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THIS PAGE FEATURES STORIES OF HOW, AND WHERE,  'EAGLE WINGS'  HAVE TAKEN CLASSMATES/FRIENDS IN THEIR LIFE'S JOURNEY. 


  THE FOLLOWING IS THE REMARKABLE STORY OF ONE OF OUR OWN   SUE WHITTEN   CLASS OF 1969. THIS INFORMATION WAS TAKEN FROM THE WEBSITE OF A WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM CALLED 'THE ALL-AMERICAN REDHEADS'...A PROFESSIONAL TEAM THAT PLAYED FROM 1936 TIL 1986. AT THAT SITE ONE CAN FIND THE BIOGRAPHIES OF ALL WHO PLAYED FOR THE TEAM OVER THE YEARS....IN SEPTEMBER OF 2012 THE TEAM WAS RECOGNIZED AND INDUCTED INTO THE NAISMITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME IN SPRINGFIELD, MASS.  SUE WAS PRIVILEGED TO ATTEND AND TO BE ON THE STAGE WITH SOME OF THE GREATS OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL....
PRESENTING THE 'CROWN PRINCESS OF BASKETBALL'HORN LAKE'S OWN  SUE ' ROSIE RED'  WHITTEN

  Sue was born June 10, 1951, the daughter of Opal Whitten, in Memphis, TN. As a child, the family relocated to Horn Lake, MS. As insignificant as that might have seemed, it would become the paramount fate that shaped an opportunity which ultimately led toward her becoming an All-American Red Head. That was long ago.  

  What started as a 7th grade extra-curricular activity became a twist of fortune for Sue. This story is not to make Sue more or less captivating, because, as everyone knew, basketball was not just enjoyable but a tremendous shot-in-the-arm for a girl who would become skilled at a sport that would dominate her view of an impenetrable role of something she most wanted.   

  As a 5' 7" junior & senior player, she helped Horn Lake girl's team to a 26 - 6 record; was a two-time All-North Mississippi pick and would also land similar honors in the Chickasaw Conference. Said Van Chancellor, (March 1969) 'Sue is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached. She is a defensive specialist and takes great pride in her play.' That same year, Chancellor invited the Horn Lake High School girl's team to an event at the Memphis Mid-South Coliseum to see the All American Red Heads. The idea was seeded, but not thought through. After all, there was college and more basketball.  

  In 1969, Sue was the first Horn Lake High School's girls team player to be named to the North State All-Star Team. Summer camp counseling, the All-Star game and other appearances came and went. In September of that year Sue entered Mississippi State College for Women in Columbus, Ms, with a major in Physical Education under Coach Jill Upton. As a freshman and sophomore at MSCW Sue visited nearby games of the Red Heads as often as possible. Then a knee injury during a practice at MSCW placed her in the school infirmary her sophomore year and that would sideline her for the remainder of the season. That, she thought, would be the end. Not so! What would it take to turn a desire into reality? It was a red, white, and blue uniform with stars and stripes and a change of hair color....  

  In the summer of 1971, Orwell Moore, owner of the Red Heads, made contact with Sue and inquired as to whether or not her interest in basketball would include playing for the All American Red Heads. It was her junior year in college. Although it would mean leaving MSCW, it was the RED HEADS!!! Would she? Did she? Yes, absolutely, she did. Bring it on! After all, the All American Red Heads were America's greatest basketball attraction and billed as the most popular basketball team and queens of big-time basketball.  

  And Sue 'Rosie Red' Whitten, from a little town in Mississippi, by instinct, provided antics, skill, and laughter as the Red Heads comedienne, 'Prima Donna' and 'Crown Princess of Basketball' for the next several years of her life. There was never a question about using the optimal talents of her sport. There was never a question that she sized up the job. She was totally committed to it and really threw herself into the sport and the part.....teammates, Charlotte Adams, Cheryl Clark, Brenda Brooks, Gail Guthrie, Wanda England, Jana Giles....Camp Courage Summer Camps....meeting former Red Heads...so many places and none forgotten.  

  Sue's tenure with the Red Heads ended, but was never left behind. College did come later, as well as, amateur basketball (as a coach & player), softball, racquetball, volleyball, and a 'real' job. In 1975, while living in California, as a member of a Sonoma County Women's AAU team, along with Santa Rosa Junior College women's basketball coach, Caren Franci, Sue suited up to face the Taiwan National women's team. That was both an experience and an education.  

  All these years later it has become surreal. It wasn't adaptability or curiosity. It was excitement and compassion. What it did do, from day one, was to set 'Rosie Red' apart and it was the start of a special relationship between a group of women athletes, coaches, and Orwell Moore. It was wide-ranging fun, hilarious, ---yet intimate--competitive and a time past that has lasted through many years of memories.  

  Today, Sue has returned to Mississippi after working in other states of the country for over twenty years. Retired, she works with Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation helping injured and abandoned, or orphaned wildlife. From April through November each year it is a full-time 24/7 association which provides animals a chance to grow, recover and to be released back into the wild...  


****(EDITORS NOTE: SUE DIED IN THE SPRING OF 2017)****


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