Nancy Lieberman was on the first ever Women's Olympic Basketball team, where she excelled on the court and in America's hearts.
At the tender age of 15, she established herself as one of the top women's basketball players in the country by earning one of only 12 slots on the USA's National Team. One year later Lieberman was named to the USA Team designated to play in the World Championships and Pan American Games where she brought home a gold medal in 1975 and a silver medal in 1979
At age 17, Lieberman was named to the 1976 USA Women's Olympic Basketball Team, which she would compete at the Montreal Games in the first-ever Women's Olympic Basketball Team Competition. Shortly after turning 18, Lieberman became the youngest basketball player in Olympic history to win a medal as the United States captured the Silver Medal under the direction of women's basketball coaching legend Billie Moore.
She was chosen as a draft pick by the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Professional Basketball League (WBL). She led the Dallas Diamonds to their first and only 1981 Championship Series but fell to the Nebraska Wranglers in the last give of a five game series. She would return to the Dallas Diamonds in 1984, after serving as a personal trainer to Martina Navratilova.
Under the new-formed Women's American Basketball Association, she led the team in average points per game of 27.0. Nancy guided the Diamonds to a WABA championship in 1984 and was voted MVP during the 1984 season.
In 1986, Nancy Lieberman resumed her professional basketball career when she became the first woman ever to play in a men's professional league. She played for the United States Basketball League's Springfield Fame in 1986 then switched to the USBL's Long Island Knights in 1987. In 1988 she played on the Washington Generals and married a teammate Tim Cline.
In 1988 Nancy Lieberman served as a color commentator for NBC as the USA won its second Gold Medal in women's basketball in the Seoul Olympic Games.
In 1991, Lieberman completed her first book, an autobiography entitled Lady Magic: The Nancy Lieberman Story. She later co-authored her second book Basketball for Women with ESPN/ABC commentator Robin Roberts.
In 1992, Lieberman returned to the Olympics as commentator at the Barcelona Games when team USA suffered an Olympic setback and brought home the bronze. In 1993 and 1994 Lieberman helped her Street basketball team captured the Hoop-It-Up World Championship televised on NBC Sports.
Nancy has also played in many summer leagues affiliated with the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers and even going one-on-one with Michael Jordan.
In 1993, she became the first woman to be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. In May of 1996 Nancy Lieberman was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Nancy Lieberman has been inducted to the Old Dominion Hall of Fame, Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Nancy Lieberman with the Phoenix Mercury. On January 29, 1997 Nancy-Lieberman was drafted by the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury in the second round of the league's Elite Draft 15th pick overall. The Mercury went on to win the Western Conference title. The Phoenix also led the league in attendance with over 13,000 fans per regular season game and move into the WNBA semifinal. At age 38, she was the oldest player to wear a WNBA jersey.
In 1998 Nancy Lieberman was hired as a General Manager and coach of the Detroit Shock. During her first year with the Shock, Lieberman led the team to a 17-13 record. This winning percentage of 57% stands as the best winning percentage for an expansion team in any sport (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA). She also led the team to WNBA Playoff appearance marking the first-ever WNBA expansion team to secure a playoff berth in the three-year history of the league. During her tenure at Detroit, Nancy was also named to the Kodak All-American Anniversary team made up of the top 10 players in the history of Division I women's basketball. Nancy is also involved with the Women’s Sports Foundation and was elected president in 1999.
Nancy Lieberman continues her role as a broadcaster for ESPN covering the Women's NCAA championships and WNBA games. She also coaches young women basketball camps in Dallas, during the summer. Her basketball camps focus on basketball fundamentals, drug awareness, confidence, self-esteem and the secrets to winning. Nancy also speaks to Fortune 500 companies and high school banquets. Nancy Lieberman also dedicates herself to many local and national charities such as the Girl Scouts of America, The Childhood Diabetes Foundation, Jimmy V Foundation, and Special Olympics.
Nancy Lieberman speaks to Fortune 500 companies such as Conseco, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, MET Life, Prudential, Champion, Prudential, Athletes Helping Athletes, Bell South, NBC Sports as well as universities and other groups. Nancy Lieberman speaks on a wide variety of topics, including Business and Sports; Title IX and Gender Equity; Careers in Sports; Image & Self Esteem; How To Be a Winner; Breaking Barriers; Health & Fitness; Women Playing in a Men's League; Women in Sports; and Working and Parenting.