Nancy Lieberman Profile

Hall of Fame point guard, Nancy Lieberman has no holes in her resume. The legendary WNBA player known as “Lady Magic,” she became the first woman to coach an NBA team and currently serves as the assistant coach of the Sacramento Kings. Beloved for her charisma, pioneering spirit, and admirable work ethic, she remains unquestionably one of the most influential and respected figures in sports.

Drawn to her New York City public school’s basketball court from early childhood, Nancy earned one of 12 coveted spots on the USA’s Women’s National Basketball Team, a silver medal in the World Championships, and a gold medal at the Pan American games – all before she turned 20. During her time at Old Dominion University, the Dallas Diamonds, the Washington Generals, and the Phoenix Mercury, she broke record after record, amassing a loyal fan base.

Upon becoming coach of the Texas Legends, an affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks, Nancy made history as the first female coach of an NBA team. She led the Legends to the playoffs in their first season as an expansion team. Since 2015 she’s been the assistant coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Nancy is a highly dedicated service leader. The founder of Nancy Lieberman Charities, she funds and personally coaches basketball camps and clinics across the country for disadvantaged youth and girls. Recently she has organized the construction of basketball courts nationwide to provide children from vulnerable populations a safe place to play.

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    Nancy, “Lady Magic,” Lieberman is a true pioneer in women’s sports. Her extensive resume includes: WNBA player, coach, general manager, sports broadcaster for ABC, NBC, ESPN, and FOX Sports Southwest (FSSW), motivational speaker, author and the first female coach of a men’s team under the NBA umbrella. Lieberman was also the first woman to play in a men’s professional league. Currently, she serves as the assistant general manager for the Texas Legends, NBA Development League team and official minor league affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks. In the 2012-13 season, she joined Fox Sports Southwest as an Analyst on the Oklahoma City Thunder Pre & Post-Game shows, Thunder LIVE!

    Nancy Lieberman is a Basketball Hall of Famer, two-time Olympian, three-time All American, two-time collegiate national champion, and a two-time National Player of the Year at Old Dominion University.

    Rising through the rank of professional sports, Lieberman made significant contributions to basketball. Her distinguished career is one of monumental strength and motivation. In pursuit of becoming the greatest women’s basketball player, she refused to accept anything less than the best. Her devotion to the sport and passion for the advancement of women athletes are a source of inspiration.

    Nancy Lieberman’s basketball journey began on the asphalt courts of Harlem, which was no small departure from her native hometown of Queens, New York. Lieberman quickly developed a reputation as a tough and gritty basketball powerhouse, as a 15-year-old junior attending Far Rockaway High School. In 1975, she garnered one of 12 coveted spots on the USA’s Women’s National Basketball Team, catapulting her into the national spotlight. A year later, she brought home a silver medal at the World Championships (in South America) and a gold medal at the Pan American Games (in Mexico). At 18 years old, she earned a silver medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and became the youngest basketball player in Olympic history (male or female).

    Lieberman exploded onto the college scene, attending Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. She led the Lady Monarchs to two consecutive National Championships and a WNIT Championship. Lieberman became the first-ever, two-time winner of the prestigious Wade Trophy, which recognizes the “Player of the Year” in women’s college basketball. She was also selected as the Broderick Award Winner for Basketball, as the top women’s player in America. In addition, she received three consecutive Kodak All-American honors during her collegiate career, making her one of the most decorated female athletes in the United States.

    In 1981, Lieberman began her professional career with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Professional Basketball League. She led the team, in 1984, to the WABA Championship and was named league MVP.

    Lieberman is recognized as the only woman to play in a men’s professional sports league. In 1986, she played with the Springfield Fame (United States Basketball League, USBL), and in 1987, she joined the Long Island Knights (USBL).

    In 1988, Lieberman toured the world as a member of the Washington Generals, the most well-known and recognized opponents of the acclaimed Harlem Globetrotters.

