At 6 feet 8, Gabrielle Ludwig is the tallest player on the Mission College (California) women’s basketball team. She’s also the oldest, at 50. But she hasn’t been a woman for very long. Ludwig had a sex change operation in July.
As a young man, Ludwig briefly played at an East Coast community college and in pregame warm-ups before the Dec. 1 tournament championship game, she displayed a natural shooting touch.
“In time,” said Corey Cafferata, her coach, “she will be the most dangerous player in the state.”
Ludwig hopes her play will set an example “for the kids who are transgenders in high school, for the people who hate transgender people and for those learning to deal with transgenders, transsexuals.” A scientist, she is a Desert Storm veteran and a father.
Ludwig is not the first transsexual player to suit up in the athletic association.”Two years ago, a Cosumnes River College woman, formerly a man, played a season for the Sacramento-area women’s basketball team with little fanfare.”
Dale Murray, commissioner for the Coast Conference, which oversees Mission College and other South Bay community colleges, doesn’t see any controversy. “She just happens to be a bit taller than everyone else,” he said. “What if she was born a female and 6-foot-5? She’s a little older than other community college players, so that’s probably to her disadvantage.”