First Female Coach of a Men's Team under the NBA Umbrella and currently works as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings of the (NBA)
Get an up-close look at how the trailblazing Hall of Famer has been making history throughout her nearly 40-year career as a player, coach and general manager. From holding her own against NBA players as far back as 1980 and becoming the first woman to play in a men’s professional basketball league to serving as…
Get an up-close look at how the trailblazing Hall of Famer has been making history throughout her nearly 40-year career as a player, coach and general manager. From holding her own against NBA players as far back as 1980 and becoming the first woman to play in a men’s professional basketball league to serving as the inaugural female head coach in the D-League, Nancy Lieberman has broken countless barriers in spearheading the women’s basketball movement throughout an esteemed career that spans five decades.
With the Sacramento Kings, the 1996 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee has added a new milestone to her already illustrious résumé, owning the distinction of being only the second full-time female assistant coach in the NBA, joining Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs.
Nicknamed “Lady Magic” for her revolutionary passing prowess and flashy playmaking, the revered trailblazer carries a lengthy, decorated list of on-court accomplishments and basketball firsts. The initial two-time recipient of the prestigious Wade Trophy that recognizes the nation’s best women’s college basketball star, the three-time All-American became the youngest player – male or female – in Olympic annals to win a medal, bringing home the silver at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal at age 18.
On the heels of guiding the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs to back-to-back championships in 1979-80 and 1980-81 and nearly averaging a triple-double en route to leading the Dallas Diamonds to a title in the Women’s American Basketball Association, the 5-foot-10 guard not only suited up for the L.A. Lakers Summer League squad, but commenced a pioneering, two-year stint in an all-men’s pro league – the United States Basketball League – where she was coached by Henry Bibby, the father of Kings legend and Sacramento-era assist leader Mike, in 1986.
The Brooklyn, N.Y. native continued to help shape the future landscape of female sports over the proceeding years, making history as the first woman to tour with the Washington Generals – the storied opponent of the Harlem Globetrotters – in 1988.
Coming out of retirement nearly a decade later, Lieberman averaged 8.3 points, 5.2 assists and 1.9 steals per 36 minutes in 25 contests with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury in 1997, making the then-39-year-old the oldest woman to play in the league. After a three-year tenure as general manager and head coach of the Detroit Shock – during which she compiled the highest winning percentage of any expansion team in professional sports (.569) in 1998 – Lieberman broke her own record by staging an unprecedented comeback at age 50, dishing out two assists in nine minutes of action on July 24, 2008.
The following season, the groundbreaking legend returned to the sidelines as head coach of the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Development League affiliate – marking the first time a woman held the position on a men’s professional basketball team. Lieberman – who simultaneously competed in the NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game in 2009 and 2010 – guided the Texas Legends to a 24-26 record and a Playoff berth, prior to earning a promotion to the front office as an assistant general manager.
Widely respected and admired in basketball circles, the former ESPN-ABC basketball broadcaster and FOX Sports Oklahoma analyst on Thunder pre- and postgame shows emerged as a Kings assistant candidate and received an invite to accompany the team’s Summer League coaching staff.
Based on her extraordinary history in all facets of the game, remarkable wealth of knowledge and indicative testament of former NBA players during her D-League experience, the 57-year-old is indisputably qualified and perfectly suited for the position’s primary responsibilities, ranging from discussing strategy and game plans to preparing scouting reports to providing astute advice.
Having already spent considerable time with and making a strong impression on numerous Kings standouts – including No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein in Las Vegas (video courtesy of News10.com), as well as veterans DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi – Lieberman will also serve a key role in fostering player development as a valuable motivator and teacher for younger players on the nuances of the game – all while continuing to pave the way for women’s progress in professional sports.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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Nancy Lieberman Speaker - PDA Speakers
Nancy Lieberman tried out for the Lakers
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