Lusia Harris, the only woman ever officially drafted by an NBA team, has died

Lusia Harris, the only woman ever officially drafted by an NBA team, has died at the age of 66.

Sport, Lusia Harris

1/19/2022 1:30:00 PM

Lusia Harris , the only woman ever officially drafted by an NBA team, has died at the age of 66.

Lusia 'Lucy' Harris, a star in women's collegiate basketball during the 1970s and the first and only woman ever to be officially drafted by an NBA team, died Tuesday, according to a statement from her family as well as Delta State University. She was 66.

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Women's Basketball Pioneer Lusia Harris Dies at 66Women’s basketball pioneer Lusia Harris has died at the age of 66

Women’s Basketball Trailblazer Lusia Harris Dies at 66 Lusia Harris scored the first points in Olympic women's basketball history and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 🙏🏾

Delta State legend Lucy Harris, a basketball pioneer, has died at 66 Lusia Harris , the Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell of women’s basketball, has died. The Minter City native who led Delta State to three consecutive national championships at the highest level of women’s college basketball was 66.

Lusia Harris, First Woman Drafted by NBA and Subject of ‘The Queen of Basketball,’ Dies at 66Shaquille O'Neal, executive producer on the project, told The Hollywood Reporter that Harris 'was the greatest ever.' Wow🙏

Shaquille O’Neal on the Legacy of Lusia “Lucy” Harris, Subject of ‘The Queen of Basketball’The basketball legend opens up about another pioneer in the sport, who is the subject of an Oscar-shortlisted documentary short. rifan155 I grew up when the Lady Statesmen won the National championship. I played 4 years the right after Lucy Harris graduated. She was assistant coach my Senior year. Today very unexpectedly Lucy Harris past away! 🤭😢

Lusia Harris Dies: Pioneering Women’s Hoops Star And Subject Of Oscar-Shortlisted ‘The Queen Of Basketball’ Was 66Lusia “Lucy” Harris, the pioneering women’s basketball player who became the first female to score a basket in the Olympics, one of the only women to be drafted into the NBA and l…

(CNN)Lusia"Lucy" Harris, a star in women's collegiate basketball during the 1970s and the first and only woman ever to be officially drafted by an NBA team, died Tuesday, according to a statement from her family as well as Delta State University. She was 66. "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 statement said.Harris led Delta State to three consecutive Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championships from 1975-1977.Lusia Harris playing in a Delta State game against LSU in 1977While at Delta State, women's basketball was introduced to the Olympics in 1976. Harris was selected to the team and had the distinction of being the first woman to score a basket in the competition's first game. The US won the silver medal that year. After her collegiate career, the NBA's New Orleans Jazz, which began play in 1974 and would later move to Utah, selected her in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA draft. Read MoreAnother woman, Denise Long, was selected in the 1969 draft by the San Francisco Warriors but the pick was vacated by the league, making Harris the only woman, to date, to be officially drafted. Yet Harris turned down the offer from the Jazz, intent on starting a family."I just thought it was a publicity stunt and I felt like I didn't think I was good enough," she said in"The Queen of Basketball," a short film about her life and career."So I decided not to go. Yeah, I said no to the NBA.""The NBA, I don't regret not going. Not even a little bit," she said.The native of Minter City, Mississippi, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 and was part of the inaugural class of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. Harris is still Delta State's career record holder in points (2,891) and rebounds (1,662), the university said. "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," her family said in the statement."She will be remembered for her charity, for her achievements both on and off the court, and the light she brought to her community, the State of Mississippi, her country as the first woman ever to score a basket in the Olympics, and to women who play basketball around the world."CNN's Jill Martin contributed to this report.