“The lads’s group didn’t promote out in addition to the ladies’s group,” Lusia Harris mentioned in “The Queen of Basketball” (2021), a brief documentary movie about her, directed by Ben Proudfoot, that premiered on the Tribeca Pageant in New York. “We started to journey on airplanes. As a matter of reality, the boys didn’t fly. I assume the ladies had been bringing within the cash.”

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

Lewis Schaffel, the Jazz’s basic supervisor, mentioned that whether or not Harris might play was as much as the group’s coach, Elgin Baylor, the previous Los Angeles Lakers’ Corridor of Famer. However Schaffel instructed United Press Worldwide, “She’s bought the physique for it — and I don’t imply that facetiously.”

Harris expressed shock that she was picked and didn’t take her choice too significantly.

“I play fairly nicely on the ladies’s stage, however with the boys, nicely, that’s one thing totally different,” she instructed The Related Press on the time.

Harris in the end declined to affix a Jazz rookie camp; she was already married to her highschool sweetheart, George Stewart, and needed to start out a household.

She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Corridor of Fame in Springfield, Mass., in 1992

Lusia Mae Harris was born on Feb. 10, 1955, and grew up in Minter Metropolis, Miss. Her mother and father, Willie and Ethel (Gilmore) Harris, had been sharecroppers. Lusia picked cotton but additionally performed basketball along with her brothers of their yard. She molded her sport, particularly her defensive expertise, at Amanda Elzy Excessive Faculty, in Greenwood, earlier than attending Delta State.