THE DELTA 345 including an average of thirty-two points a game during the 1975–76 season. Harris still holds the Delta State career record for most points and best scoring average, as well as the school record for points in a single game. Harris and her outstanding teammates dominated their competition and won three straight Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) championships from 1975 to 1977. Wade ended her legendary career in 1979 and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Today, the award for the top women’s college basketball player is called the Margaret Wade Trophy. Harris went on to play for the first U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team in 1976 and was even drafted by the NBA’s Utah Jazz before playing briefly in the professional Women’s Basketball League (WBL). She is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the first African American woman to receive that prestigious honor. In 1989, 1990, and 1992, Delta State won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II women’s championship. Their six national championships make Delta State women’s basketball the most successful collegiate athletic program in Mississippi history. The Academy Award–winning actor Morgan Freeman has strong ties to the Delta and currently makes his home in Charleston. Born in Memphis, Freeman lived for part of his childhood in Charleston and Greenwood. A graduate of Greenwood’s Broad Street High School, Freeman served in the Air Force and then moved to Los Angeles, where he began a career in acting. The Mississippi native performed in Broadway and off-Broadway productions in the 1960s before making his way into film and television in the 1970s and early 1980s. Freeman’s breakout year in Hollywood was 1989. He rose to stardom with the lead performance in Lean on Me, a supporting role in the Civil War film Glory, and a brilliant part in Driving Miss Daisy that earned him a Best Actor nomination from the Academy Awards. In 2004, Freeman won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his performance in Million Dollar Baby. Today, Freeman continues to play both lead and supporting roles. He is also a mainstay as a narrator in documentaries. Freeman’s Delta roots were on display in the documentary Prom Night in Mississippi, a film exploring the first integrated prom at Charleston High School in the 2000s. He co-owns Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, a business venture with that city’s current mayor, Bill Luckett. Few may know it, but the popular writer Thomas Harris has a Delta connection. Famous for his Hannibal Lecter series, which spawned the Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs and several other movie and TV projects, Harris lived as a youth in the small Coahoma County community of Rich. During his boyhood summers, Harris spent time in Cleveland with family members. While in Cleveland, he DONNA TARTT Award-winning author Donna Tartt was born in Greenwood in 1963. Following her upbringing in Grenada, Tartt enrolled at the University of Mississippi in 1981, where she caught the attention of renowned Mississippi writers Willie Morris and Barry Hannah. Recognizing her extraordinary literary talent, Hannah encouraged Tartt—then a college freshman—to participate in his graduate-level course on short stories. In 1982, at the suggestion of Morris and other Ole Miss faculty, Tartt transferred to Bennington College to continue her high-level study of literature. There, she befriended fellow students Brett Easton Ellis, Jonathan Letham, and others, who would also go on to become successful writers. Tartt began writing her first book, The Secret History, during her second year at Bennington. She graduated in 1986, and The Secret History was published eight years later and soon became a bestseller, with more than 75,000 copies sold. Tartt’s second novel, entitled The Little Friend, was published in October 2002, but her third and most successful work came in 2013 with the highly-anticipated publication of The Goldfinch. Tartt was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014. PHOTO COURTESY OF GINO DOMENICO AP