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.


Wisconsin State Journal – Basketball: Movie script next for Brian Borland’s book based on his parents, one a ‘humble superstar’

While securing a meeting with screenwriter and film producer Angelo Pizzo was a big deal, Brian Borland wasn’t sure where it would go from there.

As Borland took a seat in the living room of Pizzo’s home in Bloomington, Indiana, the Madison native couldn’t help but wonder if he’d be walking back out the door in five minutes.

In fact, his departure wouldn’t come for another six hours.

By the time Borland left, his labor of love — “Maynard 8 Miles,” a book he wrote about his parents — was one big step closer to becoming a movie. Pizzo, best known for writing the scripts for sports movies “Hoosiers” and “Rudy,” was so interested in Borland’s book that he agreed to make it his next endeavor.

“If you think about who you would want to write the screenplay to the movie,” Borland said, “he’s at the top of the list.”

Business cards for Borland’s book, which was published in 2013, promote it as a “Hoosiers” meets “A League of Their Own” story. After reading it and speaking with Borland, Pizzo saw the potential to write a movie script that was different from his previous projects.

“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.

How Pizzo chooses to write the script remains to be seen. For Borland, a key moment in the project came in 2006 at his parents’ home, where he overheard them talking about going to Des Moines to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Maynard girls basketball team winning a state title in Iowa.

For entire story, click here.

KWWL – A movie is being made about this Iowa 6-on-6 girls’ basketball team

A movie about an Iowa high school state championship team, a tale of love and the impact of 6-on-6 girls’ basketball in the state during the 1950s is being made.

Angel Pizzo, the screenwriter for sports film classics like “Hoosiers” and “Rudy,” will write a screenplay about the Maynard High School girls’ basketball team winning a state title in 1956, eastern Iowa TV station KWWL reports. The school is now called West Central of Maynard.

The movie will be based on the 2013 book “Maynard 8 Miles” by Brian J. Borland.

“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 news release. “Very few people know how special girls’ basketball was in Iowa during the ’50s.”

The final state championship in six-player basketball was held in 1993, according to a previous Register story.

“Maynard 8 Miles” focuses on the basketball career and life of Maynard native Carolyn Nicholson, a leader on Maynard’s 1956 state title-winning team. Maynard defeated Garrison 62-51 in the championship, with Nicholson — a senior — scoring 25 points.

Borland is Nicholson’s son. Borland’s father, Glenn, played basketball at Oelwein High School (eight miles from Maynard) and went on to become a starter and captain of the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team.

“I always knew my dad played for the Badgers, but my mother was so modest that until I was in the 40s, I never knew she was a superstar and for awhile was the darling of an entire state,” Borland said in the release. “When I learned about that, I started researching it, and what a story I uncovered.”

Nicholson was inducted into the Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union girls’ basketball hall of fame in 1971, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports. She finished her Iowa prep basketball career with 3,079 points.

Nicholson died in 2009. Borland’s father passed away in 2016.

Bo Ryan, former head coach of Wisconsin, will co-produce the film with Borland. Ryan said he read the book in one sitting, KWWL reports.

“I couldn’t put it down,” Ryan said in the release. “I can’t wait for the movie.”

The film is planned to be produced in 2018, with a premiere likely happening in Iowa.

More information about the book and movie can be found at maynard8miles.com.

The Gazette – Heavy hitters involved in potential “Maynard 8 Miles” movie

It’s a sports story. It’s a love story. And it appears to be going to film.

Angelo Pizzo, the screenwriter for movies such as “Hoosiers” and “Rudy,” has signed on to write a movie script based on “Maynard 8 Miles,” a book written by Brian Borland about Iowa six-player girls’ basketball in the 1950s.

The book is based on the career of Borland’s mother, Carolyn Nicholson Borland, a six-on-six forward who led Maynard High School to the state championship in 1956.

“When I met with (Pizzo), I thought maybe he would spend five minutes with me,” said Borland, who lives in Verona, Wis. “But we really connected, and our first meeting lasted six hours.”

Now 53, Borland didn’t know his mother played basketball until he was in his 40s.

“Everybody knew who my dad (Glenn Borland) was, but mom never talked about her (high school) career,” Borland said.

Glenn Borland played basketball at Oelwein High School — 8 miles away from Maynard — and graduated there in 1954 before becoming a starter and captain for the Wisconsin Badgers.



For entire story, click here.