletes from different universities and over 20 from UNL. We are committed to offering support to even more athletes like Rick, guiding them on their journey toward recovery.

The UNL sports team holds a significant place in the heart of Nebraska. Its influence extends beyond the sports arena, shaping our community and fostering unity. 

We take immense pride in being able to contribute to the development and well-being of the exceptional talents that make up this esteemed institution.

Our actions are guided by a deep-seated belief that every athlete deserves a fighting chance, regardless of the challenges they face. Through our efforts, we aim to uphold the dignity of these athletes, ensuring they continue to inspire us on and off the field.

The story of the NGF is one of resilience, compassion, and unwavering commitment to Nebraska’s athletes. As we look to the future, we remain steadfast in our mission, ready to lend our support to the next generation of greats.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation

We believe that every individual and organization has a role to play in empowering athletes and enriching our community.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to former athletes and ex-athletes from Nebraska’s colleges and universities who face medical challenges. 

Thanks to this support, we can alleviate some of the mental health issues that Nebraska athletes are going through during their recovery process.

If you know of an athlete friend or family member who needs access to specific treatments and services, let us know to potentially alleviate some of the stress associated with managing these conditions.

With your help, we can make the Nebraska sports scene a safer place for our community athletes. Wondering how to help? Donate today or reach out to us. Most donations are tax-deductible.


Former University of Nebraska Football Alumni on the Biggest Stage

In the heart of the Midwest, where the spirit of college football is as vast as the open plains, the University of Nebraska stands tall as a symbol of grit and unwavering determination. This isn’t just a football program; it’s a legacy that stretches far beyond the confines of Memorial Stadium, reaching the pinnacle of American sports: the Super Bowl.

As Super Bowl LVIII draws near, excitement builds not just for the game itself but for the proud representation of Husker Nation on the sport’s grandest stage.

Let’s dive into the stories of two Huskers who’ve made the leap from the storied fields of Nebraska to the bright lights of the NFL: Randy Gregory and Daniel Bullocks. Their journeys from Lincoln to professional stardom are not merely tales of personal achievement but testimonies to a tradition of excellence that is quintessentially Nebraskan.


The University of Nebraska Football Legacy

In the heartland of the Midwest, the University of Nebraska’s football legacy stands as a testament to determination and excellence, transcending the collegiate scene to make its mark on the NFL’s most prestigious event: the Super Bowl.

This rich tradition showcases the depth of talent and spirit nurtured within the vast plains of Nebraska, where football is not just a game but a way of life.

This legacy is celebrated annually as Husker alumni grace the Super Bowl, embodying the hard work, resilience, and unyielding dedication instilled in them at Nebraska. Their presence on football’s biggest stage underscores the university’s role in shaping athletes who excel beyond their college years, continuing to inspire fans and future players alike.

As the Super Bowl unfolds, the spirit of Nebraska football is vividly on display, reinforcing the enduring impact of the Huskers’ program. It’s a powerful reminder that the journey from the fields of Nebraska to the heights of professional football is paved with the values of perseverance and excellence, hallmarks of the Husker tradition.


From the early years, when the Huskers rose to prominence under the guidance of legendary coaches, to the modern era, marked by unforgettable moments and a commitment to tradition, the program has etched its indelible mark on the landscape of American football.

But the legacy isn’t confined just to the university campus. It extends into the National Football League (NFL), where former Huskers have seamlessly transitioned from collegiate stardom to professional prominence. 

As we celebrate the University of Nebraska football legacy, we’ll unravel the stories of former Huskers who continue to add new chapters to this enduring legacy that defines University of Nebraska football.


The Huskers in the NFL

The pipeline from the University of Nebraska football to the NFL has been a thriving avenue, with a crowd of former Huskers leaving an undeniable mark on the professional football landscape.

Among the notable alumni who have made their mark in the NFL, two standouts, Randy Gregory and Daniel Bullocks, exemplify the caliber of talent that the Huskers consistently produce.

Randy Gregory: From Nebraska to the NFL

Randy Gregory‘s journey from the University of Nebraska Football to the NFL is a compelling tale of resilience, tenacity, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. 

At Nebraska, he distinguished himself as a formidable defensive end, becoming a linchpin in the Big Ten’s defensive lineup. His exceptional performance earned him first-team All-Big Ten honors for two consecutive years, a testament to his dominance on the field.

The 2014 season was a critical juncture for Gregory, as he faced injuries that tested his resolve. Despite these challenges, including missing games and playing limited snaps, his impact was undeniable. He showcased not just traditional defensive skills but also a remarkable versatility with notable plays that underscored his potential.


