Lusia Harris Rumors
Proper recognition for the achievements of Lusia “Lucy” Harris has been a long time coming, but it happened emphatically tonight at the Academy Awards. The Queen of Basketball, which documents Harris’s unsung accomplishment as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short.
Among the biggest supporters of The Queen of Basketball are two towering executive producers — Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Shaq has declared Lucy Harris to be the GOAT, and an important role model especially for women basketball players.
Ben Proudfoot is up for his second Oscar in two years. The director of the documentary short, “The Queen of Basketball,” first got basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal into his court. Now, 3-time NBA champ Stephen Curry is also in the game. Both are executive producers of Ben’s latest celebrated work. The movie tells the story of Lusia “Lucy” Harris, who was a high school basketball superstar in her small Mississippi town. Then, she was breaking records and winning championships at Delta State University.
“That’s been the most common reaction to our film is people saying, ‘How come I don’t know this? How come I’d never heard of Lucy Harris?’ Even basketball historians,” Proudfoot said. “That was Shaq’s response. He said, ‘I consider myself a basketball historian and I had never heard of Lucy Harris.’ So that’s kind of our mission as a filmmaking team.”
Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson. The men of the NBA, they were the only superstars of basketball when Harris grew up. “I wanted to grow up and shoot that ball just like they would shoot it,” Harris said in “The Queen of Basketball,” a documentary released in 2021. “And I did.” Harris did shoot that ball. She grew up to be one of the best women basketball players of all time. She became a 3-time college national champion at Delta State University. She became the first woman to score a basket in Olympic women’s basketball history.
Only one other woman in basketball history has her name associated with the NBA. Denise Long was drafted as a high school senior by the San Francisco (now Golden State) Warriors in 1969. Walter Kennedy, the NBA commissioner, blocked the pick. That makes Harris the only woman officially drafted in the NBA. Harris also became the first Black woman enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, in 1992, in Springfield, Mass. Her presenter was Oscar Robertson, the basketball idol whom she used to sneak and watch on those late nights. Harris was enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.