Sherri E Pegues is pro-actively making a name for herself as Founder and Director of Girls Basketball League, (“GBL”) and as Head Coach of GBL’s Lady Rebels.
The daughter of community leader Mary Headley and Baltimore Orioles Charlie Beamon (who is known for being the 1st black pitcher to pitch a shutout at Yankee stadium) and sister to Seattle Mariners Charlie Beamon Jr, (formerly of the Seattle Maniners), Communtity leadership and competitive sports continues to play an integral part of life of Sherri Pegues. Sherri was born in Arizona, raised New York City, and now happily lives with her family in Los Angeles, California striving to fill a blatant void by creating significant life-enriching experiences by working with Los Angeles inner city youth. This is the highlight and driving force of her passionate life
Sherri and Marvin Pegues Founded the Girls Basketball League aka GBL Sports Inc Corporation, a non profit organization in 1997. GBL was one of the first all girls basketball leagues formed in Los Angeles, just months before the WNBA was launched. Word spread fast and the GBL grew rapidly. In 1997, GBL began with 8 girls and by the next season exploded to over 40 girls. The following season brought in nearly 100 girls and then quickly up to 250+ players a season. In the begining Sherri utilized basketball as the process to instill these young ladies with confidence, self-esteem, respect, good health and sportsmanship, and to meet and overcome any and all challenges.
Today, at their Rancho Cienga Headquarters and many other surrounding areas including Long Beach and Carson California, GBL accommodates 100’s of girls ranging from ages 5-18. GBL continues to groom these young girls in preparation for their adult life during these fundamental and formative years with outstanding mentoring, athletic activities, computer training, career planning, and college preparatory programs.
GBL is a grassroots organization and faces some very tough times trying to keep an all girls program of this magnitude going. It was through the support of her family, friends and faith that kept Sherri going. Sherri states “I have a strong spirtual background that really helps keep me grounded. With great determination we made it through the tough times and as a result the program has helped 1000’s of young ladies throughout the inner-city and surrounding areas”
Sherri recognized the fruits of her labor by the development and growth in her girls way back in 1999, and wanted to give them a chance to showcase their talents. Sherri soon found that the most competitive game in town was the reowned Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), and they went for it. The First year was very rough, as Sherri and her team had to quickly learn the ropes to meet this huge new challenge. Despite the struggle to get there, Sherri and her teams vowed to work harder and get better at the game, and both knew that their bar had been raised.
There was no stopping the Coach and her Lady Rebels team at the Millennium’s dawning. Returning to AAU’s 2000 tournament, to everyone’s surprise GBL 13U team won! Competing teams were absolutely stunned by these newcomers, qualifying for Nationals. Their first big competition also earned this team of winners a trip to Disney World and a visit to City Hall to be honored. This was undoubtedly the biggest and most exciting thing that ever happened to these wonderful hardworking teeenage girls from Los Angeles inner-city! GBL Lady Rebels miraculously remained steadfast, with qualifying for the AAU Nationals in years 2001, 2002, 2003( two teams qualified), 2004, 2005. Each time they got closer to the goal. They continued to get closer and closer to the goal of winning it all having come in 6th, then 5th, then 2nd Twice, and finally in 2005 we hit the Jack pot.
We Became the:
2005 AAU 10U Undefeated National Champions and record setting Womans Basketball Hall of Fame Inductees.
GBL Lady Rebels skillfully earned their 2005 AAU National Championship astoundingly setting a new tournament record as the first team to remain undefeated with an average margin of 25+ Victory Points per game.
The 10 day tournament, which consisted of over 100 teams competing from across the United States, was held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Center in Orlando, Florida
This was the begining of the GBL Domination in the State of California. Her GBL Lady Rebels from that point on had the distinction of having won 5 straight Division 1 National Championships in amazing fashion. This was how the story went:
We gained strength in numbers and was recognized as one of the top programs in the State. In 2001 were opened up the GBL Computer Center located at our home base at Rancho Cienega Sports Center. Technology was moving rapidly and we wanted our girls to be a part of it. At that time our non-profits organization was entitled GBL Sports and Techonology Corp. We implemented our tech program followed by our Scholar/Athlete program. Realizing that academics was the key and a priority especially in the minority communities and it was the #1 reason many of our athletes were not making it into Universities and were not able to obtain higher education. It was at this point that we decided to change our priorities. We designed our program to put academics before sports. We put in place a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain active in the program. Initially it was hard for many, but it quickly gained respect from both parents and players and it caught fire. It was now the thing to do.
GBL posey out enjoying the City PAL games and dominated at 3 age groups. Big group of future stars of the future. Coach Sherri Pegues, Charles Perkins, and Fred Burnum.