Gregory’s ability to adapt and excel, from recording interceptions to forcing fumbles and blocking field goals, spoke volumes of his athletic prowess. His college career saw him amass 17.5 sacks, placing him ninth in Nebraska’s record books, illustrating his significant contribution to the Huskers’ legacy.

Choosing to enter the NFL Draft post-2014, Gregory embarked on a new chapter. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and later moving to the San Francisco 49ers, his journey reflects a relentless pursuit of excellence, affirming his status as a defensive powerhouse shaped by the challenges and triumphs at Nebraska.

Daniel Bullocks: A Former Husker Coaching in the NFL

Daniel Bullocks’ evolution from a celebrated Nebraska Husker to an esteemed coach in the NFL encapsulates a journey marked by dedication, leadership, and an enduring bond with football at its highest level.

As a standout strong safety during his college days, Bullocks, alongside his twin brother Josh, became a cornerstone of Nebraska’s defense, earning accolades and the respect of peers and coaches alike.

Throughout his tenure at Nebraska, Bullocks distinguished himself with a remarkable blend of physicality and on-field intelligence. His senior year, serving as a co-captain, was particularly noteworthy, showcasing his leadership and skill which would pave the way for his professional career.

Drafted by the Detroit Lions, Bullocks transitioned smoothly into the NFL, where his talent for making pivotal plays and his reputation as a formidable safety were further solidified.


However, it was Bullocks’ transition to coaching that unveiled the depth of his commitment to football.

After hanging up his cleats, he returned to Nebraska, dedicating himself to guiding the next generation of players. His journey took a pivotal turn as he joined the NFL coaching ranks, where he has become an integral part of the San Francisco 49ers’ coaching staff.

In this new role, Bullocks has leveraged his extensive experience and insight to enhance the 49ers’ defensive strategies.

His ability to mentor and develop players has not only contributed to the team’s success but has also affirmed his legacy within the football community. Daniel Bullocks’ story, from a player at Nebraska to an influential NFL coach, is a testament to the impact one individual can have on both the game and the lives of those who play it.

The Biggest Stage: SuperBowl LVIII 

The involvement of Huskers like Gregory and Bullocks in the Super Bowl is a source of immense pride for Nebraska.

Their paths from collegiate to professional acclaim exemplify the Husker ethos: resilience, commitment, and an undying pursuit of excellence.

As Gregory competes on the field and Bullocks devises strategies from the sidelines, they carry the legacy of the University of Nebraska with them.

They stand as living proof that from the plains of Nebraska to the NFL, the spirit of a Husker remains formidable and enduring.

This Super Bowl, let’s celebrate not just the spectacle of the game but the journey of these Huskers, who remind us that from Nebraska’s fields to the heights of professional football, the spirit of Husker Nation is indomitable.


The Nebraska Greats Foundation

We know Nebraska has talent that can go far. This is where organizations like the Nebraska Greats Foundation step in. 

The foundation extends financial aid and assistance to former athletes who have earned letters in Nebraska’s colleges and universities, helping them navigate significant medical expenses. 

This support is a crucial resource for athletes contending with the repercussions of injuries sustained during their sports careers, facilitating access to essential medical treatment and rehabilitation services.

Recognizing the sacrifices athletes make on the field, often at the expense of their well-being, the Nebraska Greats Foundation plays a vital role in ensuring these individuals receive the necessary financial support. 

By doing so, the foundation aims to empower athletes to lead healthier lives after their active sports careers.

This commitment underscores the foundation’s belief in prioritizing athletes’ health throughout their active years and beyond. We emphasize that the well-being of athletes is equally important as the achievements they accrue on the field and the victories they secure.

Midland University Athlete Hannah Tillison Receives Grant

Former Midland University Soccer Athlete Hannah Receives NGF Grant

As Midland University soccer fanatics and Nebraska women’s sports enthusiasts ourselves, we understand the importance of helping our sports community and seeing it grow. 

We applaud the big effort these athletes put in every day to make Nebraska a better and brighter state for future athlete generations 

That’s why, today, we are excited to share the story of one such athlete who has poured her heart and soul into soccer: Hannah Tillison, Midland University superstar and standout athete. 

Nebraska Greats foundation Midlan University Hannah

Midland University Soccer Star Hannah Tillison History 

Originally from Oklahoma, Hannah joined Midland University just recently and was a powerful addition to the team. 

Unfortunately, in the middle of a match, just at the beginning of the 2022 season, Tillison suffered a fractured ankle. 

Despite her injury, she played throughout the season with excellent performance, and she even got the 2022 All-GPAC Honorable Mention.

Nebraska Greats Foundation Midlan University

The Surgeries

In November 2022, she sustained a traumatic brain injury during a quarterfinal game, and while she tried to keep playing as usual, this time, she needed medical attention and to go back to  Oklahoma for recovery and ankle surgery.

