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Jan. 11, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Former University of Virginia All-American Val Ackerman (1978-81) was one of six former NCAA student-athletes who were honored with the Silver Anniversary Award at the NCAA Convention over the weekend.

Following their collegiate careers, the Silver Anniversary honorees went on to enjoy success in their chosen professions. The award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves after completing their intercollegiate athletics careers 25 years ago.

At Virginia Ackerman was a two-time Academic All-American and ACC Scholar Athlete. In 1999 she was inducted into the GTE Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

Also a two-time All-ACC honoree and four-year starter, Ackerman was UVa’s first three-time team captain. The 1981 Raven Society Award recipient, Ackerman received the Jettie Hill Award recipient as a senior for the highest GPA among all UVa female athletes.

Ackerman graduated from UVa in 1981 with a degree in Political and Social Thought. Following graduation, Ackerman played professional basketball for one year in France before attending law school. She then worked for the New York City law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for two years before she was hired as a staff attorney for the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1988. From 1990-92, Ackerman served as special assistant to NBA Commissioner David Stern. She was then named vice president of business affairs in 1994. In August 1996, Ackerman was appointed the first-ever president of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) where she served for eight seasons until Feb. 2005. She is currently the president of USA Basketball.

A member of the Board of Directors of USA Basketball, Ackerman was the driving force behind the creation of the 1995-96 USA Basketball Women’s National Team that compiled a 60-0 record during a year-long tour against college and international opponents, and won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Ackerman also serves on the Executive Committee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1997, Ackerman received the University of Virginia Distinguished Alumna Award given the a female UVa grad who has demonstrated excellence, leadership, and extraordinary commitment to her field, and who used her talents as a positive force for change.

She currently serves on the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes and the National Board of Directors of Girls Incorporated.

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