Windward coach’s lobbying helped motivate Southern Section moving girls’ games to Honda Center


For the first time since 2013, the Southern Section will play boys’ and girls’ basketball championship games together at the Honda Center. It comes after Windward Coach Vanessa Nygaard confirmed she had complained about the absence of girls’ championship games at Honda Center.

“I’m proud to have defended the opportunity for our female athletes to have the same opportunities as the boys,” she said Monday. “It’s a lifetime opportunity.”

There will be three girls games and three boys championship games at Honda Center on Saturday, including the Open Division finals in both boys and girls. Boys and girls finals were held together at the Anaheim Convention Center in 2013 before moving to Honda Center.


Before, the girls had their own separate venue, such as the Pyramid or Azusa Pacific.

Nygaard started lobbying several years ago.

“It was a series of conversations we had, and I was supported by our school and administration,” she said. “It’s exciting to see the Southern Section taking the lead in this.”

Nygaard said she is very familiar with Title IX requirements. She also expressed concerns about the Open Division boys’ semifinals being held on Friday night at Galen Center while the girls held their semifinals at home sites.

The new Southern Section format is similar to the format for the state championships.

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