Tillison had a history of other medical procedures. Her previous hip injuries, which had been surgically repaired three times, were aggravated due to the strain on her ankle. 

Despite starting her senior year with this hip injury and despite playing until the onset of the conference season, there came a time when the pain became unbearable, leading to an early retirement.

While her athletic career might seem to be cut short, these surgeries will help her to continue to make history and have a healthy life. 

Hannah Tillison’s Medical Journey

The physical injuries Hanna suffered to her hips, ankles, and brain can have profound impacts on the body if not properly managed. 

It’s crucial to provide the necessary care and attention to ensure optimal recovery. The healing process for these types of injuries often requires ample rest and a focus on rehabilitation.

If not done properly, this kind of injury can lead to an uncomfortable life with detrimental effects on the body. 

However, Hannah’s journey is a testament to her strength and perseverance. Despite the health challenges she has faced, she maintains a positive attitude and a happy outlook on life. 

Midlan University Hannah Tillison

How The Nebraska Greats Foundation Served Midland University Soccer Athlete Hannah Tillison

The financial burden of these medical procedures she had through the last year has added an extra layer of stress to her challenging situation, making it hard to manage.

However, at the Nebraska Greats Foundation, we were able to step in and help. Thanks to the financial aid provided, Hannah was able to offset her medical bills and relieve her growing stress.  

This support not only eased the financial burden but also allowed Hannah to focus more on her recovery and less on the daunting costs of her treatments.

“Without the Nebraska Greats Foundation helping me, I would not have been able to pay my medical bills. They were instrumental in navigating me through this process. Now, my medical bills have been taken care of. Thank you to the Nebraska Greats Foundation for helping me through these difficult life circumstances.”

Tillison Remarked.
Hannah Tillison recipient

Midland University And The Nebraska Greats Foundation

At the NGF, we have helped over 30 athletes from different universities, some of them being proud and former students from Midland. We hope to help many more athletes like Hanna on his way to recovery and to release some of the tension that this procedure can cause. 

We recognize the weight of Midland University in the Nebraska sports scene and its role in making this a better community for our athletes, so we are more than proud to be able to help the excellent talent that forms this school. 

For ten years now, the foundation has been serving athletes from the 16 colleges and universities in Nebraska. Our mission is to stand by our athletes.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation

We believe that every individual and organization has a role to play in empowering athletes and enriching our community.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to former athletes and ex-athletes from Nebraska’s colleges and universities who face medical challenges. 

Thanks to this support, we can alleviate some of the mental health issues that Nebraska athletes are going through during their recovery process.

If you know of an athlete friend or family member who needs access to specific treatments and services, let us know to potentially alleviate some of the stress associated with managing these conditions.

With your help, we can make the Nebraska sports scene a safer place for our community athletes. Wondering how to help? Donate today or reach out to us. Most donations are tax-deductible.

Midlan University Hannah Tillison story NGF

The Effects of Football on the Body: Keeping hEalthy

The Effects of Football on the Body

The effects of football on the body can be pretty detrimental if athletes don’t take the right measures to keep a healthy body. 

Apart from the usual injuries that are bound to happen in the field because of the nature of the sport, there are long-term effects that can change the course of life. 

This doesn’t mean that playing football or any professional sport is automatically bad or detrimental; it just means that there’s a way to keep the body feeling and being healthy for years to come. 

At Nebraska Greats Foundation, our goal is to give back to the Nebraska athletes who make our community better by helping assist them with their medical needs and ensuring they have bright and healthy futures.

That’s why prevention is one of our top priorities when it comes to sports; we want to make sure these athletes are taking the necessary measures to stay safe. 

Nebraska Greats foundation The Effects of Football on the Body

The Body is a Tool

Football, as many of us already know, is a sport that combines athleticism, strategy, and teamwork. 

It’s played by millions around the world, from children in schoolyards to professional athletes in colossal stadiums, so it might seem like a harmless game because, most of the time, it is. 

However, when we talk about the professional field, varsity teams, and the big leagues,  like any physical activity, it can have profound impacts on the body when practiced daily. Some positive, some negative. 

In any professional sports, the athlete uses their bodies as the main tool to win these games, so it’s only natural that constant training and practice shape the body. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the key health issues associated with playing professional football and provide advice on how to manage them for a long, healthy career.

What Does Football Do to Your Body? 

Professional football is a high-contact, physically demanding sport. From sprinting and jumping to tackling and being tackled, the body is subjected to a wide range of stresses. This, of course, can lead to a variety of health problems. 

The Effects of Football on the Body_ How to Stay Healthy

Musculoskeletal Injuries

These are the most common types of injuries in the sport and sometimes, if not treated correctly, can have long-term effects on the body. 

