Nancy Lieberman believes she can "put people in the seats." The Women's Basketball League, once described as cfloating in a sea of red ink," sure hopes so.
The top player in the women's collegiate game the last two years, Lieberman was the No. 1 overall pick by the Dallas Diamonds in this week's WBL draft. The Diamonds are reportedly not balking at the idea of paying Nancy what she thinks she's worth, which is $100,000 a year. (Ann Meyers of the New Jersey Gems is currently the highest paid WBL player with a salary of $60,000, while most players earn considerably less).
There's been speculation that Lieberman, a 5 ft. 10 guard, might be a bigger asset to the league playing in New York, if the N.Y. Stars can meet her contract demands. Though WBL champions last season, the Stars sometimes drew just 300 fans to Madison Square Garden, a sad situation that's forcing the team to move its home games to Fordham University.
Lieberman is from Far Rockaway, N.Y., a product of the Queens playgrounds. She is tenacious all-around player who averaged 18.1 points last season in leading Old Dominion's Lady Monarchs to their second straight national title. It should be added that Nancy had help in taking ODU to a 72-2 record during this reign.All eight seniors on the Old Dominion team were drafted by the WBL, including 6-5 center Inge Nissen, selected second by the Chicago Hustle.