About Maynard, Iowa

Most of the story takes places in northeastern Iowa, where we find the towns of Maynard and Oelwein. Both are small and rural, greatly shaping the lives of the people in this book.

In the 1950’s, Maynard wasn’t big enough to have a traffic light. Main Street was only about a block long and the town had the bare essentials of what constituted as a town: a gas station, diner, bar, bank, school and a park. The Volga River, one of the few rivers in North American that flows from south to north, runs through Maynard. The town was like many others around it.

Now, the town has more than 500 people.

Evolution of Women’s Basketball


Women’s basketball was created in 1891 but until 1990, it was seen as a very limited contact sport. Of course, through the 50’s and 70’s, the sport became extremely complicated and was named “Six on Six.” Here, only 3 girls were forward court and allowed to shoot. The other 3 were guards that had to remain on the opposite side of the court. After Title IV, five athletes could go onto the court and play both offense and defense. Now, the rules for women’s basketball are the same as men’s at all levels. It wasn’t until 1969 where women’s basketball was offered at a collegiate level.



Uniforms were made of wool since there was hardly any trace of athletic fashion in the early 1900’s. Skirts were long and heavy, and the look was typically accompanied by a tied garment around the neck in the earlier years.











The long skirts were ditched for less-restrictive clothing for physical activity.  Cotton was still being used as the main uniform material. Bottoms were originally worn with belts until elastic came along. Shorts were no longer mid-length. 










Uniforms finally switched over from the original heavy wool for something a little more breathable, according to an Athletic Shop article. Nylon and polyester materials were used to make these new uniforms consisting of shorter skirts and a cropped shirt. Elastic was incorporated into the skirt design so belts were no longer needed. However, women were required to wear knee pads.












Although knee pads were no longer required, athletes wore iconic high tube socks that still remain a staple athletic piece today. The recognized sleeveless jersey started to become more popular. 





Now, basketball jerseys are made up of 96-100% polyester and the shorts are knee-length. The material is extremely breathable and athletes are able to move about freely. Basketball socks, although the socks aren’t as tall, they are typically worn with supportive basketball shoes.

Recap of Trip to Des Moines

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to partner with the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) and attend the Iowa Girls High School State Basketball Championship. I not only got to witness great girls basketball but promote my book and what it means to be an #IowaGirl.

It was the 100th-year celebration of the tournament, which could not be more fitting for the occasion. My mother would have been so thrilled to see how her story has changed girls basketball in Iowa and to see how it’s transformed today.

My aunt Glenda, who played with my mom on the 1956 championship team, was able to attend the tournament with me as well.

Thank you to everyone who was able to stop by our booth and special thanks to everyone who took interest in my story, including KCCI, We Are Iowa, The Gazette, KXnO (starts at minute 27) and WHO TV.

History of 6-on-6 Basketball

In honor of attending the 100th IGHSAU’s Girls State Basketball Championships this weekend, here is a brief look at how 6-on-6 basketball began.

Iowa 6-on-6 basketball originated in Dubuque in 1898. The rules of the game were transformed by the National Committee of Women’s Basketball in 1899 after a year of playing by 5-on-5 standards. 6-on-6 basketball was competitive, fast-paced and encouraged physical play among all players. The sport’s popularity grew statewide and in 1920, 24 teams of girls competed in the first girls’ basketball state tournament.

A few years later, the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) decided sports were not fit for girls, so 6-on-6 basketball was almost completely eliminated until the Iowa girls high School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) was formed. Girls’ basketball continued to grow, and by the 1950s, more than 70% of all Iowa girls played 6-on-6 basketball.

In 1972, Congress passed Title IX which aimed to give equal treatment to men and women in schools. This law allowed girls to play in all sports by 1975, but unfortunately also ended 6-on-6 basketball. Although it may be gone, 6-on-6 basketball will always be remembered as the game that gave over 1 million girls the opportunity to play competitive sports and will forever remain a legacy in the state of Iowa.

About Angelo Pizzo

Legendary screenwriter Angelo Pizzo has signed on to write the script based on the ‘Maynard 8 Miles’ book.