Musculoskeletal injuries, common in high-intensity sports like football, encompass a range of conditions such as sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocations. 

The treatment for these injuries varies depending on the severity and type. Mild sprains and strains can often be managed at home using rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also be used. 

In contrast, fractures and dislocations usually require immediate medical attention. They might involve immobilizing the injured area with a cast, splint, or brace, and in severe cases, surgery may be necessary. 

Physical therapy is always recommended during the recovery process to regain strength and mobility and to stop long-term effects from happening to the body.


Concussions are a prevalent health concern for football players, or any athlete for that matter.

Largely due to the recurrent head-on collisions that typify the sport, concussions are almost inevitable.  

The effects of these injuries can be immediate and short-term or long-term, depending on the case. 

A concussion can have no permanent effects and might need no therapy, however, some of the most severe effects can be one or some of the following: 

  • Memory problems
  • Constant headaches
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Recurrent loss of consciousness 
  • Sensitivity to light and sound.

However, up to 90% of concussions occur without the loss of consciousness, making them potentially tricky to diagnose on the field. 

The good news is that most of them are treatable and can also be prevented with the proper gear and armor of the uniforms. 

The Effects of Football on the Body_ PREVENTION

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive, degenerative brain disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries. It’s been found in many former professional football players.

The condition is characterized by the gradual death of nerve cells, which can cause a range of symptoms that worsen over time. 

Early symptoms often include problems with attention, memory, mobility and function, mood swings, and impulsivity.

As the disease progresses, individuals may experience severe issues such as motor impairment, speech difficulties, aggressive behavior, depression, and even dementia.

We know that this might sound pretty traumatic, but CTE can be easily prevented in pretty much any case. 

While there’s no cure for CTE, research is ongoing to develop treatments and interventions that might slow or stop its progression. 

Current strategies focus on improving the quality of life for athletes affected; the NGF can help with the funding of these treatments. 

Prevention is currently the most effective approach to avoid these conditions. The importance of reducing head impacts, implementing strict concussion protocols, and promoting the use of protective equipment will be the best way to avoid CTE. 


Osteoarthritis is another long-term condition that can result from repeated football activity.

However, this is a condition that progresses over time and might have no immediate effect on the body but rather start showing years later. 

Osteoarthritis is caused by the continual stress on the joints, it can lead to premature wear and tear of the cartilage and flexible tissue that cushions the ends of bones within a joint.

This condition can result in pain, stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion in the joints that are affected. 

While osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, it most commonly affects the hands, knees, hips, and spine. 

For football players, the condition specifically impacts the knees and hips due to the physical demands of the sport.

So, how can we prevent this from happening to our bodies?

Currently, there is no permanent cure for osteoarthritis, but various treatments can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. 

These include pain relief medications, physiotherapy, exercise, weight management, and, in severe cases, joint replacement surgery. 

Yes, we know this might sound repetitive, but prevention strategies are crucial! Using protective gear, adhering to proper techniques, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of osteoarthritis in athletes.

Nebraska Greats Foundation FOOTBALL

Mental Health Issues

We all know that the social pressure in an athlete’s life can be pretty harsh, especially when his career or scholarships depend on their performance on the field.

That’s why mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, are a growing concern in the realm of football. 

While some individuals may initially appear resilient to these pressures, the impact on their mental health can manifest in the body in various ways over time.

Poor mental health can significantly affect an athlete’s ability to concentrate, make quick decisions, and maintain endurance, all of which are critical for peak performance. 

It can also lead to physical symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, and decreased appetite, further damaging the athlete. 

Athletic injuries can also negatively impact an athlete’s mental health. That’s why we believe that physiological therapy should be a reachable resource for every athlete in Nebraska, no matter the time or injury. 

Check-in with your athlete colleagues and ask how you can help. A helping hand can be just what they need.

Mental Health in sports Nebraska Athlete

Treatment and Prevention

So, how can you make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to prevent an injury that can damage your body in the future?

1- Immediate Medical Attention

Any sports-related injuries should be evaluated and treated by medical professionals who know what they are doing.

Ignoring injuries or treating them with non-professionals can lead to complications or chronic conditions in the future. 

2- Regular Check-ups

Some conditions are silent and unperceived. Regular medical check-ups are a crucial part of injury prevention. 

These check-ups can help detect potential health problems before they become severe. 

3- Proper Equipment

Yes, we said this before, but we need to say it again: using the right protective equipment is essential in reducing the risk of injuries. 

It’s important to ensure that all equipment fits properly and is in good condition to provide optimal protection.

4- Adequate Training and Conditioning

Participating in regular conditioning exercises can strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and enhance overall performance, reducing the risk of injuries. 

