This Black History Month, Southwest Globe Times is highlighting Lusia Harris, the first and only woman drafted into the NBA. Lusia Harris was a trailblazing 6’3 center at Delta State where she won women’s basketball titles in 1975, 1976 and 1977. While at Delta State Harris was a three time AIAW tournament winner and MVP. She holds Delta State’s record for points (2,891) and rebounds (1,662) scored throughout her career. Harris was selected for the debut of the women’s basketball team in the 1976 Summer Olympics where the team went on to win a silver medal and she was the leading scorer and rebounder.
After her college career ended Harris entered the 1977 NBA Draft where she went on to become the first and only woman to ever be selected. Due to her pregnancy, Harris did not end up playing in the NBA but did go on to play in the Women’s Professional Basketball League from 1979-80. Following her record breaking career, Harris was the first African American woman to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Lusia Harris passed away on January 18, 2022 at the age of 66. Her remarkable achievements are remembered in a documentary titled The Queen of Basketball that was recently released in 2021.