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Transgender college hoops player keeps head high

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SANTA CLARA, California— A 50-year-old woman is causing a stir in college basketball circles, but not because of her age.

Gabrielle Ludwig became the first transsexual to play intercollegiate ball as both a man and a woman when she was cleared this month to play with the Lady Saints at Mission College.

Ludwig last competed at the college level 30 years ago, on the men’s team at a community college in New York. But she coached youth basketball both before and after her transition from male to female in 2007.

Some commentators have complained that at 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 220 pounds, Ludwig’s size gives her an unfair advantage. Her coach and her teammates say she is a terrific addition to the team, but hardly its strongest player.


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