A well-rounded training program should include strength training, flexibility exercises, and sport-specific drills.

How to Refer an Athlete to the NGF

A Healthy Lifestyle for a Long Career

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not just beneficial for overall well-being, but it’s also pivotal in ensuring a long and successful career, particularly in physically demanding professions like football. 

By integrating healthy habits into your daily routine, you can enhance your professional success and longevity. 

Your body is your biggest armor and tool, so take care of it! Your future self will thank you for that. 

Want Assistance from The Nebraska Greats Foundation?

The NGF only covers qualified medical expenses such as insurance deductibles, pre and post-operative care, travel to and from treatments, prescriptions, rehab, and facilities directly related to the medical condition.

Any formal letter winner from any of the four Nebraska-based colleges or universities (including the former Dana College) with a medical and financial need is eligible to apply.

Keep Contributing to the Sports Community with the Nebraska Greats Foundation. 

If you are looking for a way to contribute to your local sports community in Nebraska, then we are your best choice! 

At the Nebraska Greats, we help athletes with medical and financial assistance when they are in need. 

We recognize the effort put in by athletes every day to make Nebraska one of the biggest sports states in the country, and we believe in giving something back.  

Our mission is not only to provide aid but also to create a safe space where athletes can be vulnerable and overcome their struggles in the right way. 

By doing so, we aim to preserve their legacy and inspire future generations of athletes. 

sports crowd helping NGF

UNL Basketball Star Evan Taylor Receives Grant from NGF

UNL Basketball Standout Evan Taylor Receives Ngf Grant

UNL Basketball spirit and community are big parts of Nebraska’s sports scene, and we recognize the hard work that athletes put in every day to keep UNL as a reference for varsity athletics in the Midwest. 

Today, we are proud to announce that, once again, thanks to your help, we are able to assist local athletes in need, and, in this case, specifically, UNL Basketball standout Evan Taylor. 

We are always proud to give back to resilient and passionate athletes who better our community with the power of sports. 

UNL Basketball Alumnus Evan Taylor Receives Medical Grant from NGF

UNL Basketball Athlete Evan Taylor

Born on April 11, 1996, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Evan’s journey to success has been marked by determination, resilience, and unyielding perseverance.

Growing up in Ohio, Evan Taylor developed his skills on the basketball court before moving to Florida at the age of 13. 

It was during this time that his passion for the game really flourished. Little did he know that this beginning would lay the foundation for an extraordinary career.

Taylor, who once played for the Arkadia Traiskirchen Lions in Austria, had to leave his team and return to the United States due to ongoing foot and leg issues. 

His condition required surgery and has since necessitated further examination and physical therapy.

His Time at UNL

During his time at UNL, Evan Taylor showcased his exceptional talent and became a vital member of the team. 

Throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he proudly received different honors that show his hard work and courage:

  • Team Captain (2017-18)
  • Big Ten Sportsmanship Nominee (2017-18)
  • Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2017)
  • Southern Conference All-Freshman Team (2014-15)
  • 2017-18 (Senior) 

Over the course of 33 games, he left an indelible mark on the Husker basketball program.  Notably, his tremendous improvement in shooting was a testament to his hard work ethic, as he went from shooting 24 percent as a junior to an impressive 44 percent during his senior season.

This, of course, was just the beginning of his fruitful career because just a few years later, we would go on and play for the Arkadia Lions in Europe. 

Evan Taylor’s Medical Journey

However, Evan’s journey faced a significant roadblock when ongoing foot and leg issues forced him to leave his team in Europe and return to the United States. 

This setback required surgery and continues to demand extensive examination and physical therapy. 

Sports injuries often have profound negative effects on athletes’ self-esteem and mental health. They can lead to feelings of frustration, fear, anger, and even a loss of self-identity, especially for those who strongly identify themselves with their sport, like Evan.

The road to recovery and therapy sessions can also be mentally strenuous. The pain, repetition, and slow progress can sometimes feel defeated.

However, Evan’s story is not one of defeat but success. Despite the challenges, Evan’s approach is one of faith and determination to overcome adversity and make a triumphant recovery.

UNL Basketball Evan Taylor NGF

How The Nebraska Greats Foundation Served Basketball Star Evan Taylor

A physical injury can be a discouraging time for any athlete and his team. However, the good news for Evan is that he is, and never will be, alone. 

With the help of his family, friends, and, of course, The Nebraska Greats Foundation, he will be quickly on his way to recovery. 

The grant will provide funding for Taylor’s medical evaluations and subsequent physical therapy, enabling him to focus on his recovery without the burden of medical costs. 

The Nebraska Greats Foundation is proud to support athletes like Taylor, who have represented Nebraska with distinction and honor on the court.

