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Monday, October 17, 2011
Reliving a landmark women's championship

By Cathy Rush

"The Mighty Macs," a film that recounts Immaculata College's improbable run to the first women's basketball national championship in 1972, premiered Friday night in Philadelphia. Coach and Hall of Famer Cathy Rush gives espnW a behind-the-scenes peek.

The Immaculata story is about dreams becoming a reality. For decades, I've dreamed that our experiences would inspire a major motion picture. On Friday night, the dream became a reality, thanks in large part to Tim Chambers, the writer, producer and director who worked tirelessly to accomplish this goal.

Since we won the first of our three national tournaments 40 years ago, my family and friends have supported the efforts to make the "Mighty Macs" movie happen. It was incredible to have all of them there Friday night to share the tremendous excitement.

Before the premiere, nearly all the former players gathered for a lengthy photo shoot. As we stood there posing (and reposing!), I couldn't help but think that we haven't changed very much over the past four decades. The raucous ones were still hard to keep quiet, and the more subdued ones were on point whenever the photographer was ready to click away.

We finished the photo shoot and climbed aboard a bus to head to the Kimmel Center. Upon arrival, we were stunned to see the incredible turnout: 2,000 screaming fans and media on the red carpet. Wow!

Eventually -- after lots of photos and interviews and reminiscing -- we watched the movie. The response was fabulous, and the audience loved the glimpses of the real Immaculata campus and especially the scene in the Rotunda (check out the film, and you'll know what I mean).

After the credits rolled, there was more fun to be had. We wandered the reception listening to people talk about their favorite scenes, and how they laughed and cried.

I left the theater delighted because the movie had exceeded my every expectation, and I know it will inspire audiences young and old.

"The Mighty Macs" opens nationwide Oct. 21.