Val Ackerman Receives IOC Award
Valerie Ackerman, member of the FIBA Central Board and President of USA Basketball, has received the ‘Women and Sport Achievement Diploma’ from International Olympic Committee President Dr. Jacques Rogge in recognition of her outstanding contribution in promoting the development and participation of women and girls in sport.
"This is an extraordinary and unexpected honor, and I am deeply grateful to the International Olympic Committee for this recognition," said Val Ackerman. "Women have made great strides in sports over the past few decades, and the IOC, through the unrivaled strength of the Olympic platform, has played a major role in showcasing the tremendous achievements of the world’s finest female athletes. With the sustained efforts of all concerned, I am certain that the contributions of women at all levels of sport, both in the playing arena and at the executive level, will only multiply, and I look forward to seeing the sport of basketball continue to help lead the way."
In May 2005 Valerie Ackermann became the first female President of USA Basketball for the 2005-2008 term of office. Ackerman played professional basketball in France for one season. Starting in 1988, she served as a staff attorney for the National Basketball Association and as special assistant to NBA Commissioner David Stern. From 1995 to 1996, she was a driving force behind the creation of the historic USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team program that culminated with a 60-0 record and the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In 1996, Val Ackerman was named President of the WNBA. Over the course of her historic term, Ackerman would become the first women ever to successfully launch a women's team-oriented sports league in the USA.
The FIBA Central Board counts a total of five female members, representing 25% of the highest executive body of the International Basketball Federation. The FIBA Central Board, composed by a total of 20 members, meets twice a year and decides on all major issues of global basketball.
"The nomination of the members of the FIBA Central Board is not a question of quota" said, Patrick Baumann, Secretary General of FIBA and IOC member. "What we need at the Board is experience and expertise to bring the sport forward on all levels. Our female colleagues in the FIBA Central Board politely, but energetically, are reminding us sometimes of the potential of the women’s game and the role of women’s sport in society. At the same time, they also present an expert and refreshing view and an insight on many of the topics that the Board discusses."
FIBA (www.fiba.com), the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 National Federations of basketball throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Its main upcoming events are the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments for Men and Women (to take place in the summer of 2008) that will decide the final berths for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and the FIBA World Championships for Men and Women, held every four years. The 2010 FIBA World Championship will be played in Turkey, while the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women will take place in the Czech Republic.