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Women in the Game – Event Recap
Dawn Staley

2018 Women in the Game Recap

USA Basketball hosted two Women in the Game conferences in 2018. The first conference took place April 7-8 at Windward School in Los Angeles, while the final conference of 2018 was held September 9-10 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.,  in conjunction with the USA Basketball Women’s National Team exhibition game versus Japan. The conference served as part of a broader initiative to inspire high school girls, college women, and young professionals to pursue careers in the sports industry, as well as to address the disparity ratio of women-to-men working in the field. Guest speakers from a variety of sport career fields shared their personal journeys, the characteristics required to succeed and practical application tips on how to break into the industry and sustain success.

The esteemed lineup of guest speakers all committed to the mission of motivating and encouraging young women to pursue their passion is listed below. Check out a short clip from ESPN’s Basketball analyst LaChina Robinson, who spoke on “7 Steps to a Game-Changing Career” at the conference.

Mentorship Program

USA Basketball’s Women in the Game mentorship program kicked off by pairing young women with experienced professionals in their desired career path. The six-week on-going program allowed each attendee, who was selected for entry, to receive a closer look in to achieving their goals as future leaders in sports. Weekly discussion topics guided the interaction between the mentor and mentee, but each connection had the opportunity to create their own path.

Read more about the mentorship program. 

Guest Speakers - Los Angeles

Kelly Barsky
University of California, Santa Barbara Deputy Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator
Ruthie Bolton
Ruthie Bolton

Two-Time Olympic and One-Time World Cup Gold Medalist
  Cori Close
Cori Close
UCLA Women's Basketball Head Coach
Dr. Casey Cooper
Licensed Sports Psychologist
Rita Grayson
Rita Grayson
USA Basketball Manager, Youth Division
Ashley Miller
Dallas Wings Vice President of Basketball Operations
  Vanessa Nygaard
Vanessa Nygaard
Windward School Senior Associate Athletic Director & Girls Basketball Head Coach
   Erin Prober
Erin Prober
Los Angeles Clippers Director of Strategic Partnerships
LaChina Robinson
Basketball Analyst/Founder of Stretch Beyond
Wanda Szeremeta
NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional Advisor/Evaluator
Penny Toler
Los Angeles Sparks Executive Vice President & General Manager
  Andrea Travelstead
Andrea Travelstead
USA Basketball Manager, Youth Division

Guest Speakers - Washington, D.C.


Val Ackerman
Val Ackerman
Big East Commissioner

Natasha Adair
University of Delaware Women's Basketball Head Coach

Shyra Ely-Gash

SAKS Image Builder & Former Indiana Fever player

Alexys Feaster
NBA Director of Player Development

Kathleen Francis
Kathleen Francis

WISE President/Oasis Sports Ventures Founder and President

Diane Gotua

NBA Vice President of Global Business Operations

Joanna Lohman
Washington Spirit Midfielder and Athlete Ally Ambassador

JoAn Scott 
NCAA Managing Director of Men’s Basketball Championships

Dr. Caroline Silby
U.S. Figure Skating Team Sports Psychology Consultant

Carol Stiff
Carol Stiff
ESPN Vice President Programming & Acquisitions

Karleena Tobin
NBA G-League official

Andrea Travelstead
Andrea Travelstead
USA Basketball Manager, Youth Division

Tanya Vogel
The George Washington University Director of Athletics and Recreation


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    Nov 4, 2020

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