LOS ANGELES - Stephen Curry can now add an Oscar statue to his trophy case full of NBA accolades. The Golden State point guard was among the executive producers and top promoters of the film "The Queen of Basketball," which took home the Oscar for the best short subject documentary at the award ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.
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Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal was also one of the executive producers of the 22-minute film, which put a spotlight on the relatively unknown trailblazer and pioneer of women’s basketball, the late Lusia Harris.
"The Queen of Basketball," the documentary about women's basketball trailblazer Lusia Harris won an Oscar on Sunday, March 27, 2022. Stephen Curry was among the executive producers of the film. ("The Queen of Basketball")
As the only Black player on the Delta State University Women’s Basketball team, Harris led her teammates to three consecutive Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women National Championships from 1975-77.
Then in 1976, in the Olympic debut of women’s basketball in Montreal, Harris solidified her place in the history books becoming the first woman to score a basket in the games. She then led Team USA to take home a silver medal.
The following year, the New Orleans Jazz drafted the 6'3" center in the seventh round of picks, making her the only woman ever officially drafted by the NBA. She never went on to play for the Jazz or any other men's professional team. She did play for the Houston Angels as part of the Women's Professional Basketball League in 1979-80.
Harris, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992, has been a name unfamiliar to many.
Even O’Neal admitted he did not know her story before getting involved in the film and its promotion.
Earlier this month, Curry was seen wearing a sweatshirt and shoes emblazoned with the phrase "Queen Lucy" on them, as he paid tribute to Harris and the strides she made for women's basketball.
He also expressed his excitement for the film and the efforts to make her story known. "Honored to support this AMAZING project and Lucy's incredible story w/ you and #UnanimousMedia. She's the hero we deserve...The QUEEN of Basketball!!" he shared on Twitter earlier this month.
The documentary was directed by Canadian filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, and his win came as Women’s History Month neared its close.
"If there is anyone out there that still doubts whether there’s an audience for female athletes and questions whether their stories are valuable or entertaining or important … let this Academy Award be the answer," Proudfoot said as he accepted the Oscar.
The win also came roughly two months after Lusia Harris's death at age 66. Her family was at Sunday’s award ceremony.
O'Neal paid tribute to the queen of basketball and her remarkable Oscar-winning story saying, "Wish Lucy would have been here for this victory, but I’m sure she’s celebrating in heaven."
The Associated Press contributed to this story, which was reported from Oakland, Calif.