Nancy Lieberman-Cline

Is there anything Nancy Lieberman-Cline can’t accomplish? The most storied female basketball player in the world won a gold medal at the Pan-American Games in 1975, a silver at the Montreal Olympics in 1976, led Old Dominion University to two national championships in 1979 and 1980, became the first woman to play in a professional men’s league (the United States Basketball League), led the Dallas Diamonds to a Women’s American Basketball Association title in 1985, and played and coached in the WNBA. “I am the most blessed person in the world of basketball,” the 43-year-old says. “When I was nine, it wasn’t the most ladylike thing to do.” These days Lieberman-Cline calls WNBA games on ESPN, works at being a role model for young girls—“Research shows that girls who are involved in sports have fewer unwanted pregnancies, are less likely to drop out of school, and have higher self-esteem,” she says—and continues to serve as CEO of Nancy Lieberman Enterprises, a 21-year-old company that runs her basketball camps and other business interests. A native New Yorker, Lieberman-Cline has called Dallas home for twenty years, though she hasn’t forsaken her roots completely. “My seven-year-old son, T.J., asks me, ‘If we live here, how can you be a New York Yankees fan?’” she says, laughing. “I tell him to get back to me when the Rangers win the World Series. We have issues at our house.”

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