Black History: Special Delivery

Welcome To Black Mail…..where we bring you Black History:  Special Delivery!

Known as “The Queen of Basketball”, Lusia Smith was a trailblazing Olympic athlete who became the first woman to be drafted by the NBA in 1977. Although she was selected by an NBA team, she chose not to try out for the New Orleans Jazz because she was pregnant at the time. She went on to become the head coach of her high school basketball team, Amanda Elzy High School in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Smith was described as a dominant 6 foot 3 inch center. She was Mississippi’s first All American basketball player. While a student at Delta State (1973-1977), she won 3 consecutive championships. Basketball great, Shaquille O’Neal made a documentary about her life. In the documentary, Smith is transparent about her struggles with mental health after she stopped playing basketball. Her success predated the launch of the WNBA.

Lusia Smith passed away on January 18, 2022.

Another installment of melanated mail has been delivered. Ponder, reflect, and pass it on.