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March 23, 2005

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – University of Virginia alumna Val Ackerman (Pennington, N.J.) has been elected President of USA Basketball for the 2005-2008 quadrennium, the USA Basketball Board of Directors announced.

Ackerman, the founding president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), is the first female president of USA Basketball. A 1981 UVa graduate with a degree in political and social thought, Ackerman has been a member of the USA Basketball Board of Directors since 1990. She was the driving force behind the creation of the historic 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s Senior National Team program that culminated with a perfect 60-0 record and the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Following eight seasons as president of the WNBA, Ackerman stepped down from her position in February.

“I am honored and excited to assume this position,” Ackerman said. “I look forward to working with the USA Basketball Board of Directors and staff to build on the long-standing success of the organization’s competitive programs and to find new ways to continue the growth of the game of basketball.”

Ackerman was a four-year letterwinner for the Virginia women’s basketball team and a two-time Academic All-American. She played professional basketball in France before graduating from UCLA School of Law in 1985.

Also elected by the Board of Directors to the 10-person USA Basketball Executive Committee was former UVa All-American Dawn Staley (Philadelphia, Pa.). The 2004 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, Staley helped the 2004 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team to the USA’s third consecutive gold medal in Athens last summer.

A three-time All-American at Virginia, Staley has played for the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting for six seasons. Additionally, Virginia’s all-time scoring leader is the head women’s basketball coach at Temple in her hometown of Philadelphia. In her fifth season, Staley guided the Owls to their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005.

Virginia Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage was also appointed to the USA Basketball Board of Directors for the 2005-08 term by the NCAA.

The UVa athletics director since 2001, Littlepage will serve as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee during the 2005-06 academic year. A 1973 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Littlepage helped the Quakers to three consecutive Ivy League championships and three trips to the NCAA Tournament as a player.

Littlepage was also the head basketball coach at Penn and Rutgers in addition to serving as an assistant coach at Villanova, Yale, and Virginia.

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