June 28, 2013
The most interesting line on new Big East commissioner Val Ackerman's resume may not be that she was first president of the WNBA or former president of USA Basketball. Ackerman also has served on the Knight Commission, kind of an in-house (but mostly ineffectual) critic of college sports. For years, the Knight Commission has argued that college presidents haven't taken sufficient charge of the sport, allowing big-money interests to rule the day. It was very much the presidents of the new Big East who took charge of the commissioner search.
June 27, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Val Ackerman has been through this type of challenge before, helping turn a startup organization into a major success. The former WNBA president plans to do the same with the reconstituted Big East Conference. "I am very sure that the new Big East Conference will be a force," Ackerman said yesterday during a conference call to officially announce her hiring as the 10-team league's commissioner. Ackerman was the founding president of the WNBA, the women's professional basketball league that was created in 1996 and enjoyed a steady rise in popularity since.
July 13, 2010 |
Local ties still mean a lot to Muffet McGraw. A hugely successful Notre Dame women's basketball coach for 23 years, McGraw talked Saturday of how Archbishop Carroll High School and St. Joseph's University played big roles in her selection as a member of the 2011 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame class. McGraw, 54, a native of West Chester, is a former head coach at Carroll and former star player and assistant coach at St. Joe's, and she mentioned both programs as she discussed joining former WNBA president Val Ackerman and four others next June in the Hall.
November 7, 2006 |
The WNBA today will announce the creation of an award in honor of Dawn Staley, the all-star point guard who retired at the end of last season. The Dawn Staley Community Service Leadership Award will go to the league player who exemplifies the characteristics of a leader in the community in which she works or lives, a WNBA spokesman said. The Temple women's basketball coach, who won three Olympic gold medals as a player, joked about the honor at a luncheon yesterday. "When I won the three-point-shooting contest at the All-Star Game last summer, I thought they'd name that competition after me," Staley, 36, said.
September 22, 2005 |
The final day of the ninth WNBA season ended Tuesday with the league reaching for the Sky in Chicago while the Sacramento Monarchs achieved championship rule at last. Chicago's expansion franchise will begin play as the WNBA's 14th team next season, with former Boston Celtics star Dave Cowens as the head coach. On Tuesday afternoon, officials introduced the team's name (the Sky) and colors (sky blue and yellow). That night, Chicago native Yolanda Griffith helped Sacramento finish off the Connecticut Sun, 62-59, in California's capital city to win the WNBA championship series, three games to one. The Sun, who yielded home-court advantage in the series opener last week, took an early 10-point lead at the Arco Arena, attempting to force a fifth and deciding game in Uncasville, Conn.
July 11, 2005 |
The most animated person not in uniform at the WNBA All-Star Game over the weekend at the Mohegan Sun Arena was Donna Orender, the league's new president. Orender took office in April. Unlike her predecessor, Val Ackerman, who usually stayed in one place to greet invited guests at the president's reception, the former PGA Tour executive was all over the room making introductions Friday night in Michael Jordan's sports restaurant. Orender also was seen greeting fans at the skills competition and jam sessions, and she worked her way to several other parties in the casino-entertainment complex.
February 16, 2005 |
During the search for the new WNBA president, some observers had suggested that it would be beneficial to find a woman who could join the boys on the golf course. Such an individual is Donna Orender, who is coming from the putting greens in Florida to succeed Val Ackerman as head of the women's pro basketball league. Orender, a senior vice president with the PGA Tour, was formally introduced yesterday by NBA president David Stern. Salary terms were not announced. Having helped the PGA prosper, Orender is someone who has shown an ability to thrive in the corporate world.
April 21, 2001 |
Lauren Jackson, the 19-year-old sensation from Australia who led her team to a silver medal in the Sydney Olympics, was taken with the first pick yesterday in the WNBA draft by the Seattle Storm. "Her ability and potential to become even better is very real," said league president Val Ackerman. "It's going to be a very good fit to have her in the WNBA. She's going to be a future all-star. " Jackson, a 6-foot-5 forward-center who has been playing in organized competition since age 5, has been acclaimed in recent days as the best player in the world.
April 23, 1999 |
Forget all that talk about peace and harmony in the fledgling world of women's professional basketball. Last week's preliminary settlement between the Women's NBA and the Women's National Basketball Players Association apparently fell apart over salary issues yesterday - the day both sides had anticipated signing off on a formal written agreement. The first casualty, although likely only a temporary one, is Tuesday's four-round player draft. The WNBA, in a statement, announced the postponement of the event and said that the players association had walked away from key terms in the agreement in principle, while making several new economic demands.
February 10, 1998 |
Will Philadelphia be the first city to have two professional women's basketball teams? Sixers president Pat Croce says he is seeking a franchise in the WNBA for the 1999 season. The American Basketball League, which operates in the winter, already has a team here - the Rage, who moved from Richmond, Va., last July. But WNBA president Val Ackerman said the existence of an ABL team wouldn't keep her league, run by the NBA, from moving into the same city. That's because the leagues' seasons don't overlap.