Lusia Harris, only woman to be drafted by the NBA, dies at 66

Lusia Harris, only woman to be drafted by the NBA, dies at 66
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / taka1022

Lusia Harris, the first and only woman to be drafted by the NBA, has died at 66.

Harris played basketball at Delta State, where she led the team to three consecutive Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national championships from 1975-1977.  She averaged 25.9 points and 14.5 rebounds in 115 games and was a three-time All-American.


While she was playing at Delta State, women’s basketball was being introduced to the Olympics. Harris was selected to be a part of the team and was the first woman to score a basket in the first game. The team won a silver medal that year.

After playing in college, the NBA team New Orleans Jazz selected her in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA Draft, but she didn’t accept the offer because she was pregnant.


Harris was the first Black woman inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 and was a part of the inaugural class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 2021, there was a documentary created to celebrate her life called “The Queen of Basketball.” Shaquille O’Neal was the executive producer of the documentary.

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