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Nera White (1935 - 2016)

Getty Images / The Sporting News

Nera White (1935 - 2016)

Nera White, one of the first female basketball players inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, has died at 80, according to The Associated Press.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame issued a statement Thursday confirming White's death. Officials at Alexander Funeral Home in Lafayette, Tennessee, said Thursday that White died Wednesday at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin, Tennessee.

White was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

John L. Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a statement, "Nera White was a true pioneer and trailblazer of the women's game. Her skill and athleticism was undoubtedly ahead of her time, and she paved the way for the generations of tremendous female athletes that have followed in her footsteps."

White was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992 and was inducted into the first class of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. She is considered by experts to be one of the greatest woman basketball players in history.


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White played well before the formation of the WNBA. She played in the AAU and was named an AAU All-American fifteen years in a row. She led her Nashville Business College team to ten National Championships. In 1957, White led the USA to victory in the World Championships where they defeated the USSR 51-48. White was named the MVP of the tournament.

White was also a world class softball player. She was All-World in 1959 and 1965 for the ASA fast pitch softball team.

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