Shaquille O'Neal won an Oscar award for the short documentary "The Queen of Basketball." The Los Angeles Lakers legend, alongside Stephen Curry, served as the movie's executive producer. Shaq and Kobe Bryant made history as the first NBA teammates to win an Oscar award with this impressive and historic feat.
The Queen of Basketball
The Queen of Basketball tells the story of Lucia Harris, one of the pioneers of women's basketball. She won a silver medal playing for the U.S. team in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. In college, Harris won three national championships with Delta State University. To this date, Lucia remains the only woman to be drafted in the history of the NBA. She was selected in the 7th round in the 1977 NBA draft by the New Orleans Jazz, but she turned down the opportunity to play for the men's professional league.
When Shaq read the script for the movie, he immediately wanted to be part of it.
"When I saw [the film], it kind of made me cry. I said to myself, 'I got to do whatever it takes to bring this story to the world…' I want to see Lusia on the Oscars, the red carpet, want to see this woman get her shot. I want her to have that moment where she gets to talk to an even bigger audience, to be able to inspire the future generations." via Deadline
Unfortunately, Lucia Harris wasn't around to see the movie about her winning an Oscar. She passed away on January 18, 2022. She was 68. Although the movie's star wasn't around to witness it all, her legacy will remain in women's basketball and the sport's history. Lucia Harris walked so others could run.
Shaq followed Kobe's footsteps
With Shaq's latest achievement, he and Kobe Bryant made history as the first teammates ever to win Oscars. Bryant did it in 2018 as a producer of Dear Basketball, which won the best animated short film that year.
The Black Mamba became the first NBA player to achieve the feat and paved the way for the likes of Shaq and Steph Curry to get involved in movie production. Kobe remains a trailblazer and a true pioneer in innovation, even outside basketball. Fortunately, Kobe was still around to witness his movie's success. The same can't be said for Lucia Harris, but both deserve recognition and high praise. The basketball world is in a better place because of these two.