Advanced Praise

"Home Sweet Hardwood” is both a gut-wrenching and uplifting journey through the growing pains of women's sports, written by one of its most determined pioneers."

Jackie “Mac” McMullen
NBA columnist for ESPN
Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection with Geno Auriemma and Diana Taurasi 2006
Shaq Uncut My Story with Shaquille O'Neal 2011


“Pat McKinzie-Lechault is a living legacy—the granddaughter of a legendary coach, Eureka College’s Ralph McKinzie, and the protégé of one of women’s basketball’s pioneers, Illinois State’s Jill Hutchison.
Her writing style brings the picture to the reader as she ‘pays forward’ her gratitude for an amazing life where, truly, her home was the hardwood.”

Tom Lamonica
Sports information director, Illinois State University (1980-2006)


“Pat was truly a pioneer paving the way for numerous young girls wanting to have an opportunity to excel in sports. She set the bar high when she was competing and now Pat maintains the same high standards by educating, coaching and mentoring students every day. I was privileged to work with her daughter, Nathalie, for four years at UWSP. Thank you Pat for all you have done for the game we both love.”

Shirley Egner
Women’s Basketball Coach University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
NCAA Champion 2001-02, Final Four 2003-04


“Home Sweet Hardwood is a story about “what if’s.” Pat McKinzie-Lechault is an example of a woman who took advantage of a “what if” and became a trailblazer. One wonders what our world would be like if women had taken advantage of their desires to participate in sport, like men, without feeling wrong to do so. I am convinced that if we had more women like Pat, our world would have more balanced leadership and positive role models.”

Cary Groth
Athletic Director University of Nevada since 2005
Athletic Director Northern Illinois University 1994-2004

 “Thank you Pat for being one of my silent heroes! I am proud to say that I followed in your shoes and earned an athletic scholarship to I.S.U. In my life and career as a professional basketball player, I am an adventuras person living abroad and teaching what I´ve learned from you, my family, Coach Hutchinson and Coach Fischer to young basketball players.”

Cathy Boswell
1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Women’s Basketball
Coach at Tenerife, Canary Islands


“Pat McKinzie was a phenomenal athlete, but, most importantly, an exceptional human being and teammate. Her story proves that if you have a dream, believe in it, visualize it, and are passionate about it, you will achieve it, so never give up! Women of our generation faced obstacles as athletes. Title IX gave us a break, but it was no guarantee. We reached our goals the old fashioned way – through persistence, hard work and conviction. In doing so, we paved the way for future generations of female athletes. Women like Pat set an example for today’s athletes to follow their dream with passion and determination.  We did – and look where it got us!”

Cindy L. Bower, CHA
Founder & CEO, Calibre Management, Inc.
Owner and Operator of Nature-based Resorts


“This poignant story is a powerful reminder to the young women and girls of today that the right to equal opportunities was a hard fought battle. It also speaks volumes to those increasing numbers of families who are facing cross-cultural challenges of their own as they relocate for work, love, or service in this ever globalizing world.”

Tina Quick
CEO, International Family Transitions
2011 Gold Medalist Basketball Senior Games


“I’ve heard it said that “each of us is more than the work we’ve ever done” and yet, as advocates, we continue to do the work we’re called to do. In childhood, Pat McKinzie’s passion for the game of basketball surfaced. It wasn’t until an equal rights bill was passed in 1972 that she was able to participate in the sport, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. An accident at the height of her career caused a devastating setback. Ever the champion, she survived and reconstructed her life. A writer, teacher and coach, Pat continues to mentor and make a difference in the lives of women and girls.

Home Sweet Hardwood is a memoir on life…love… and the struggles and triumphs of being a basketball globetrotter and what it meant for girls who wanted to play the game during a time when it was considered “taboo.”

 A women’s advocate, I find myself inspired by the sheer endurance and determination this woman has maintained on her journey from recovery to empowerment. Even if you’ve never been privy to the game of women’s basketball, reading this book will cause you to come away with a brand new respect for the game and for the women who dared to step up and step into a sport once meant for the “boys.” 

With Home Sweet Hardwood, Pat McKinzie again steps to the challenge, faces the goal and makes a slam dunk!”

Clara Freeman
Author and women’s advocate
CEO Authentic Woman Networks

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