In a career of firsts, Old Dominion University Lady Monarch great Nancy Lieberman hit another milestone today as the NBA’s Sacramento Kings officially announced she was joining the team as an assistant coach.
“It’s been a crazy, wonderful day. I was once a Monarch and now I’m a King. I am very honored to be a Sacramento King and very proud,” says Lieberman.
Lieberman, 57, becomes the second woman to work full time as an NBA assistant, following Becky Hammon who was hired last year by the San Antonio Spurs. Lieberman however owns the distinction of being the first woman to coach in the NBA organization, having led the Texas Legends of the NBA’s Developmental League as head coach from 2009 -2011.
In her playing days at Old Dominion, Lieberman led the Lady Monarchs to two back- to-back national titles, was a three-time All-American and the first two-time winner of the Wade Trophy as the top women’s player. She was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame three years later. In 1986, she became the first woman to play in a men’s pro league when she played for Springfield and then the Washington Generals in the United States Basketball League.
The youngest member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team that captured a silver medal, Lieberman was one of the original players in the WBL in 1980. She came out of retirement in 1997 at age 39 to play for the inaugural season of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. As the WNBA’s oldest player, she set another first on July 24, 2008 when she returned to play one game for the Detroit Shock at age 50. She also served as head coach of the Shock from 1998 – 2001.
Lieberman is a member of the ODU Sports Hall of Fame, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas, where she has served as assistant GM for the Texas Legends and runs a summer basketball camp for boys and girls. This past year season, she joined Fox Sports Oklahoma as an Analyst on the Oklahoma City Thunder Pre & Post-Game shows, Thunder Live.