38 Years Ago, Nancy Lieberman Made History As First Woman In Men’s Pro Basketball


38 years ago today, on June 10, 1986, Nancy Lieberman shattered a barrier in professional basketball. She suited up for the Springfield Fame of the United States Basketball League (USBL), becoming the first woman to play in a regular-season men’s professional game.

The Fame went on to win the contest against the Staten Island Stallions by a score of 122-107. This historic event marked a significant step forward for both women’s basketball and gender equality in sports.

Lieberman was a star player throughout her career. She was named “rookie of the year” after averaging an impressive 26.3 points per game in the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL). Her talent and determination led her to try out for an NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in 1981. While she didn’t make the final roster, she continued to push boundaries by joining the USBL.

Lieberman’s accomplishment paved the way for future generations of female basketball players. It demonstrated that women could compete at the professional level and inspired young girls to dream of playing basketball at the highest level.

While Lieberman’s playing career in the USBL was short-lived, her impact on the sport is undeniable. She is a true pioneer who helped to change the face of basketball.

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