Maurtice Ivy was WNBA-ready before the women’s pro basketball league ever existed.
The Omaha Central and University of Nebraska product was long the standard to which top in-state players were compared. She held the Class A career scoring record of 1,926 points for 31 years, until Fremont’s Jessica Shepard broke it during the 2014-15 season, and is second at NU in career scoring.
Ivy’s career peaked about a decade too soon.
“I would have impacted that league, if it had come 10 years before,” she said in 2005. “I don’t have any regrets. I wish I were a billionaire, but that’s also not going to happen.”
Starting when she was only 11, she honed her up-tempo style playing against the boys on the courts of Fontenelle Park and Horace Mann Junior High.
Ivy led Central to state titles in 1983 and 1984 with 25-0 seasons. With Central’s perfect record in jeopardy in the 1983 final, she got the ball with eight seconds left, split two defenders with a behind-the-back dribble, drew a foul and made two free throws to pull out a 39-38 win over Lincoln Southeast.
She was a three-time All-Nebraska selection and four-time All-Metro pick who won seven gold medals at the state track meet. At NU, she was the 1988 Big Eight player of the year, was all-conference three years and averaged 19.2 points during her career. Her NU jersey was retired in 2011.
Ivy played professionally in Europe and with the Nebraska Xpress in the Women’s Basketball Association.
She coached at UNO and was head coach at Peru State. Currently she is an independent basketball instructor at Ivy Hoops in Omaha.
Ivy was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, the inaugural Omaha Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the Central Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Played for: Omaha Central High, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Nebraska Xpress
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Omaha Central teammate Jessica Haynes
Best moment as an athlete: Her first state title game in 1984
Early sign of greatness: At age 10 or 11, she started to hold her own in basketball against the guys.
Ivy was No. 32 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »