Sue Strong taught physical education at Sterling High School in Sterling, Illinois where she was also head coach of the girls’ basketball team. Prior to the creation of interscholastic sports, Strong led the Girls' Athletic Association (GAA). In 1977, her team was one of eight teams advancing to the first girls’ state basketball tournament in Illinois. The first championship tournament was at Horton Fieldhouse at Illinois State University on April 1st and 2nd, 1977. Sterling won the inaugural girl's State Championship in basketball.