After Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry have now also won an Oscar. “The Queen of Basketball” won the Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short, with O’Neal and Curry serving as producers. The Williams sisters were also allowed to cheer.

Even Shaquille O’Neal didn’t know Lusia Harris until recently. “I’ve seen a lot of great basketball players, but I think it’s a shame that I’ve never heard of this woman,” said the former NBA superstar recently. It wasn’t until the release of the recently Oscar-winning film The Queen of Basketball, which he co-produced, that O’Neal learned of her great accomplishments.

Harris, who died in January at the age of 66, is one of the most important faces in her sport. In 1976, the Mississippi-born American was the first woman to score a basket at the Olympic Games, and at the end of the tournament there was a silver medal.

Just a year later, Harris became the first woman drafted by an NBA team in the seventh round, but never played there. Harris has been a member of the honorable Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since 1992, as has O’Neal.

“It’s a triumph for me to recreate the career of one of the greatest American athletes of the 20th century,” O’Neal said earlier this year. Together with the current NBA superstar Stephen Curry, he now received an Oscar as co-producer of the 22-minute short documentary that was released last year.

Harris, a mother of four, didn’t always have it easy as an African American woman from the Mississippi Delta. But that didn’t make itself felt in sport. She was the only black player on the Delta State University team to win three consecutive Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women national championships from 1975-1977.

Not least because of the commitment of director Ben Proudfoot, Harris’ story is now known to a larger public after her death. “The hope of this film is to fill that void for Ms. Harris so that every American knows her name,” explained Proudfoot.

Film about Williams sisters’ father wins Academy Award

Kobe Bryant won an Academy Award in 2018 for the short film Dear Basketball.

Venus and Serena Williams were also happy about an Oscar: The two tennis legends were involved as executive producers in the film “King Richard”, which portrayed the life of their father. Despite great adversity, Richard Williams almost single-handedly formed the two sisters into tennis stars.

Hollywood superstar Will Smith won the Oscar for best actor for this role. The film was nominated for a total of six Oscars.

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