It started as an idea back in early 1999. The Rotary Club of Detroit wanted to create a service project that featured women and sports. This project would create financial opportunities to promote worthwhile organizations. In the tradition of the prestigious Lombardi Award, which is presented to the best lineman in college football by the Houston Rotary Club, the Nancy Lieberman Award, a national athletic award honoring the nation's top collegiate point guard in women's Division I basketball was created.
The award, that recognizes outstanding performance, is the first of its kind and is named after one of women basketball's greatest players, Nancy Lieberman. "Women's basketball is an emerging sports market and the recognition of the female athlete, as she progresses from the rank of amateur to professional, is underutilized," said J. Thomas MacFarlane, Past President, Rotary Club of Detroit. "Our primary objective is to support women's collegiate basketball by recognizing outstanding athletes. We are honored to have Nancy Lieberman's support as she serves as a role model for all women athletes." Nicknamed "Lady Magic" for her passing prowess, Nancy Lieberman has lead an exemplary career, while embodying the spirit, determination and selflessness indicative of a successful point guard.
Lieberman is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and holds the distinction of being the first athlete to receive the Wade Trophy twice. Lieberman's basketball career has been remarkable. From her days of playing basketball for Far Rockaway High School in Queens, NY to currently as a broadcaster for ESPN, her accomplishments are endless. A more in-depth look at her career can be found in the biography section of her website.