CLEVELAND, Miss.—The Delta State University flag will fly at half-staff today through Saturday, Jan. 22, in memory of alumna and basketball legend Lusia “Lucy” Harris ‘77, ’84, ’14.
Harris passed away Wednesday, Jan. 18. She was 66.
A native of Minter City, Miss., Harris was a standout on Delta State’s women’s basketball team which won three consecutive national titles from 1975-1977. Harris was also a member of the United States’ silver medal-winning team at the 1976 Olympic Games where she scored the first points ever in Olympic women’s basketball history.
In 1977, Harris was selected by the New Orleans Jazz and remains the first and only woman ever drafted by an NBA team. Harris spent a season playing for the Houston Angels in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, and she later worked as a coach and teacher.
Harris-Stewart was inducted into Delta State University’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1992, she was the first African American and one of the first two women ever inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as well as a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Harris received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1977, a Master of Science in Education in 1984 and an Honorary Doctor of Public Service in 2014—all from Delta State.
She was featured in the award-winning 2021 documentary “The Queen of Basketball.”
Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.