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September 19th, 2012

Women of Team USA Honored

U.S. Women’s Tennis Olympian Venus Williams (right) accepts the WNBA Inspiration Award, on behalf of the women of Team USA, from WNBA President Laurel J. Richie on September 10th.
NEW YORK, NY - The women of Team USA - fresh from the Olympic Games in London where they earned 58 of the 104 medals by the United States - received the WNBA Inspiration Award for 2012. The USA Basketball Women’s National Team, the most decorated women’s team in U.S. Olympic history, also received 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 were 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 represented the USA Basketball Women’s National Team in accepting a special recognition for receiving their fifth straight gold medal.

This luncheon, held on Monday, September 10th at Chelsea Piers, celebrates Team USA women and others who have blazed new paths on the court, in the boardroom, and in the community. More than 300 people from the worlds of entertainment, sports, business, and politics attended.
“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 took place during the luncheon. Teresa Edwards, Women’s Basketball Legend and Hall of Famer received the Boost Mobile Pioneer Award, which recognizes a female in the sports world who embodies the spirit of both the WNBA and Boost Mobile. 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, also awarded two $15,000 scholarships to young women from the NY Tri-State area.

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.

Through its Inspiring Women platform, the WNBA celebrates accomplishments in all disciplines. Through WNBA Cares, the league’s community outreach initiative, the WNBA addresses important social issues, including health and wellness, education, and youth and family development. The WNBA and its teams support a range of programs, partners, and initiatives that strive to impact children and families worldwide.

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