Female athletes from Iowa are special in many ways; here at the IGHSAU we work to recognize the “Iowa Girl” and share our enthusiasm for the good that she represents. There is something unique in every Iowa Girl, whether that be leadership, dedication or compassion. Each one has a story worth sharing.
Welcome to the Iowa Girl Project. Join fellow Iowa Girl Mia Laube as she shares the stories of Iowa Girls who are taking the skills they learned through their education and athletic career above and beyond. These women are making a positive impact on their communities, big and small. They inspire the next generation to compete in sports and conquer the challenges ahead.
Proud to be an Iowa Girl!
Iowa Girls CONTINUE TRADITION.
Some of the oldest living Iowa Girls attended the 2019 state basketball tournament, and they have rich stories to tell. Meet Myra Lugene “Lucky” Hendrickson Krieger.
125 people and six generations have come from one energetic, youthful 96-year-old woman.
Myra Lugene “Lucky” Hendrickson Krieger is the beginning of a long tradition of Iowa Girls.
“It’s been one great life for me,” Krieger said.
She earned the nickname “Lucky” after success pitching nickels at the tavern. Her father put a stop to it when he found out, but the nickname stuck.
Her love for basketball started with a wire hoop attached to a building in the yard. Krieger would shoot hundreds of shots alone, even when the ground was covered by ice.
“I just loved ball,” Krieger said.
She started playing competitively in junior high when she begged the high school coach to bring her along to a game. In the last quarter, he put her in.
From 1936-1940, Krieger played at Richland High School (now Pekin). Her three sisters also played for Richland.
In 1938, Richland made it to state for basketball. In 2019, Krieger made it back to the IGHSAU tournament as part of the search for the oldest living Iowa Girl, and she brought 20 to 30 family members with.
After attending college on a $15-per-month basketball scholarship and playing her last game at the national tournament, she married and had ten daughters.
“We’ve had a lot of boyfriends sitting here,” Krieger said.
Although she got to start her ever-growing family, she was sad to leave behind the game she loves.
“When I was waking up, I was crying one morning, and my husband said, ‘Honey, what’s wrong?’ I said, ‘I thought I was playing basketball,’” Krieger recounted.
Since then, Krieger has attended the games of her ten daughters, 11 granddaughters, 3 granddaughters-in-law, 12 great granddaughters and six upcoming.
“Mom and Dad loved athletics,” Krieger’s daughter, Kathryn Ney, wrote. “They attended as many of their daughters’ games as possible. At one point she and Dad watched [me] play a game at WMU, then drove to Drake to watch Jan, then to Indiana to watch Barbara, all in one weekend.”
Despite living a busy life, Krieger always made time for church, a central focus in her life.
“I’m a Methodist gal,” Krieger said.
She would make her kids get up early and go, no matter how far away nighttime games were or if they had prom that weekend.
When youth attendance was slim at their family’s church, Krieger’s daughters attended Sunday school by themselves.
Krieger has lived a long life with a lot of faith and a lot of family.
As one of the oldest living Iowa Girls, she is proud of her accomplishments and continuing legacy.
“My heart is in Iowa,” Krieger said. “I’m an Iowa Girl.”