The women of Team USA – fresh from the Olympic Games in London where they earned 58 of the 104 medals by the United States – will receive the WNBA Inspiration Award for 2012. The USA Basketball Women’s National Team, the most decorated women’s team in U.S. Olympic history, is also slated to receive a special recognition.
Each year, the WNBA Inspiring Women national luncheon celebrates individuals who show the world what is possible. As Title IX turns 40 and as American women made headlines at this summer’s Olympic Games, a host of female Olympians from multiple sports will be in attendance to receive their acknowledgement including Betsey Armstrong (Water Polo), Danielle Scott-Arruda (Indoor Volleyball), Kayla Harrison (Judo), Taylor Ritzel (Rowing), and Lauren Tamayo (Cycling). Reigning WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings will represent the USA Basketball Women’s National Team in accepting a special recognition for receiving their fifth straight gold medal.
This luncheon celebrates Team USA women and others who have blazed new paths on the court, in the boardroom, and in the community on Monday, Sept. 10, at Chelsea Piers in New York City. More than 300 people from the worlds of entertainment, sports, business, and politics are expected to attend.
“It truly was the summer for female athletes as they dominated the global stage with their efforts being seen and cheered by millions of people worldwide,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie. “We are proud of all their accomplishments and it brings the league great joy to present the WNBA Inspiration Award to these extraordinary women.”
In addition to the WNBA Inspiration Award, two special presentations will take place during the luncheon. Teresa Edwards, Women’s Basketball Legend and Hall of Famer will receive the Boost Mobile Pioneer Award, which recognizes a female in the sports world who embodies the spirit of both the WNBA and Boost Mobile, a leader in the no-contract wireless industry. The individual is seen as a pioneer in the community, is passionate about her professional and personal endeavors through which she blazes trails for the next generation.
Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and the WNBA, in collaboration with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, will award two $15,000 scholarships to young women (21+) from the N.Y. Tri-State area. The Inspiring Women Gold Standard Scholarship Award recognizes leaders who excel in the classroom, are influential members of their community and who exemplify the values of volunteerism and service.
Gold Partners for the luncheon include Bacardi, BBVA, Boost Mobile, The Coca-Cola Company, Ebony, Hotel Indigo, Jamba Juice and SAP.
At the league’s inaugural luncheon in 2006, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed a group of inspiring women as the league honored and recognized the WNBA All-Decade Team. Other past honorees include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, political commentator Cokie Roberts, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and award-winning journalist Katie Couric.