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Let me do the math. Were she born a century later, she might have just now concluded a stellar basketball career at USD. Why cut her short?--think of her as a Hawkeye. Wherever she played, she scored because even now, a century later, Hope Emerson would still tower over much of the opposition.

Hope Emerson was born 1897, when the game of basketball was a five-year-old. It would take another decade to put young women in uniform, even here in Iowa, where girls basketball went big-time decades before it did elsewhere. 

Something happened way back when, a crime long gone from the memories of anyone downtown Hawarden today. Probably never made the Sioux City Journal, but everyone in town, circa 1895, had to know because when the mighty fall the crash is as momentous as it is memorable.

This man was of high standing, among the pastor’s closest friends, a saintly man caught with his hands in the till, grabbing a fortune more than a few buffalo nickels. That good man’s fall affected a precocious little girl for the rest of her life, a child who became a novelist and never forgot.