Meet Gail Marquis '80 -- New Member of NYC Basketball Hall of Fame
OLYMPIC SILVER MEDALIST GAIL MARQUIS (QC ’80) IS INDUCTED INTO NYC BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
Gail Marquis, nicknamed “Ms. World” for her international fame as a pioneer in women’s basketball, has achieved many firsts. When she was a power forward on the USA Olympic Team that won a silver medal in Montreal in 1976, it was the first time women’s basketball had been included as an Olympic sport. In 1980 Marquis played for the New York Stars, the first women’s professional basketball team to call Madison Square Garden home. The same year, the team won the Women’s Basketball League (WBL) Championship.
And in 2004, the 1972-73 Queens College women’s basketball team—on which Marquis played—made history as the first women’s squad to be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. The Lady Knights were also the first local women’s team to compete in a national championship. Their record-breaking, undefeated streak against New York State colleges would last nearly a decade.
On September 24, 2009, Marquis became the first African-American woman inducted as a player into the same hall of fame. The St. Albans native was honored alongside other legendary basketball players including Armond Hill, John Salley, Billy Schaefer and Sam Schoenfeld. “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m thrilled,” said Marquis when she learned about her latest distinction. “It validates my place in sports history.”
After the Montreal Olympics, Marquis played for three years on a French team, Olympique d’Antibes, winning championships and leading France in scoring. She has also served as a sports broadcaster and analyst for the NBA and WNBA.
In addition to her vibrant sports career, Marquis has maintained a successful track record in brokerage, finance and banking. Her more than 25 years of experience in financial services span five major brokerage firms in positions ranging from management, sales, and finance to information technology. For the past two years she has served as a vice president at Element Financial Group, a boutique financial services firm in Manhattan.
Marquis has received several awards in recognition of her lifetime achievements and business vision from the Sports Foundation, Pro-Am National Cities Leagues, Adelphi University, Bob Douglas Hall of Fame and Women’s Institute of Sports, among others. A sought-after lecturer and speaker who now makes her home in Jersey City, NJ, she enjoys sharing her career milestones and viewpoints at business symposia in support of women’s causes.
Book Everyone Should Read: The Bible.
Favorite Music: Anything by Michael Jackson.
Surprising Fact: Marquis and six QC basketball team members sold ice cream, soft drinks and peanuts at Shea Stadium. Even then, there was a connection between Marquis’s passion for sports and her business acumen.