Today in 1955, the birthday of a basketball champion named Lusia “Lucy” Harris.

Though “basketball champion” may not be quite the right term: she’s also been called the Queen of Basketball.

Harris grew up shooting hoops with her brothers in Minter City, Mississippi.

Sometimes she would even stay up late to watch NBA games on television, covering herself and the screen with a quilt so her parents wouldn’t notice she was up past her bedtime.

She stood 6’3″ tall by the time she joined the women’s basketball team at Delta State University.

But it wasn’t just her height that led her to excel on the court.

She could move, shoot, pass and rebound, while always working with her teammates to do what made sense during a game.

Harris led the team to multiple national titles, including an undefeated season in 1975.

In 1976, Harris won a silver medal at the Summer Games in Montreal.

It was the first time women’s basketball had been part of the Olympics, and Harris scored the very first points in the very first Olympic women’s basketball game.

In 1977, the college standout and international star almost went pro: the NBA’s New Orleans Jazz drafted Harris.

The team was serious about giving her a shot to play in the men’s league, but in the end Harris decided not to join the training camp.

Instead, she played for a team in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, which was a forerunner of the WNBA.

She also worked as a basketball coach for colleges and high schools and taught high school special education for many years.

In 1992, Harris was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and her presenter was NBA great Oscar Robertson, one of the players Lusia Harris idolized and watched on that TV screen as a kid.

Inducting a player like Lusia Harris into the Basketball Hall of Fame must’ve been a… slam dunk.

Here’s a sport that probably doesn’t have a hall of fame, at least not yet.

This weekend in Martin City, Montana, it’s Cabin Fever Days.

The highlight of the annual event is the world championship for barstool ski races.

Yes, they put barstools on skis and race them in the snow.

Because why not, really?

Lusia Harris, ‘Queen of Basketball,’ Dies at 66 (New York Times)

LUSIA HARRIS (1955- ) (BlackPast)

Montana’s Barstool Ski Races Are Exactly What They Sound Like (Thrillist)

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Photo by Ryan Dickey via Flickr/Creative Commons