Back in June, I told y’all about the then-upcoming sports documentary The Queen of Basketball, which chronicles the life and times of one of basketball’s unheralded heroines, Lusia “Lucy” Harris. And if you have no godly idea who she is, you aren’t alone—which is kind of the point of the film. But since I’m a kind and benevolent soul, I previously explained who she is as such:
If you have no idea who Lusia “Lucy” Harris is, you’re not alone.
Thankfully, since we live in a day and age in which Google is free, a quick search will reveal that the 66-year-old was a basketball prodigy in a past life. She won three consecutive national championships while attending Delta State University, took home a gold medal after the ‘75 Pan Am Games, held it down for the U.S. National Team in the ‘76 Olympics, and also holds the unique distinction of being the first and only woman to be drafted by an NBA team—courtesy of the Utah Jazz.
In short, homegirl was the truth; as evidenced by her induction into both the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and becoming one of the first women inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
That sounds like a perfect candidate for a dope-ass sports documentary to me.
Thankfully, it’s here now (!!!!) and aside from winning the 2021 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Short Documentary and other accolades, the Ben Proudfoot-directed film now has a brand spanking new executive producer who you might know: Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal.
“Lusia ‘Lucy’ Harris’ heroism has gone unsung for way too long and I am particularly proud of my involvement in bringing her story to bear,” Shaq said in a statement provided to The Root. “A living legend and a pioneer in both men’s and women’s basketball, her life is a significant example of fortitude that is sure to inspire.”
In a separate statement, Harris expressed her own excitement about the NBA legend’s involvement in her project.
“I am excited that Shaquille O’Neal decided to join as an executive producer for The Queen of Basketball,” she said. “Shaq is one of my favorite basketball players and I have enjoyed following his career after the game. I truly appreciate having his support for this project.”
The last time I tapped y’all on the shoulder and put y’all up on a short film it won an Oscar. (No, really.) So hopefully, with a little help from Shaq, The Queen of Basketball will be able to do the same this upcoming awards season.
“Helping unearth and celebrate Lucy’s storied career over the past year-and-a-half has been a great joy of my career,” Proudfoot said in a statement provided to The Root. “Shaq and his team reacted to the film with such generosity and support, we were blown away and just thrilled for Lucy. In a way, Shaq is stepping up to assist Lucy in having the career moment she never got. It’s a special moment of solidarity between two remarkable players.”
Seriously, go watch The Queen of Basketball and thank me later.