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Luisia Harris, “Queen of Basketball”, dies on the age of 66

“The boys’s group did not promote out in addition to the ladies’s group,” Harris stated in The Queen of Basketball (2021), a brief documentary about her directed by Ben Proudfoot that premiered on the Tribeca Pageant in New York. “We began touring by airplane. In truth, the lads didn’t fly. I suppose the ladies introduced within the cash.”

A number of months after her final recreation at Delta State, Harris was chosen within the seventh spherical of the NBA draft by the Jazz. Just one lady earlier than her, Denise Lengthy, then a highschool grad, had been drafted by the San Francisco (now Golden State) Warriors in 1969, however Walter Kennedy, the NBA commissioner, refused the decide.

Jazz basic supervisor Lewis Schaffel stated whether or not Harris may play is as much as the group’s coach, former Los Angeles Lakers Corridor of Famer Elgin Baylor. However Schaffel advised United Press Worldwide, “She’s acquired the physique for it — and I am not kidding.”

Harris expressed shock at being chosen and did not take her choice too critically.

“I play fairly nicely on the ladies’s degree, nevertheless it’s totally different on the males’s degree,” she advised The Related Press on the time.

Harris ultimately turned down the thought of ​​becoming a member of a jazz rookie camp. Already married to her highschool sweetheart, George Stewart, she needed to start out a household.

In 1992 she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Corridor of Fame in Springfield, Mass

Lusia Mae Harris was born on February 10, 1955 and grew up in Minter Metropolis, Mississippi. Her mother and father, Willie and Ethel (Gilmore) Harris, have been companions. Lusia picked cotton but additionally performed basketball together with her brothers of their yard. She fashioned her recreation, significantly her defensive expertise, at Amanda Elzy Excessive College in Greenwood earlier than attending Delta State.

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