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Nancy Lieberman

Dubbed "lady Magic"

Lieberman helped lead her club to gold medals at the 1975 Pan American Games and the World Championships. The following year, the team participated in the inaugural women's Olympic basketball team competition. Lieberman was 17 when she started playing at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal; she had just turned 18 when the team won silver, making her the youngest basketball player to win an Olympic medal.

Lieberman's Olympic glory caught the attention of universities around the country. Thanks to a new law, Title IX, that barred discrimination at federally funded schools, colleges were starting to offer scholarships to female athletes. Lieberman received more than 100 scholarship offers. She chose Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. "I always wanted to go to a place nobody had heard of because I thought of myself as an underdog, and I wanted to help build something," she said in the Omaha World Herald.

As a 5-foot-10 point guard, Lieberman helped lead Old Dominion to national titles in 1979 and 1980. During her collegiate career, she scored 2,430 points, grabbed 1,167 rebounds, and dealt 961 assists. Three times an All-American, she was the only two-time winner of the Wade Trophy, which recognizes the National Player of the Year in women's college basketball. Lieberman became known as "Lady Magic," deeming her the female equivalent of Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson.


1958 Born on July 1 in Brooklyn, NY
late 1960s Learns to play basketball in Queens, NY
1973–76 Plays basketball at Far Rockaway High School
1974 Invited to try out for American Basketball Association's USA Team
1976–80 Plays basketball at Old Dominion University
1980–85 Plays in Women's Professional Basketball League and Women's American Basketball Association
1988 Marries Washington Generals teammate Tim Cline
1991 Publishes autobiography, Lady Magic: The Nancy Lieberman Story
1994 Son, Timothy Joseph, is born
1997 Plays in Women's National Basketball Association (Phoenix Mercury)
1998 Becomes general manager and coach of Detroit Shock
2000 Contract with Shock not renewed

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBasketballNancy Lieberman Biography - Dubbed "lady Magic", Chronology, Played In Men's League, Made Brief Comeback