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Lusia Harris

Many people do not realize that long before there was the WNBA, there was a woman who attempted to join the ranks of professional basketball. six-foot-three Lusia Harris of Delta State University was taken in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA draft by the New Orleans Jazz. The pick was well deserving. Harris is still one of the greatest center to ever play women's college basketball.

She was a three-time All American at Delta State,Four-time All-State, All-Region, team MVP and team high scorer. She set a then record of 58 points in a game, the most points by a woman in a college game until Cheryl Miller broke that mark. When she had graduated she held 15 of 18 Delta State team single game and career records.

When Harris was drafted by the Jazz in 1977 she thought it was a joke. "...Drafted by a Mens team?" was a quote from Harris taken from a Mississippi based news paper. The Jazz which played only a few hundred miles from where Harris played college ball took the 6'3" center most likely as a publicity stunt. Harris had to be realistic about her chances, she was an inside player, with a poor jumpshot. At 6'3" she wouldn't have had a chance at playing center in the NBA. Harris was also pregnant at the time, which prevented her from attending training camp.

In 1992 Harris became one of only a handful of women to ever be inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfeild, Massachusetts. In the summer of 1999 Harris was among the first women to be inducted into the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Harris is now married and goes by her married name Lusia Harris-Stewart. Harris-Steward is currently a teacher in her home state of Mississippi, and has very little thought of ever returning to basketball in the way that she once did. she does coach sometimes, but as she puts it "...its nothing big, I just do it for the girls..."

Important facts

Born: 2/10/1955 in Minster city, MS
Ht: 6'3"
Drafted: seventh round, pick 6. by the New Orleans Jazz.
HOF: 5/11/1992

  • Member of the 1976 Silver medel winning USA womens basketball team.
  • She had a carrer scoring average of 25.9 ppg.
  • She played in 115 games as a collegiate athelet
  • her 2,981 carrer points is 8th best in womens college basketball.
  • She had a carrer shooting percentage of 63%, 4th best in womens college basketball
  • Averaged 14.5 rebounds per game as a collegiate.

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