Rita (Panasis) Bell starred for more than a decade on both the basketball court and the baseball diamond. The grind of long days on the road were rewarded with the satisfaction of being one of the top athletes of her day. She was offered professional contracts from Abe Saperstein, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Chicago Bluebirds Club.

Rita won four BC championships at the intermediate and senior level with the Vancouver IXL basketball team from 1939-41. She won eight Canadian Senior A women’s basketball championships and the eight BC provincial titles preceding them with the 1942-46 Vancouver Hedlunds, 1947 Vancouver Nut House, and 1953-54 Vancouver Eilers. She qualified to travel with the Vancouver Eilers and compete at the first Pan American Games in 1955 in Mexico, but was unable to attend due to injury.

Rita was a member of the Neon Products softball team that competed at the 1944 world amateur softball championships in Cleveland, Ohio. She won the 1946 BC championship with the Ballards softball team and the 1949 Western Canada championship with the Western Mutual softball team.