Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/17/14

A 50-year-old woman is turning heads in the Bay Area around the womens’ junior college basketball circuit. Her name is Gabrielle Ludwig (No. 42 pictured in the back row), and if she looks familiar, it may be because she used to play basketball at Nassau Community College in 1980 when she was a man. In an excellent feature by USA Today’s Eric Prisbell, the story of Ludwig is told. Ludwig says she always had a difficult time growing up because she had a constant inner struggle. Though she was born as a man named Robert John Ludwig, Gabrielle says she never felt connected with her inner soul. She would put on her mother’s dresses and makeup when her parents weren’t home, and she says that is when she felt most comfortable. She even tried committing suicide as a teenager by ingesting pills because of her difficult life. Ludwig grew into a physical specimen and dominated on the basketball court. At 6’8″, then known as Bob, Ludwig played basketball for Nassau Community College in New York. Ludwig took college for granted and only played on the team for one semester. Ludwig eventually joined the Navy in 1984 and served eight years. Still living as Bob, Ludwig had failed relationships with women and a marriage that produced a child. While married, Ludwig began taking female hormones and began growing breasts, which alarmed his ex-wife. They eventually divorced. After giving it tremendous thought and after receiving support from his daughter and work company, Ludwig decided to undergo a sex change operation. USA Today says the operation occurred in July 2012. Ludwig’s company Roche Molecular Systems paid for the entire operation and helped her transition into her new identity. It hasn’t taken her long to get involved in athletics. Ludwig has had a new female partner for two years and lives with her and her two daughters. She helps coach one of the daughters’ AAU basketball team, and she became serious about considering making a basketball comeback. According to USA Today, she joked with the coach at Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif., that she still had eligibility left, and the coach joked that he still had a roster spot left. Mission College’s coach spoke to the school’s athletic director, who asked the commissioner of the California Community College Athletic Association about Ludwig’s status. They determined that she could be eligible to play if she became a student, and if she changed the name on her birth certificate from Robert John Ludwig to her new name, Gabrielle Monika Ludwig. Ludwig made the difficult decision to change her birth certificate, and enrolled in 12 credits of online courses to become a member of the school’s womens’ basketball team. She was recently cleared to begin playing in games and has the support of her teammates, whom she believes are a bunch of misfits as well. Ludwig scored three points and grabbed four rebounds in a 69-62 loss to College of the Siskiyous on Saturday. It was her first junior college basketball game since 1980. Ludwig dealt with opposing fans and players heckling her, but she says it’s all worth it. “If the example I can set 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, if they see me as a normal person and we are not the bogeyman and love life and raise kids just like you,” Ludwig says, “maybe some of this mystery of who these people are will be taken away and there can be more blending into society. People are afraid of what they don’t know. I am willing to put myself out there. It was not like that before. It was just about playing basketball. It’s about more because I see an injustice.” You can read USA Today’s entire feature on Gabrielle Ludwig here. Photo via Mission College Athletics

8 Comments:
  • She has the right to be anything she decides...but allowing her to play is absurd...but probably allowed at the request of the DOJ and the Pharoah's appointed Czars.
  • Great first its Baylor's Brittany Griner and now this dude, when will this stop
  • ewwwww I wonder how he hides Mr Winky when he showers
  • The main problem here, is that his/her body and muscles have all been developed with male testosterone, giving him/her a HUGE unfair advantage. If any of the female players on the team had used hormone therapy that would have given the same results, they would have been banned for life!
  • Read the story again... He had a sex change, Mr. Winky is no more. Still creepy, wouldn't want my daughter in the shower with it.
  • This is just plain stupid, any way you look at it. Look at the picture...noone looks happy.
  • If someone wants to live as a man/woman or have a trans medical procedure, it's their own business. But this seems unfair to the other players. Of course this person would have an advantage in size and strength.
  • Sex change does not equal female - bet ya 5 bucks if you check chromosomes you will find XY (male) and not XX (female)
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles after win

Michael Vick: Jameis Winston is the future of the NFL

Report: No NFL team is moving to Los Angeles in 2015

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Steve Alford: Kentucky is best team I've coached against

Peyton Siva jokes that Rick Pitino is in the mob

WATCH: Montrezl Harrell ejected for throwing punch

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: DeSean Jackson mocks Eagles

Vick: Winston is the future of the NFL

No NFL team in LA next season?

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.