The Queen of Basketball

In time for International Women’s Day (March 8) a review of a short documentary of this sort seems highly appropriate. Most out there get no name recognition when they hear Lucia or Lucy Harris. That is a sad thing because she was one of the pioneers of women’s basketball. A name and player, that if she were a man, would have been famous and rich. This excellent short doc sets to, in a small way, right that wrong. A great thing is that the documentary can be watched for free on YouTube and it will be aired throughout Women’s History month on NBA TV. Dates and times below:

Tuesday, March 8 at 6:00 PM – International Women’s Day 
Thursday, March 17 at 10:00 PM – Following game coverage
Monday, March 21 at 11:00 PM – Following game coverage
Sunday, March 27 at 12:00 PM – Day of the 94th Academy Awards
Monday, March 28 at 6:30 PM– Day after the 94th Academy Awards

The Queen of Basketball is 22 minutes of Lucy Harris telling her story in her own words, accompanied by video of the interview and archival footage and photos from when she played. She is revealed as having only once she started playing basketball did she see her height of 6’3″ being a plus. Once she started playing, Lucy never again was upset about it.

She, born in 1955 in Mississippi, went on to play and star as a basketball player at Delta State University. There her skills brought her to the top of the women’s basketball pile. Harris and her team won 3 National Championships while she was there. Then she went on to star for the U.S. Women’s basketball team and competed at the first time women’s basketball was included in the Olympics at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Harris is in the record books as she scored the first basket at the Olympics for women’s basketball. That team went on to win the silver medal.

After graduation, Lucy went on to play for the Houston Angels in Women’s Professional Basketball League and was the first and only woman who was drafted by an NBA team. Due to her impact on basketball and her talent, she was inducted into both the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The short, directed by now two-time Oscar nominee Ben Proudfoot, has been nominated in the Documentary (Short Subject) category. This is telling of its excellence and the likability of its subject. Lucy is a joy to watch and listen to. She is a warm person who just draws you in. Unfortunately, she died unexpectedly this year on January 18 so will not be around to see if the documentary on her basketball life wins the prize, but just the fact that Proudfoot has brought her story to light for many is a victory in itself.

You can watch the entire documentary on YouTube at:

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