In no time, Evan Taylor can return to his daily life and activities, enjoying time with his family and friends in the US.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation takes immense pride in supporting athletes like Taylor, who have brought honor and distinction to Nebraska through their sporting prowess. 

The recovery journey would not have been possible without your generous contributions. Every donation played a crucial role in providing Evan with the support he needed during this challenging time

“I can’t express how truly thankful I am for the Nebraska Greats Foundation and all the support and help they have shown me through a challenging season in life,” 

“I extend my gratitude and deepest appreciation for everyone who is a part of the foundation.”

Said Taylor. 
UNL Basketball and Nebraska greats Foundation

The University of Nebraska Lincoln and The Nebraska Greats Foundation

At the NGF, we have helped over 30 athletes from different universities and over 15 from UNL. We hope to help many more athletes like Evan on his way to recovery. 

We recognize the weight of the UNL sports team in the Nebraska scene and its role in making this a better community, and we are proud to be able to help the excellent talent that forms this school. 

For ten years now, the foundation has been serving athletes from the 16 colleges and universities in Nebraska. Our mission is to stand by our athletes, just like we did for Taylor in her times of need.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation

We believe that every individual and organization has a role to play in empowering athletes and enriching our community.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to former athletes and ex-athletes from Nebraska’s colleges and universities who face medical challenges. 

Thanks to this support, we can alleviate some of the mental health issues that Nebraska athletes are going through during their recovery process.

If you know of an athlete friend or family member who needs access to specific treatments and services, let us know to potentially alleviate some of the stress associated with managing these conditions.

With your help, we can make the Nebraska sports scene a safer place for our community athletes. Wondering how to help? Donate today or reach out to us. Most donations are tax-deductible.

Evan Taylor Baskeball at UNL

HOW Donating to NonProfits Can Help Your Business

Donating to NonProfits to HELP Your Business

Donating to nonprofits and local organizations can help improve your business environment, reduce turnover rates, and improve your company’s reputation.

We know that nonprofit and business success are two topics unrelated to each other, but when done right, donations can have a huge impact on your organization.  

Today, we will explore how your business can benefit from becoming a donor for your local nonprofit organizations.

Nebraska greats foundation sponsors non profit

The Weight of Values

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business world, a company’s values are more than just a set of words on a mission statement hanging on a plaque on your office wall. 

Business core values are the guiding principles that shapes the brand’s identity, influences its operations, and determines its contribution to society. 

Additionally, core values play a crucial role in empowering your employees and teammates. They instill a sense of purpose and motivation for the job they do every day. 

Everybody likes to know that they are contributing to society one way or another. Having these values enables employees to work better together and make informed decisions that align with the company’s views. 

However, how do you show these values? Is your company actively implementing them? And, is your team really seeing the positive effect of these values?

Why Donating to Non-Profits Can Help Your Business Nebraska Greats foundation

Donating to NonProfits

A great way to show you are implementing your business values and vision is through actions. 

They could be things like fundraising, hosting charity events, sponsoring people, and, of course, making donations to nonprofits. 

These actions send a clear and loud message to your audience and employees. 

Partnering with a nonprofit organization like the Nebraska Greats Foundation (NGF) offers a unique opportunity to put your corporate values into action. 

At NGF, we firmly believe in the critical role corporations play in societal advancement and growth. 

By collaborating with us or any other nonprofit of your choice, your company does more than just donate funds.

The Power of Local Movements

You can always give donations through a nonprofit donation platform and save yourself some time and effort. But donating to a local organization has so many more benefits. 

There are two ways of seeing donations to local nonprofits: the first one is as a means of financial support to other organizations, or, the second one is helping build a stronger community.

As a company, you should always see donations as retribution to your environment. By joining forces with us, your company won’t just be donating funds; it will be actively participating in enriching the Nebraska sports community.

This builds goodwill, enhances your company’s reputation, and strengthens ties with essential people in your community.

Moreover, involvement with local nonprofits sends a clear, powerful message to your stakeholders – that your company is committed to making a positive societal impact.

Why Donating to Non-Profits Can Help Your Business

Networking Opportunities by Donating to Nonprofits 

Supporting local nonprofit organizations also opens up a wealth of networking opportunities. 

When you attend nonprofit events, you’re representing your company in a diverse community of like-minded professionals, passionate volunteers, and influential community leaders.

These interactions can lead to meaningful business relationships and even extend beyond the world of business. 

Additionally, these connections can provide insight into community needs, wishes, emerging trends, and innovative solutions.

Foster Long-term Partnerships by Donating to NonProfits

Rather than limiting your involvement to a single instance of sponsorship to many nonprofits, we recommend sticking to one. 

