USA Basketball Awarded Second-Straight Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Honor from United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee
USA Basketball was awarded the 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Choice Award from the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, which marks the second-straight year USA Basketball has earned a DE&I award from the USOPC.
A trophy was presented to USA Basketball CEO Jim Tooley at the Oct. 12 National Governing Body Council meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The 2021 award winner was determined by voting among National Governing Body and High Performance Management Organization representatives, and USA Basketball’s submission of the DE&I initiative – “It Begins in the Huddle: Cultivating a Circle of Trust” – received the most votes.
“I am again very proud to accept this award on behalf of USA Basketball,” said Tooley. “To be recognized in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion for a second straight year is an amazing honor. And while the entire USA Basketball staff deserves to celebrate this recognition, we look forward to future efforts to continue this important work.”
USA Basketball sought to cultivate trust within its organization, and that began with USA Basketball’s aptly named working group, “The Huddle.” The Huddle organizes guest speakers, discussions and activities that help generate ideas and accountability in diversity, equity and inclusion among all USA Basketball staff members.
Examples of these initiatives and activities were discussions centered around how individuals acknowledge, address and treat mental health challenges and dealing with difficult conversations, as well as voter engagement.
During the 2020 election USA Basketball produced and posted on its social media accounts a Voter Engagement Video. Additionally, USA Basketball’s Men’s Junior National Team members was able to receive information about voting from a professional specializing in voter engagement.
Moreover, the nomination and participation of staff members for participation in programs like FIBA Adelanté, the USOPC’s Council for Racial and Justice, and a Trans Inclusion in Sports Task Force, after the start of The Huddle’s inclusion initiative also increased.
Also among the USA programming that contributes to USA Basketball’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts is its annual Women in the Game conference, 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.