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The Queen of Basketball: When the N.B.A. Officially Drafted a Woman 


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I was able to attend a virtual screening event put on by the Museum of Tolerance of “The Queen of Basketball” followed by a live Q & A with Director, Ben Proudfoot, Executive Producer, Shaquille O’Neal, Editor, Stephanie Owens, Senior Commissioning Producer, Lindsay Crouse, and Crystal Washington, Ms. Harris’ Daughter. Moderated by Nana Adwoa Frimpong.

It is an electrifying portrait of Lusia “Lucy” Harris who scored the first basket in women’s Olympic history and was the first and only woman officially drafted into the N.B.A. Despite her incredible accomplishments, Harris, who died unexpectedly on January 18, has remained largely unknown — until now. Here, she shares her story in her own words.

Watch this amazing short film (22 minutes) below:

Lusia Harris — a pioneering athlete who became a basketball phenomenon in the 1970s, made history as the first woman to score a basket in the Olympics and was one of the first two women inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame — died on Jan. 18 in Mississippi. She was 66.

As a child growing up in rural Mississippi, Lusia “Lucy” Harris often stayed up past her bedtime watching her favorite N.B.A. players, dreaming of one day playing on the same courts. Reaching 6 feet 3 inches by the time she was in high school, Harris was often called “long and tall and that’s all” by her classmates — but she knew her height would be an asset on the court. And she wasn’t just tall enough to play the game. She was a rare talent who would go on to be a three-time national college champion and an Olympic silver medalist, making her a national sensation by the time she finished her college career.

For an electrifying young basketball player on the national stage, success often comes with a lucrative professional contract and brand deals — but Harris’s moment came in the 1970s, decades before the W.N.B.A. was founded, when few opportunities were available to female athletes interested in pursuing a professional career. In Ben Proudfoot’s “The Queen of Basketball,” Harris tells the story of what happens when an unstoppable talent runs out of games to win.

– NYTimes

Watch “The Queen of Basketball” Q & A below:

Graciously hosted by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Following the untimely passing of basketball pioneer Lucy Harris, family, filmmakers and EP Shaquille O’Neal gather for an intimate Q&A about the making and meaning of the acclaimed short documentary THE QUEEN OF BASKETBALL, moderated by Nana Adwoa Frimpong.


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