The Scholar/Athletes program has paid major dividends for our girls. It separates them from the masses and gives them a strong sense of self and provides an excellent chance at a great future outside of basketball.
In 2006 we returned with more kids full of ambition. We enjoyed a dominate year finishing #1 in the State for AAU (with 2 teams). We again went to the AAU Nationals in Kenner, Louisiana and also Tennessee with 2 teams (6th and 8th). Our 6th grade team encountered several injuries and although we competed well, we finished 5th in the Nation. Our 8th grade team had an amazing experience and they battled all the way to the National Championship game and lost by just a few points finish #2 in the Nation. In the same summer, we made another run at the AAU West Coast National Championship with 3 different teams. We won two Gold medals for 6th and 8th and a Silver for 7th. I’ll never forget the charter bus to Reno with so much enthusiasm and excitement. It was FUN and something the kids would never forget! It was amazing to watch a bus load full of kids with so much gratification and confidence get back on the bus with everyone sporting a medal as we headed back to Los Angeles. Just an incredible moment for GBL.
In 2007, we continued to nurture several groups of champions and also the upcoming group of Biddy players ages 7-10. It was also a great year of placement of kids to Public Charter Schools and Private schools of their choice. It was the beginning of their dominance at the high school level. Our 7th grade team was the best in California. It was our first year of putting them on the high school National Circuit by not only winning our 3rd AAU National Championship but also made a trip to the Oregon Trail College qualifier. We played in one of the top divisions for competition and only lost one game to the team that won it all. We gained even more confidence with this outing. This special group consisted of a few top level scholar/athletes: Kendall Cooper (Duke), Leslie Lopez-Wood (LMU), Jordin Canada (UCLA), Siera Thompson (Michigan), Chyanne Butler (USC), Lajahna Drummer (Top 10 in the Nation -Undecided), Taylor Reid (San Diego State), Emoni Jackson (Undecided), Cydney Bolton (undecided), Kayla Sims (Ivy League), Katherine Wright (College), Bri Harris (College). It was an explosive year for a great group of young ladies.
In 2008 this team won the AAU National Championship and it was the kick-off to many great careers ahead. What an amazing group of athletes. Many of these athletes later became USA Players and McDonald’s All Americans. Their dominance will be remembered forever!
UNDEFEATED GBL LADY REBELS WIN THE 2008 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Branson, Missouri will never be the same!
Kendall Cooper (Duke), Leslie Lopez-Wood (LMU), Jordin Canada (UCLA), Siera Thompson (Michigan), Chyanne Butler (USC), Lajahna Drummer (Top 10 in the Nation -Undecided), Taylor Reid (San Diego State), Emoni Jackson (Undecided), Cydney Bolton (undecided), Kayla Sims (Ivy League), Katherine Wright (College), Bri Harris (College). Parents Stephanie Cooper (team mom), Joyce Canada (team manager). Coaches Sherri Pegues, Marshawn Gordon, Bryan Wood. Marvin Pegues (President). It was an explosive year for a great group of young ladies.
In 2009 and 2010 we began distributing top players again into the Private sector high schools. There freshman dominance was immediately recognized at all schools. GBL ventured into their first big year for high school club. With the help of Actor Anthony Anderson, attorney Jim Loss, and the staff of Bingham McCutchen we were able to make our National debut on the College Viewing circuit. We did extremely well and were competitive as usual. The exposure was tremendous for our girls.
In 2011 and 2012, GBL merged with the Cal Sparks to form a strong high club bond to add to our strong youth program. This merger both a back2back Fila National Championship at the high school level. We experience the same type of dominance that we’d always enjoyed. Our top level players gained us a Nike Sponsorship in 2013 and a shot at playing against the best in the world.
Picture below taken with the Chinese National team.
In 2012 our 4th grade youth team went to the Final Four at the D1 AAU National Championship at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. What a flashback to be there again with a young group which is very much compared to the GBL team of greatness that came before them. It was their very first experience with such a venture, but they did so well and came home extremely driven by the level of competition they faced.
In 2013 that same team (now 5th graders) went undefeated for the season in their age group, won the District Championship and then went on to remain undefeated in the AAU West Coast National Championship.
Also, in 2013 that same team went undefeated winning the California State Jr. Olympics and bringing home the Gold.
In addition our 6th grade team also went undefeated winning the California State Jr. Olympics and bringing home the Gold.
This group of young ladies finished the 2013 club season strong as they worked together to accomplish great things. The Opening Ceremony was amazing as they got to march in with over 10,000 athletes gathered at Qualcom Stadium in San Diego.