Becky Oglevee (2016)

It wasn’t that long ago that opportunities for female athletes were limited. Former Uniontown High School basketball star Becky Oglevee was one of the trailblazers for area female athletes.

Chuck Muncie  

“In seventh and eighth grade, I tried out for the boy’s basketball team at Ben Franklin Junior High,” Oglevee recalled. “That probably is one of the funniest moments of my basketball career. Bill Broda was the Head Coach at BF at the time and I had to go to him and ask for permission first, and then I had to go to the principal and ask if it was okay and then to my parents. Each one sent me somewhere to get permission. I played boys’ basketball in seventh and eighth grade and in ninth grade I had to make my decision – was I going to go down to Uniontown and play or play at BF because at that time they had started girl’s basketball at BF, but they were only going to have four games for the season. I went down to the high school. It helped me immensely to play with the boys.”

As with many Uniontown athletes, the playground system played a big role in Oglevee’s development as a player.

“I went to Bailey Park and BF and Craig School,” Oglevee remembered. “All those playgrounds were open, and I would jump from one to the next. Some of Lash Nesser’s kids were playground directors, Vinny and Steve, and I loved to go there and shoot around with them.”

Oglevee was coached at Uniontown for three-years by Janet Escue and one-year by Lisa Nehls.

“Within our section we were always competitive,” Oglevee stated. “But when we got to the WPIAL playoffs we ran into the Mt. Lebanons, the Thomas Jeffersons and schools like that. We made the playoffs every year, but we ran into much bigger teams. Those schools grew their girls very large – tall.”

Oglevee was All-Section for three years with the Lady Raiders and was the first girl to score over a thousand points at Uniontown.
“It was special and actually it was probably more special to my parents than it was to me,” Oglevee reflected. “Not that it’s not special to me, but I actually was very surprised that it took so long for someone to accomplish that again. It was like 20 years or 25 years before Jocelyn Chandler broke the record. The record stood for a long time and I often think we didn’t have the three-point shot. I think I would have had more points if we had the three-point line. I probably would have more points because the top of the key was one of my favorite shots.

“The other thing was that women’s basketball has changed also. When I was a senior in college – that’s when the ball was changing and it is an inch smaller in diameter. We actually played our conference games with the small ball and our out of conference games with the big ball. That was kind of awkward, because you are switching back and forth and there is a difference. The small ball is easier to handle, especially for someone like me who has smaller hands. In that sense it does make the game a little bit faster for women I think.”

Oglevee tallied 1,261 points at Uniontown and was named to the Pittsburgh Press Slick 75 during her career. She also was named to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Terrific 20 and was a WPIAL All-Star.
Basketball wasn’t the only sport that Oglevee played at Uniontown, she also participated in softball and tennis. When she graduated from Uniontown in 1982, the recruiting process for women’s basketball was a lot different than it is today.

“When it came to college I had to try out for a team,” Oglevee explained. “I went to Penn State to try out and I went to Pitt and tried out. When I tried out at Penn State there were maybe a hundred girls there. The rules are different now, very much like men’s basketball.”

Oglevee wound up going to Duquesne and the 5-foot-5 inch dynamo flourished as a player for the Duchesses as they were known back then.

“I learned my basketball in college, not in high school,” Oglevee opined. “I didn’t really know how to set a pick. We played a two-one-two, and I had to learn how to play man-to-man defense. I didn’t know what a jump stop was, and I really had to learn a system and if wasn’t for Coach Paul Hinds in college, I don’t think I would have been the player I became in college.”

Oglevee played on Duquesne squads from 1983 to 1986 that posted records of 14-9, 8-17, 16-13 and 8-17.

“People don’t realize this, when I went to Duquesne the women’s team was actually Division Two,” Oglevee explained. “Most of us were on 50 percent scholarships; we weren’t on full rides. We were competing against schools that had the allotted number of scholarships. Men’s Coach Jim Satalin gave us a scholarship and my last year I had a full scholarship.”

Oglevee scored 1,293 points at Duquesne and ranks number 10 on their All-Time scoring list, and she also dished out 528 assists in her career and was second team All-Conference in 1986.

After graduating from Duquesne, Oglevee who got her degree in Medical Photography went to work as at fitness trainer for six years and nursing school at Allegheny Community College where she got a Kane Scholarship. She became a nurse at Kane Hospital Ross Center for 14-years. In 2006 she became a Director of Nursing. Oglevee, who is single, lives in Pittsburgh and has been in Hospice Nursing.
“This has been very rewarding and I’d have to say I found my niche,” Oglevee said.


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