news 6 days ago

NBA All-Star: Thunder staff members attend Women in Basketball Operations Forum

The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City — Maddie Lee The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

Feb. 14-- Feb. 14--All-Star weekend has become more than just a celebration of the individual achievements of NBA players. Away from the bright lights of the arena, forums and summits pop up in venues around every host city. On Thursday, four women on the Thunder staff attended the second annual Women in Basketball Operations Forum, in Chicago.

In all, over 125 women were scheduled to attend, according to Liliahn Majeed, NBA senior vice president of diversity & inclusion.

"To say that we have well over 100 women who are at our teams -- NBA, WNBA, all those teams -- in basketball operations, and our former W players as well," Majeed told The Oklahoman, "it's something we are very, very proud about."

The forum has evolved even in just the past year. In Charlotte last season, a star-studded list of both male and female speakers included women who were pioneers in their fields -- Pacers assistant general manager Kelly Krauskopf, Jazz senior VP of basketball operations Linda Luchetti, former coach and current broadcaster Stephanie Ready, and NBA VP of player development Jamila Wideman.

This year, the forum took on a new format.

"We always want to find new angles and approaches to do this differently," Majeed said. "What we're doing now is, it's going to be very hands-on, interactive, workshop-y -- knowing that's not a word. What we're doing this time is less people talking to us and more us working together in partnership to build tools."

Cathy Engelbert, WNBA commissioner, and Byron Spruell, NBA president of league operations, were still scheduled to give opening remarks. But after that, those in attendance went through branding coaching and breakout sessions.

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