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What is the NBA Academies Women's Program?

The NBA Academies initiative was launched for the development of both male and female elite prospects. The NBA Academies Women’s Program is a series of basketball development camps for top female prospects from outside the U.S. at the league’s academies.

The first women’s camp will be held March 9-11 at The NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City. Similar camps are planned in Australia, China, India and Senegal by the end of 2018.

1996 Olympic Gold Medalist and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member Jennifer Azzi, two-time WNBA Champion Ruth Riley and former college coach Blair Hardiek – the global technical directors for women’s programming across the league’s seven academies – will oversee The NBA Academies Women’s Program camps.

“It’s an honor to be a part of The NBA Academies Women’s Program,” said Azzi. “I’m looking forward to working with the talented girls from Africa, Australia, China, India and Latin America and helping them maximize their potential on and off the court.”

“This program continues our commitment to growing the game among boys and girls at the youth and elite levels around the world,” said NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations & Head of Elite Basketball, Brooks Meek. “Having Jennifer, Ruth and Blair working directly with these talented young women will help them develop as players and people.”

The launch of The NBA Academies Women’s Program follows the launch of seven academies across Australia, China, India, Mexico and Senegal.

NBA Academy Women Coaches

Global Technical Director, Women's Program
A former WNBA player (1999-2004), USA National Team Player (1988-2000), two-time NCAA All-American and Olympic Gold Medalist (1996), Jennifer has an abundance of basketball experience on the court and as a coach on the sidelines. The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee (2009) led the University of San Francisco women’s basketball program from 2010-2016. Jennifer will oversee and advise on all NBA Academy Women’s Program initiatives with an emphasis on player development and college recruitment.
Global Technical Director, Women's Program
Coach Blair Hardiek, a former point guard and captain for the University of Missouri women’s basketball team, served as the associate head coach at the University of San Francisco and helped lead the team to a West Coast Conference Championship in 2016. Blair uses her playing and coaching experience to lead both the on-court and off-court player development initiatives within the NBA Academy Women’s Program.
Global Technical Director, Women's Program
Coach Ruth Riley, a former WNBA Champion, WNBA All-Star and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, joins The NBA Academy Advisory Committee and brings a multitude of basketball knowledge and insight to the program. After finishing her college career at Notre Dame with an NCAA Championship and NCAA Final Four MVP Award, Ruth was drafted in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2001 WNBA Draft by the Miami Sol. Ruth is a two-time WNBA Champion (Detroit Shock) and WNBA All-Star (2005), and has extensive international experience, having competed in seven professional European seasons and competed on three USA Basketball National Teams. Ruth is dedicated to using basketball as a platform to promote social causes and well-being, and as a result of her community engagement, won the WNBA Community Assist Award in 2008. The former General Manager of the San Antonio Stars will lead the scouting and talent identification initiative for The NBA Academy Women’s Program.