PLAINVIEW – Imagine a Beechcraft Bonanza airplane flying above as you walk onto a shiny, wooden basketball floor, where you are surrounded by historic championship memorabilia, basketball shoes, travel uniforms, and jerseys that bring collegiate sports legends to life.
Imagination meets reality at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 18, at the grand opening of the Flying Queens Museum. Officials representing Wayland Baptist University and Hutcherson Flying Queens Foundation, Inc., are scheduled to formally dedicate the museum. Many former Flying Queens are expected to be present for the ceremony.
Constructed inside Mabee Regional Heritage Center, the Flying Queens Museum tells the story of how Wayland’s women’s basketball program changed the course of collegiate game, including winning 131 consecutive games — the record for both men’s and women’s collegiate basketball. The museum highlights the international reach and the remarkable role the Flying Queens have had in transforming women’s basketball.
Those attending the grand opening ceremonies will see one of those famous Beechcraft Bonanza planes above and feel the wooden floor below as they take in much more than the incredible array of Flying Queens commemorative items. Interactive screens highlight achievements, present every player in the history of the Flying Queens and provide footage from select games.
“It’ll be a good mix of artifacts recounting the events during every decade, like the international games and the USA team, and with the screens we have more opportunities to tell the stories further through oral histories, photos and visual histories,” said Director of Museums Kaylyn Bean. “All the digital content was created and sourced by the Foundation, and they’ve been able to bring it all together for this exciting moment.”
The centerpiece of the museum is a display offering tribute to the 2019 enshrinement of the Flying Queen into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., the highest honor in basketball, but there is so much more to see.