    In 1997—at the age of 39—Lieberman came out of retirement and was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury during the inaugural season of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She became the oldest player to ever play in the league. On July 24, 2008, Lieberman broke her own record, when she returned to the WNBA for one game with the Detroit Shock at the age of 50.

    During her professional career, “Lady Magic” received several awards including an induction into the prestigious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. In 1999, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. In addition, Lieberman was the first woman to be inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Hampton Roads Hall of Fame.

    After retiring as a player in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBA), Nancy Lieberman was named general manager and head coach of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock in 1998. She helmed the team to the highest winning percentage of any expansion team in professional sports and was runner-up for Coach of the Year.

    Lieberman took on another leadership role, when she served as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation for two years. Later, she served as head coach of the Dallas Fury of the NWBL, where she guided the team to a championship title.

    On November 5, 2009, Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman added a new piece of history to her already illustrious career. She was appointed as the first female head coach in the National Basketball Association (NBA), taking the leadership role as head coach for the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA D-League Team, Texas Legends. She led the team to the playoffs in their first season as an expansion team.

    Nancy Lieberman’s career progressed into national commentating, motivational speaking and philanthropic endeavors.

    She served as an analyst for ESPN/ABC for the NBA, WNBA and NCAA Women’s Basketball. She has provided commentary for NBA-TV, NBC and the NFL Network. Starting in the 2012-13 season, Lieberman joined the Thunder LIVE! broadcast team as an Analyst on FOX Sports Southwest’s™ production of Oklahoma Thunder games.

    Lieberman has been a contributor for the Dallas Morning News, The New York Times and USA Today. She is also an accomplished author, having penned an autobiography entitled Lady Magic, two editions of Basketball for Women and most recently, the Playbook for Success. In her latest book, she brings her leadership and coaching insights into the boardroom to help teach the many parallels between being successful on the court and in business.

    In addition, Lieberman has created several instructional and advice-driven videos for aspiring basketball players.

    Throughout her career, Lieberman’s progress as a successful athlete and leader was based on her boldness and ability to take positive action. She is an influential communicator and has a passion for educating athletes and business leaders to improve efficiency and attain peak performance. Lieberman’s in-depth industry experience is unparalleled, and it is for that reason that she was recognized as a prolific motivational speaker for Fortune 500 companies.

    Today, Lieberman travels around the country speaking to private and public corporations, non-profit organizations and basketball camps. Her speaking engagements cover a myriad of topics such as business and sports, image and self-esteem, teamwork and winning, and working and parenting.

    During her career, Lieberman achieved monumental success, and her legacy has forever impacted the sport. It is only fitting that awards are given in her honor, such as the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is given to the most outstanding female point guard in NCAA Division I Basketball, and it has adorned the likes of Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Temeka Johnson, Ivory Latta, and Lindsey Harding.

    Guiding youngsters and helping the disadvantaged has always been a passion for Lieberman, and through this philosophy, The Nancy Lieberman Foundation was born. During the summer, she hosts and coaches basketball clinics and camps for girls and boys in Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix. She hopes that-through positive guidance and helpful instruction-she can propel the next generation of student athletes to success on and off the court.

    The Nancy Lieberman Foundation and Worldventures Foundation have also teamed up to build DreamCourts across the country to provide a safe place for children to play.

    In addition to her impressive foundation work, Lieberman has supported and participated in numerous national charities throughout the country. She remains determined to give back more than she has received.

Nancy Lieberman Speaking Videos

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Nancy Lieberman's Speech Descriptions

Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman is an experienced world-renowned motivational and keynote speaker. A strong and admirable woman, she quickly connects with audiences whether at corporate events, kids’ basketball clinics, or philanthropic dinners.
Nancy’s go-getter attitude and the personal playbook rules that she’s used to build a legacy are easily applicable to anyone who wants to be at the top of their field. She has spoken on a range of topics including business and sports, image and self-esteem, teamwork and winning, and working and parenting.

