Maureen Clifford is in the air attempting to shoot a basket in the championship game between Wilson High School (now Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School) and St. Mary’s Academy. Wilson won that game 53 to 51.
Maureen Clifford is in the air attempting to shoot a basket in the championship game between Wilson High School (now Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School) and St. Mary’s Academy. Wilson won that game 53 to 51.
Last September, Maureen Clifford Atchison learned she would be the newest inductee into the CYO Hall of Fame.

This year, she’s joining the CYO Basketball Commission. The post doesn’t come with the same fanfare as the Hall of Fame; yet, its demands are for leadership, support for players and attention to the rules of the game — all close to Atchison’s heart.

“We are so blessed to have someone of Maureen’s quality working on our CYO Basketball Commission,” said Sister of St. Mary of Oregon Krista Von Borstel, CYO/Camp Howard’s executive director.

Atchison, like the other commission members, will watch CYO basketball games during the season, assist with rules and help make decisions regarding the presentation of the CYO basketball program.

Jenna Bass, CYO’s director of communications and former director of volleyball and basketball, said she sees Atchison as someone who will be immensely helpful for new coaches. “She’s a great advocate and teacher, someone who really understands the game,” said Bass. “She’ll be a great representative for CYO, ensuring the kids all get playing time and the opportunity to grow and improve.”

Atchison began her own sports career playing basketball and volleyball for the St. John Fisher teams through CYO. There, she said, she learned to work for the greater good of the team.

Through CYO, she explained, “Youngsters are molded by the experience of being part of something beyond themselves, working toward a common goal, developing discipline — and hanging with their buddies and having fun. They’re developing important values that will carry them through life.”

Atchison credits CYO and Title IX, the 1972 federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools, for giving her the opportunity to excel in basketball and volleyball.

Atchison played for St. Mary’s Academy’s volleyball and basketball teams. She was named to first all-league OSAA girls teams and then graduated from the University of Portland as the all-time leading scorer in basketball.

She subsequently then drew upon the values she learned playing those team sports in her successful banking career.

Sister Krista has described Atchison as a “groundbreaking Oregon woman athlete.”

“She’ll be a top-quality commission member,” Sister Krista said.