Pizzo, who grew up in Bloomington, Ind., is best known for ‘Hoosiers’ and ‘Rudy.’ In his early years, Pizzo attended Indiana University and received his bachelor’s degree in political science, while later attended film school at the University of Southern California.

I really connected with Angelo, as our first meeting lasted around six hours.

“I loved Brian’s book and thought immediately that here was an opportunity to write a sports story from the female vantage point, something I’ve never done,” Pizzo said in a statement.

Since then, we have been in constant contact about the screenplay.

Five-Year Anniversary

They say time flies when you’re having fun. Today, February 11, 2019, marks the five-year anniversary of Maynard 8 Miles being published.

As we move forward in this journey, I want to thank everyone who has been involved by either reading the book, sending their words of encouragement or shared their personal stories. I look forward to what the next five years will bring.

For now, I’m looking forward to attending the Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament Feb. 28-March 2. Feel free to stop by my booth Thursday-Saturday to pick up your copy of the book.


Book Donation to Falk Elementary

My father, Glenn Borland, was involved in the Madison Metropolitan
School District for more than 30 years, including being the Interim Superintendent. After he passed, my family wanted to seek a way to appropriately honor the memory of our parents.

After finding out that a local elementary school, Falk Elementary, was launching a Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program during the 2017-18 school year, we knew we had to help. On Nov. 7, 2017, myself, along with Liz and Brad decided to purchase more than 400 books and donate them to the new reading corner. We also donated close to 250 copies of the Maynard 8 Miles book.

For more information, watch this clip on NBC 15.


Palestine Herald-Press: ‘Hoosiers’ writer plans Iowa girls’ basketball movie

Amid the Iowa patchwork of cornfields that roll into horizons and barns adorned with painted quilts, there’s talk of making a Hollywood movie about a 1950s high school basketball championship.

Last weekend, the chatter rekindled memories as members of the 1956 state champion girls team met in tiny Maynard with the Iowa-born author of a book about their season and with the Indiana-based screenwriter who is working on a screenplay.

“Everybody’s really excited about it for a small town,” said Justin Walton, who lives near the 500-resident Maynard. “It’s great. You can see the smiles on the faces, you can see the people lapping it up. It’s bringing back the great glory days.”

In 1956, the Maynard Blue Devils girls team won the state title under a single-class system. The leading scorer, the late Carolyn Nicholson Borland, was the mother of Brian J. Borland, author of “Maynard 8 Miles.” His family farm was eight miles from the Maynard school in northeastern Iowa.

Borland, now 54, didn’t know of his mother’s fame until 2006 when he overheard his parents talk about a 50-year reunion of the team.

To read entire article, click here.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Bo Ryan gets behind basketball story that’s almost too good to be true

Brian Borland had no idea his mother, Carolyn, was a star from a bygone era, a basketball player who lit up gymnasiums in small-town Iowa with her shooting and passing, who set scoring records that stood for years.

Borland knew his father, Glenn, had been a team captain at the University of Wisconsin in the late 1950s, known for his signature left-handed hook shot. But his mom? There was no reason to suspect she had a competitive bone in her body.

“All of her friends in Madison, her bowling buddies, her bridge club buddies, they had no idea she ever played one second of sports,” Borland said.

In January 2006, he heard his parents talking about an upcoming 50-year reunion in Des Moines, where the 1956 Iowa girls state championship team would be honored.

To read the entire article, click here.

Fayette Leader: Maynard 8 Miles to Become a Movie

In 1956, Carolyn (Nicholson) Borland, along with her sister, Glenda, led Maynard to its first girls’ state basketball title.

Borland didn’t know it then, but she helped shape the future of Iowa high school girls’ basketball. Four years after her son, Brian Borland, told her story in his book “Maynard 8 Miles,” it was announced that she will be enshrined on the big screen when the book is made into a movie in the coming years.

“It is very exciting,” Brian Borland said during a phone interview. “It was something that I have been working on. When I wrote the book, I kind of had this vision that it could be a movie because it was such a compelling story.”

For entire story, click here.