Standing in the Charlestown High School gymnasium, Charlestown’s Patty Suprey could almost hear the sound of the wall-to-wall crowd that January night of 1980. She could put her feet on the free throw line where she was standing and shot the memorable shot. free throw. this made her the first girl in Boston public school history to score 1,000 career points.
She was even able to relive the memory with her sisters, one of whom was on the team, and the many locals in the community who remember her winning shot and remarkable passing ability.
However, on the wall next to the other 1,000-point goal scorers in more recent history – there has been no recognition for over a decade of Suprey’s incredible achievement in a time when women’s sports didn. ‘were not so celebrated, but more importantly, during the turbulent times of the forced bus in BPS.
No banner was ever put up for his back after the event, which hundreds of people witnessed and denoted in numerous Boston newspapers. Later in the 1990s, the community held a ceremony and raised a banner for her. This banner, however, was not the same as the others and was eventually removed during renovations to the gymnasium. After the renovations, no one ever seemed to be able to find it.
This year, on the 41st anniversary of his birthday, new momentum came and Suprey’s family and friends began to push to put his banner back up and his achievement recognized properly. She had been ignored for so long that few of them had any hope.
However, the persistence of Suprey’s niece Maggie Suprey was unmatched, and Charlestown High’s athletic director Paige Lemieux was eventually contacted and revealed that she found the banner in storage while cleaning up the spaces. during COVID closures.
Soon, a new banner had been made for Suprey, his jersey property removed under glass with the others, and a ceremony scheduled for Saturday, June 5.
“I’ve been here for seven years and I’ve heard so many stories about Patty’s exploits as an athlete,” said Lemieux. “As a sportswoman myself, I have a great deal of respect for a woman like Patty who has paved the way for me and helped all female athletes participate in sports in the city of Boston.”
Charlestown High Principal Joel Stembridge said it was important to recognize Suprey with a banner – noting that it was proof of success and recognition that she is here and that they see her.
“It’s not only to show what you’ve done and how hard you’ve worked, but it’s also an inspiration to our students now that they can work hard and achieve what you’ve done. “, did he declare. “Next to your banner there are some empty spaces up there, and maybe one day our students can be inspired to join you with their own banners. “
Maggie Suprey told the large group of gathered family and friends that when she heard that the banner wasn’t on the wall, she wasn’t going to let go of it. As a star hockey player in high school and college, Maggie Suprey said she understands how difficult it is to be successful in high performance athletics as a woman.
“When I heard my aunt tell me she couldn’t get her banner back and how many years it had been – I said no,” Maggie said. “It’s amazing to score 1,000 points, but doing it 40 years ago is amazing. It was still a time when women couldn’t get a mortgage without a male co-signer. And during that time, she’s here and she’s done that. It’s amazing… You are one of those who got people interested in women’s sport. You have helped female athletes like me.
Patty Suprey, who was very moved, thanked all of her coaches, parents, siblings, teammates and the players who came before her.
As a little girl, she said she always went to games and watched them play – boys and girls – and decided she wanted to be on the championship teams too.
“It’s because of them that I’m standing in front of you now,” she said, recalling fond memories of her and her friends beating the boys in basketball on the courts. Doherty Park.
But it was her family – many of whom were there with her on Saturday – that she thanked the most. From her sisters who she played ball with, to her mother who was a professional softball player, to her father who taught her how to play, and to her niece, Maggie, who never gave up raising the banner, she gave them huge praise.
“On and off the pitch you made me a better person,” she said. “Because of you, I wouldn’t be here. I love you all to death.