In 1986, Nancy Lieberman became the first woman to play in a men’s professional basketball game as a member of the United States Basketball League’s Springfield Fame. The Fame finished the season with a 23-10 record and the franchise foiled the next year. Lieberman went on to play for the Phoenix Mercury and Detroit Shock. Before her historic inclusion on the Fame’s team, Lieberman had already set herself apart as a collegiate player at Old Dominion University and as an Olympian.
Nicknamed “Lady Magic,” Lieberman was a 5’10” guard who was known for her aggressive style of play and still holds the record for career assists (961). At age 17, Lieberman competed in the first-ever Olympic Women’s Basketball Team Competition during the 1976 Montreal Olympics. After her playing career, Lieberman went on to coach the Detroit Shock, the Texas Legends, and to work as assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. She is currently a broadcaster for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.