Fran Harris had not played competitive basketball in eight years when the WNBA announced the arrival of a new league. And many people thought that making the WNBA would be a long shot. After all, there were nearly 3,000 women trying out for only 10 available spots. Those people obviously didn't know Fran very well. Not only did she land one of the 80 founding slots in the league's inaugural season, but she also played an integral part in the success of the WNBA's first championship team, the Houston Comets.
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Aside from her contributions to women's basketball, Fran is an entrepreneur, author and consultant who has advised thousands of small businesspeople about start-up costs and sales, marketing and public relations strategies. The former president of Nouveau Sports Marketing, an Austin-based firm that specialized in the production of special events, she has played professional basketball in Italy and Switzerland. She is the author of About My Sisterís Business: The Black Womanís Road Map to Successful Entrepreneurship (Simon & Schuster, 1996) and her latest, In The Black: The African American Parentís Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children (Simon & Schuster, September, 1998).
A four-year letter winner at The University of Texas at Austin, Harris graduated with a Masterís degree in Journalism with a minor in Marketing and a distinction: fourth on the all-time leading scorerís list with 1,798 points. Named Southwest Conference Player of the Year in 1985, she was chosen as an alternate for the 1988 Olympic team. A USA National team veteran, she was a starting guard for the 1987 Pan American team, a member of the 1986 Goodwill Games and World Championship teams and captain on the 1985 Jones Cup team. Off the court, her accomplishments include a career in sales management and training with Procter & Gamble, where she received numerous awards for outstanding sales and leadership. She is also a color analyst for the college basketball for ESPN, Fox Sports and the WNBA on Lifetime.
An accomplished and energetic speaker, Harris has been a featured presenter on the African American Women on Tour circuit, the nationís foremost empowerment conference for women of color that has touted such past presenters as Maya Angelou, Gladys Knight and Susan Taylor, Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine.
She has appeared on CNN Finance and Inside Stuff and has been profiled in numerous publications including Essence, Emerge, Ebony, USA Today, and The New York Daily News. She was also a 1995 nominee for Inc. magazineís Entrepreneur of the Year and Austinís Most Powerful Woman Award. She recently completed a screenplay about professional women's hoops and her book SUMMER MADNESS, a book about the WNBA, has a projected publication date of fall 2000.
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