Nancy has been featured at events for organizations such as Nike, Bank of America, World Ventures, JP Morgan, Express, Mannatech, Amway, FedEx and many more.

Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • Business and Sports
    • Title IX and Gender Equity
    • Careers in Sports
    • Image and Self Esteem
    • How to Be a Winner
    • Breaking Barriers
    • Health and Fitness
    • Women Playing in a Men's League
    • Women in Sports
    • Working and Parenting
    • Women Playing on a Level Playing Field
    • Winning Ways
    • Teamwork and Success
    • Mentor/Mentee

What People are Saying about Seeing Nancy Speak

Rating Entries

“Her insights into sports are vividly translated into specific tips for business success!”
   Donald J Drumpf

“The sum of Nancy’s playbook lessons provides a valuable tool for all women everywhere!”
   Muhammad Ali

“Nancy’s message captures the true essence of business and how it relates to life’s situations!”
   Mark Cuban

“Nancy demonstrates that leadership requires ability to persuade and to make those who follow stronger as they move forward”
   Jerry Jones

“Insightful look at making improvements and excelling at work, at home and in life”
   Billie Jean King

“She’s a Hall of Famer and a winner!”
   Earvin “Magic” Johnson

“Nancy tells us in words how to build great company teams and win competitive games in the economic market place.”
   Sam Wyly

“Nancy has been able to bridge the gap between team sports and success in business.”
   Melissa and Russell B. Wight

“Nancy has written a playbook on how to be a winner, not just in sports, but in the rough-and-tumble business world.”
   T.Boone Pickens

“Great how-to-guide for all businesswomen.”
   Martina Navratilova

Partial Client List:

Merrill Lynch
MET Life
Athletes Helping Athletes
Bell South
NBC Sports
The Hartford
Home Dept
Dallas Morning News
Holiday Builders
Bank of America
MS Foundation
Express Clothing
World Ventures

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Books by Nancy Lieberman:

Playbook for Success: A Hall of Famer′s Business Tactics for Teamwork and Leadership
Make business success a slam dunk with basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman

Nancy “Lady Magic” Lieberman has a passion for winning. One of basketball′s all-time greats, she took home Olympic silver at age eighteen, was a two-time national champion in college, led victorious teams in the WBL and WNBA, and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. After retiring from the court, she became a winning coach in the WNBA, an ESPN analyst, a sought-after public speaker and consultant, a philanthropist, and, most recently, the first female head coach in the NBA′s Development League for the Dallas Mavericks affiliate the Texas Legends.

How did Lieberman blaze such a trail and break so many barriers, both in sports and business? By developing and sticking to her own playbook for success. Now, in Playbook for Success, she gives you the tools to create a champion′s mind-set, achieve peak performance, and win in the game of business.

Your own personal coaching session with this legendary competitor, Playbook for Success speaks in particular to women who are ready to play in any business arena they choose and push themselves to exceed any limit before them. With this practical guide, you′ll get a tough-minded mix of no-nonsense inspiration, real-life examples, and hard-and-fast sports principles you can use to hone your winner′s edge each day.

Start your training today with Playbook for Success and discover tested exercises and approaches to:

    • Get over your fear of success
    • Assert your right to compete and lead
    • Move comfortably in formerly all-male business domains
    • Discover, use, and improve on your own strengths and weaknesses
    • Build and lead teams to achieve goals and not give up
    • Help others achieve more than they think possible

Nancy Lieberman understands the natural connection between excelling in both sports and business. Find the proven sports skills to bring your professional A-game to your business, compete, and win with Playbook for Success.

Basketball for Women

Basketball for Women
Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman explains how to become a complete player in the new edition of her book. Lieberman shares what she has learned throughout her legendary basketball career and explains that striving for greatness means never backing down from challenges no matter the obstacle. In Basketball for Women, Lieberman covers shooting technique, defense, passing, and training she has used throughout her extensive career. The book includes more than 100 drills for player development and plays for offensive, defensive, and special situations that can be implemented into today’s fast-paced game.

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