Nancy Lieberman

Nancy Lieberman

Player Profile

Lieberman's impact on the sport of women's basketball is immeasurable. "Lady Magic," as she was known in the media during her days at Old Dominion, helped her Lady Monarch teams collect an astounding 72-2 record during their back-to-back championship seasons.

She never backed down from a challenge...not even from the 7-2, 280-pound Russian center Uljana Semjonova. In the 1976 Montreal Olympics, the 18-year-old Lieberman courageously took a charge from the towering Semjonova and things were never the same. She was the youngest basketball player in Olympic history (male or female), and earned a silver medal.

The feisty attitude has crowned her as one of basketball's trailblazers and ambassadors. The three-time Kodak All-American remains Old Dominion University's leader in career assists (961) while standing second in all-time steals (512). She also holds several single-game and single season records. Lieberman scored 2,430 career points and hauled in 1,167 career rebounds. In 134 career games, she averaged 18.1 points, 8.7 assists and 3.8 steals per game.

Lieberman led the Lady Monarchs in assists four straight years, with her best coming in 1977-78 at 8.9. She averaged 20.9 points in 1976-77 and 8.8 steals in 1979-80. She also led the team in free throw percentage in 1976-77 and 1977-78. Her single game assist high was 19 against Radford in 1977. In 1977-78 she performed a triple-double against crosstown rival Norfolk State with 40 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.

Lieberman was the first two-time winner of the Wade Trophy (1978-79 and 1979-80). Those same two seasons, Old Dominion captured the AIAW National Championship. For her efforts and dedication to the game, Lieberman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. She and teammate Anne Donovan are a select group of 11 women in the Hall. Lieberman is also a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1980 Lieberman was chosen as the top pick by the Dallas Diamonds of the WBL. In 1986 she became the first women ever to play in a men's professional league. She played for Springfield in the USBL, then with the Washington Generals. In 1996 she played for Phoenix in the WNBA. She later served as coach and general manager of the WNBA's Detroit Shock club for three years.

On July 24, 2008, Lieberman signed a seven-day contract with the Detroit Shock[30], breaking her previous record as the oldest player in league history, at 50 years old. She played one game and had two assists and two turnovers against the Houston Comets.

On August 13, 2008, she was part of the inaugural class to be inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, honoring athletes, coaches and administrators who made contributions to sports in Southeastern Virginia.

Lieberman's career progressed from playing and coaching and into national commentating. She currently serves as an analyst for ESPN/ABC for the NBA, WNBA and NCAA Women's Basketball. She has done commentary for NBA-TV, NBC and the NFL Network. Nancy has written for the Dallas Morning News, The New York Times and USA Today.

On May 6, 2000, the Far Rockaway, NY native earned her degree from Old Dominion University in interdisciplinary studies.

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