Consider the immense potential that lies in establishing a long-term partnership. In this enduring alliance, your business and the organization can achieve far-reaching impacts.

Think of different ways in which your organization can help your local nonprofits; do you see it lasting through the years? Will this alliance be a win-win? Do they provide something of value to you, your company, and your teams? 

Ask your local nonprofits for their corporate information, packages, and subscriptions. At NGF, for example, we offer two different options for businesses wanting to donate. 

Our goal with this package is that we can create relationships that are equally beneficial. 


Corporate Partner

Requires 4-year commitment

$50,000 per year

Category Exclusive

  • Official Status (aka Official category partner of the Nebraska Greats Foundation)
  • “Presented by” status for Celebrity Sports Night and Golf Classic
  • Preferred Vendor Status (goods and services)
  • One (1) complimentary foursome in annual golf classic
  • One (1) complimentary VIP table at annual celebrity Sports Night
  • Two (2) VIP Tickets to Annual Outland Trophy Awards event
  • Two (2) tickets to annual Husker Athletics Hall of Fame event (if produced by UNL AD)
  • Invitation to annual private golf outing at a Nebraska private golf club for a total of four (4) representatives featuring meals, golf, cart with former athlete (Date, Place by mutual agreement)
  • Permanent “click through” logo placement on home page at
  • Permanent logo placement on all social media communication
  • Permanent logo placement on all external communication
  • One (1) day corporate event (per year) featuring a minimum of one (1) former Athlete (to be mutually agreed upon and based upon availability)
  • Limited rights to official NGF logo and marks
  • Access to weekly “Blog” from former Husker or Blue Jay during football and basketball season
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Point of purchase or office decal or plaque designating “proud to support the Nebraska Greats Foundation.”

Special Friend

Requires 3-year commitment

$20,000 per year

  • Supporting sponsorship position at annual Celebrity Sports Night
  • Supporting sponsorship position at annual golf classic
  • One (1) complimentary foursome in annual golf classic
  • One (1) complimentary VIP table at annual celebrity Sports Night
  • Two (2) VIP Tickets to the Annual Outland Trophy Awards event
  • Two (2) tickets to the annual Husker Athletics Hall of Fame event (if sponsored by UNL)
  • Invitation to an annual “lunch with a legend” private lunch with a former athlete (date and availability TBD)
  • “Click through” logo placement on pages
  • Rotating placement on social media communication
  • Rotating logo placement on all external communication
  • Access to weekly “Blog” from former Husker or Bluejay during football and basketball seasons
  • Point of purchase or office decal or plaque designating “proud to support the Nebraska Greats Foundation.”
  • Monthly newsletter

Tax Benefits of Donating to NonProfits

Beyond the win-win relationships, improving business values, and helping your community, one often overlooked advantage of corporate donations to nonprofit organizations is the potential for significant tax deductions. 

Under IRS guidelines, companies can typically deduct charitable contributions up to a certain percentage of their taxable income, providing a tangible financial benefit come tax season.

These tax benefits not only make giving economically feasible but can also improve your company’s bottom line. 

Why Donating to Non-Profits Can Help Your Business and tax deductible

Team Building with a Twist

Involving your team in the initiatives and events hosted by nonprofits provides unique team-building opportunities. 

Working together towards a shared purpose can foster camaraderie and strengthen bonds among team members.

For fans of the Nebraska sports scene, knowing that they are part of improving athletes’ lives with their work can be a powerful bonding topic of conversation. 

Experiences like this can enhance workplace relationships, improve communication, and boost overall team performance.

Business Donations at NGF

At NGF, we believe that corporations have an essential role to play in fostering societal growth and development. 

At our foundation, we believe that corporate values are not just empty statements; they are the guiding principles that shape a brand’s identity and impact on society. 

By partnering with us, you have the opportunity to showcase your commitment to enriching the Nebraska community and affirm your corporate values in a meaningful and impactful way.

Ready to donate? Talk to one of our team members (702-321-9136) and learn how you can help strengthen the Nebraska sports scene and change the lives of current and former collegiate athletes in their time of need.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation

Our Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to both current and former athletes from any one of Nebraska’s 16 colleges and universities who face medical challenges. 

Thanks to this support, we can alleviate some of stress that Nebraska athletes are going through during their recovery process.

If you know of an athlete friend or family member who needs access to specific treatments and services, let us know.

With your help, we can make the Nebraska sports scene a safer place for our community of athletes.

Donate today or reach out to us with questions.

Why Donating to Non-Profits Can Help Your Business

Wayne State Basketball Standout, Dawnn Receives NGF Grant

Wayne State Basketball Standout Dawnn Tucker Receives NGF Grant

As Wayne State basketball fans and Nebraska sports enthusiasts; we know how important it is to give back to our community and see it thrive, especially when we know how hard-working and loving the Nebraska athletes are. 

