Harris and Lieberman to Receive Awards at Final Four

FRISCO, TX, (Mar. 12, 2014) – The Texas Legends, presented by Veracruz (visit Veracruz.mx), are proud to announce the national recognition of two members of the front office staff. Vice president Del Harris will receive the John Wooden “Keys to Life” Award, while assistant general manager Nancy Lieberman will receive the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s College Basketball award.

The Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” Award is given each year to a current or former professional or college basketball player or coach who exemplifies the leadership traits that Coach Wooden valued both on and off the court.

Del Harris has been coaching basketball for 53 years and has coached at every level of the sport. As the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Harris was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1995. He is in the top 25 in NBA history of games coached, games won, and playoff games coached, but his accomplishments span beyond the NBA as well. Coach Harris has won six medals coaching five different national teams, and coached Puerto Rican teams to three national championships in six years. His writings have been translated into five different languages and he has hosted camps and clinics on every continent but Australia. Harris currently serves as the vice president for the Dallas Mavericks’ Development League team, the Texas Legends and as an analyst for the New Orleans Pelicans. Harris and his wife, Ann, are actively involved in CityHouse, a shelter for homeless youth in the Dallas metroplex. The Harris’ have been instrumental in the expansion of CityHouse to include a new location in Frisco, TX.

Past recipients of the Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” Award include:

  • Dick Bennett
  • Homer Drew
  • Charlie Ward
  • Don Meyer
  • David Thompson
  • Hubert Davis
  • Jim Haney
  • Lorenzo Romar
  • Bobby Jones
  • David Robinson
  • Clark Kellogg
  • Mark Price
  • Junior Bridgeman
  • Jerry Colangelo
  • AC Green
  • Marv Harshman

The Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the sport. The award is meant to recognize those who made a lasting and positive impact on the game through a display of integrity, perseverance and success in the game.

Nancy Lieberman struck success at an early age and has continued to grow and give back to the sport of basketball at all levels. Lieberman won gold and silver medals at the World Championships and PanAmerican games, and won a silver medal in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal at the age of 18. Playing at Old Dominion University Lieberman earned four consecutive All American honors and two consecutive national championships. After college, Lieberman played in numerous professional leagues, being named MVP of the Women’s American Basketball Association and becoming the first and only female to play in a men’s league as a member of the United States Professional Basketball League. Lieberman played the inaugural season of the Women’s National Basketball Association becoming the oldest player to play professional women’s basketball and subsequently broke that record playing a final season at the age of 50 before retiring into coaching and broadcasting. In 1996, Lieberman reached another milestone being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame followed by the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. When she was selected to be the first head coach of the Dallas Mavericks’ Development League team, the Texas Legends, Lieberman broke another barrier as the first woman to coach a men’s team under the NBA umbrella. Lieberman currently serves as the assistant general manager for the Legends while also serving as an analyst for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lieberman is a storied author and travels around the world doing motivational speaking. The Nancy Lieberman Foundation was founded to provide opportunities and inspiration to youth through basketball camps and clinics.

Past winners of the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball Award include:

  • Pat Summitt
  • Teresa Edwards
  • Cheryl Miller
  • Marsha Sharp
  • Anne Donovan
  • Jody Conradt
  • Kay Yow
  • Val Ackerman
  • Leon Barmore
  • Sonja Hogg
  • Betty Jaynes
  • Billie Moore
  • Cathy Rush

Both awards will be given next month during the NCAA Final Four. For more information on the Coach Wooden “Keys to Life” Award visit www.LegendsBreakfast.net, for the Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s Basketball Award visit www.NaismithAwards.com