29 Facts About Lusia Harris


Lusia Mae Harris was an American professional basketball player.


Lusia Harris played for Delta State University and won three consecutive Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Championships, the predecessors to the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships, from 1975 to 1977.


Lusia Harris played professional basketball with the Houston Angels of the Women's Professional Basketball League and was the first and only woman ever officially drafted by the National Basketball Association, a men's professional basketball league.


Lusia Mae Harris was born in Minter City, Mississippi, to Ethel Harris and Willie Harris, a sharecropper in the cotton fields.


Lusia Harris was the fourth of five daughters and the tenth of eleven children, all of whom attended Amanda Elzy High School near Greenwood, Mississippi.


Lusia Harris played basketball under coach Conway Stewart in high school.


Lusia Harris won the most valuable player award three years in a row, served as team captain, and made the state All-Star team.


Lusia Harris scored a school record 46 points in one game and led her school to the state tournament in Jackson, Mississippi.


Lusia Harris attended school on a combination of academic scholarships and work study funds, since this was prior to Title IX.


Lusia Harris scored a total of 138 points and 63 rebounds in four games at the national tournament and was named as the tournament's most valuable player.


Lusia Harris was named the national tournament's most valuable player; she was named to the All-American first team during Delta State's three winning seasons.


Lusia Harris finished her college career with 2,981 points and 1,662 rebounds, averaging 25.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game.


Lusia Harris graduated holding fifteen of eighteen of Delta State's team, single game, and career records.


In 1975, Lusia Harris was selected to the United States national team in the FIBA World Championship for Women in Colombia and the Pan American Games in Mexico City, Mexico.


Lusia Harris teamed up with high school star Nancy Lieberman and fellow college stars Ann Meyers and Pat Head.


Lusia Harris used the number seven on her Olympics jersey.


Lusia Harris teamed up with most of her teammates in the 1975 Pan American Games, including Lieberman, Meyers and Head.


Lusia Harris played in all five games, averaging 15.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.


Lusia Harris became the second woman ever drafted by an NBA team, after Denise Long, who was selected by the San Francisco Warriors in the 1969 draft.


However, the league voided the Warriors' selection, thus Lusia Harris became the first and only woman ever officially drafted.


Lusia Harris did not express an interest to play in the NBA and declined to try out for the Jazz.


Lusia Harris was selected ahead of 33 male players, including the Jazz's eighth round selection, Dave Speicher from the University of Toledo.


Lusia Harris was initially picked as the number one free agent by the Angels in 1978, the league's inaugural season.


Lusia Harris graduated from Delta State University with a bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation in 1977.


Lusia Harris earned a master's degree in education from Delta State in 1984.


Lusia Harris then returned to her native Mississippi where she worked as a high school teacher and coach at her alma mater Amanda Elzy High School in Greenwood, at the Greenville Public School District, and at Ruleville Central High School.


Lusia Harris died at a therapy facility in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, on January 18,2022, less than a month before her 67th birthday.


Lusia Harris has been named to the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame.


The Queen of Basketball, a film about Lusia Harris, won the 2022 Academy Award for Best Documentary ; it was produced and directed by Canadian filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, with Shaquille O'Neal and Stephen Curry as executive producers.