Today, we are excited to share with you the moving story of one such athlete: Dawnn Tucker. Former Women’s Basketball Wayne State College standout who played for her team in the late 1980s.

Dwann Tucker and family

Wayne State Basketball Star Dawnn Tucker History 

Today, at 58 years old, Dawnn may be known as a dedicated city worker in Pierce, Nebraska, and a loving wife and mother, but her journey began on the basketball courts of Wayne State College.

In the late 1980s, when women’s sports were still fighting for recognition, Dawnn was making waves in the local basketball scene. 

Dawnn was a promising and hard-working team player at Wayne State College. She transferred to Wayne in 1987 to become a junior college women’s basketball star. 

Her arrival heralded a new era for the college’s women’s basketball team. She was a force to be reckoned with, a consistent double-digit scorer and rebounder for her team. 

Her contributions were invaluable, particularly in the NAIA District 11 playoff game against Midland. With Dawnn on the court, the Wildcats didn’t just play; they made history. Her presence helped lead the team to a victorious season.

Nebraska greats foundation Serves Dawnn

Dawnn Tucker Today

But Dawnn’s life story is not just about her achievements on the court. After leaving Wayne State, Dawnn married her best friend and partner, Joe. 

Their journey of love has been an adventure of 35 years and counting, filled with shared laughter, joy, and respect.

Together, they’ve raised two daughters. The happy family made their home in Pierce, Nebraska, where Dawnn has served the city for over 25 years. Her dedication to her work is a reflection of the same spirit she brought to her basketball career.

Dawnn Tucker´s Medical Journey

In March 2022, Dawnn was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a disease that has marked a new chapter in her life.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. 

This condition leads to the loss of muscle control, affecting the ability to speak, eat, and move. However, despite the physical effects, cognitive functions, like intelligence and memory, remain intact.

It is safe to say that this diagnosis was a hard blow for Dawnn and her family, since ALS is not just a medical condition; it’s a life-altering reality that affects facets of everyday life. 

The gradual loss of muscle control means that simple tasks, such as walking, running, or even holding objects, can become increasingly challenging.

But for Dawnn, who once dominated the basketball court with her agility and strength, the effects of ALS were not going to stop her. 

The disease progressively limits mobility, making it difficult to continue with some routine activities, but she has kept active and positive through it all.

Dawnn’s spirit remains unbroken. Her journey with ALS is marked not by defeat but by courage, resilience, and an unyielding will to fight.

NGF Serves Dawnn

How the Nebraska Greats Foundation Served Wayne State Basketball Standout Dawnn Tucker

ALS can be a very tough time, but the good news is that she isn’t alone; not only her family and friends are there to support her, but at the NGF we are committed to making her life easier. 

While Dawnn continued her battle with ALS, we were working to award a grant to help her everyday routine be much smoother.

The grant will be used to install a handicapped-accessible bathroom and a ramp into her home. These modifications are crucial for maintaining Dawnn’s independence and safety as her condition progresses. 

Soon, Dawnn will have a more accessible and adaptable space to continue her life and enjoy her family the way she deserves.

“I am beyond blessed and grateful that the Nebraska Greats Foundation is able to help with an accessible bathroom and a ramp for the front door. These things are going to make my life so much easier as I journey through my battle with ALS. I’m honored to become part of the Nebraska Greats Foundation family! Thank you from the bottom of my Heart for your generosity. You guys are Amazing!” 

Said Dawnn.
Wayne State Basketball wildcats

Wayne State College and The Nebraska Greats Foundation

Dawnn is the second former Wayne State student to receive support from the NGF, and we hope to help many more Wildcat athletes in need of medical assistance. 

For ten years now, the foundation has been serving athletes from the 16 colleges and universities in Nebraska. Our mission is to stand by our athletes, just like we did for Dawnn Tucker in her times of need.

The NGF’s support for Dawnn goes beyond financial aid. By standing with her in her fight against ALS, we´re sending a powerful message of solidarity and community spirit. 

The Nebraska Greats Foundation

We believe that every individual and organization has a role to play in empowering athletes and enriching our community.

The Nebraska Greats Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to former athletes and ex-athletes from Nebraska’s colleges and universities who face medical challenges. 

Thanks to this support, we can alleviate some of the mental health issues that Nebraska athletes are going through during their recovery process.

If you know of an athlete friend or family member who needs access to specific treatments and services, let us know to potentially alleviate some of the stress associated with managing these conditions.

With your help, we can make the Nebraska sports scene a safer place for our community athletes. Wondering how to help? Donate today or reach out to us. Most donations are tax-deductible.

Wayne State Basketball Dawnn Tucker