USA Basketball Honored with United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award
In recognition of its growth in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, USA Basketball has been named as the recipient of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee’s 2020 Advancing DEI Award.
The Advancing DEI Award recognizes the national governing body or high performance management organization with the highest annual growth percentage of underrepresented individuals based on diversity data for women and racial and ethnic minorities.
The award will be presented virtually as part of the 2020 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Assembly on Thursday, Oct. 8.
“I'm proud to accept this award on behalf of the entire organization,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball CEO. “I want to thank the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee for recognizing USA Basketball's efforts in the area of diversity and inclusion, but we know our work isn't done in this area. We need to remain diligent and focus on continuing to provide opportunities for all. I also want to thank the USA Basketball Board of Directors, staff, athletes and coaches for being mindful of the importance to be a united, diverse and equitable organization. And lastly, I want to give a special thank you to the USA Basketball staff internal group, called The Huddle, who work to foster ideas and accountability in this area, as well as guide us in having difficult conversations.”
Overall, USA Basketball saw an 11.1% increase in its total diversity score in 2018-19. Percentage increases were evaluated based on overall NGB numbers, which includes board members, employees, membership and national team athletes and coaches. This included a 16.8% increase in women and 5.4% increase in minorities. Highlighting its diversity growth was an 11.1% increase in women national team coaches and staff and a 12.8% increase in minority national team coaches and staff.
Among the USA programming that contributes to USA Basketball’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts is its Women in the Game initiative, which provides female high school or college students and young professionals who are seeking careers in the sports industry an opportunity to hear from leaders from a variety of fields in the sports industry. Additionally, Women in the Game attendees also are encouraged to apply to be a part of a six-week mentorship program that connects them with an experienced professional from the sports industry.