Lusia Harris, 1st Woman Drafted By NBA Team, Dies At 66
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  • Post published:21/01/2022
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Lusia Harris made her mark in the history books by becoming the first and only woman officially drafted by an NBA team, along with other notable firsts. According to a new report, the standout basketball star has died. published a report stating that Harris passed away this past Tuesday (Jan. 18) and shared the family’s statement in its post.


“We are deeply saddened to share the news that our angel, matriarch, sister, mother, grandmother, Olympic medalist, The Queen of Basketball, Lusia Harris has passed away unexpectedly today in Mississippi,” the family said in a statement. “The recent months brought Ms. Harris great joy, including the news of the upcoming wedding of her youngest son and the outpouring of recognition received by a recent documentary that brought worldwide attention to her story.”

Harris, who died in her native Mississippi, was drafted by the New Orleans Jazz in the seventh round in 1977, but didn’t try out for the team because she was pregnant at the time. The San Francisco Warriors tried to draft Denise Long in 1969, but the NBA blocked it because she didn’t meet the criteria to be drafted — in part because of her gender.

Harris was a dominant player in the 1970s, helping Delta State University win straight NCAA Women’s Basketball championships. She is also a silver medalist winner as a member of Team USA Women’s Basketball, earning the honor in 1976.

Along with her list of accolades, Harris was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, becoming the first Black woman to do so. In 1999, Harris entered the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

In the summer of 2021, a short film titled The Queen of Basketball focused on Harris’ career.  The trailer can be viewed by following this link as we cannot embed the visuals here.

Lusia Harris was 66.

Photo: Getty

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