To return to college and basketball at 50 is an astonishment in itself but this student shocks you even further as it turns out 50 year old Gabrielle Ludwig was born a man.  Read more after the jump.

Shay Marie

The 6’8″ center was born Robert John Ludwig and has returned to college basketball after a 30 year hiatus.  She shared her unique story with USA Today.  The woman who teammates call Gabbi, Giant or Big Sexy was finally cleared to play at Mission College in Santa Clara, California. Previously she had only been allowed to practice with her teammates and participate in pregame warm-ups.

Her tale of course isn’t met without opposition.

A spectator named Lawrenze Thibodeaux said these comments:

“I thought it was ludicrous that she plays at 50,” he says later. “That she used to be a man makes it doubly ludicrous. Damn, people are doing everything nowadays.

“I don’t think a 50-year-old should be out here playing with kids. Whatever she is after I hope she finds it, and I hope people give her a break and not ridicule her. God is the judge. He put her there and he must want her there in that position.”

Gabrielle however wants to be an inspiration to others.

“If the example I can set for the kids who are transgenders in high school, for the people who hate transgender people and for those learning to deal with transgenders, transsexuals, if they see me as a normal person and we are not the bogeyman and love life and raise kids just like you,” Ludwig says, “maybe some of this mystery of who these people are will be taken away and there can be more blending into society. People are afraid of what they don’t know. I am willing to put myself out there. It was not like that before. It was just about playing basketball. It’s about more because I see an injustice.”