WNBA, ESPN honor Inspiring Women at annual luncheon

Photo Credit: Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images

In New York City, the WNBA, in collaboration with ESPN, held its annual Inspiring Women luncheon. It is the eleventh annual event that the league has held.

Three women were honored for their philanthropic work in their communities and for their businesses.

One of the honorees was Kimberly Bryant, who founded Black Girls Code. The organization aims to encourage girls of color ages 7 through 17 to pursue careers in the STEM fields. It strives to give African American girls the skills to obtain the over 1 million job openings in STEM fields by 2020 and to train over a million by 2040.
Black Girls Code this week will have an event called the Code a Better Future Hackathon in San Francisco.

Kayla Canario, who is a junior high school teacher in Knoxville, Tennessee, was recognized for her innovative and technologically-based teaching methods. She teaches at Bearden Middle School and has strived to ensure that students and their families are always connected to the internet.

The WNBA Inspiration Award was bestowed upon Andrea Jung, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Grameen America. It is an organization that aims to provide financial assistance to low-income women entrepreneurs across the United States.

Jung was the former CEO of Avon Products, Inc. from 1999 to 2012 and was once featured in Forbes Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.”

In addition to honoring women making a difference in the community and in the boardroom, the WNBA also honored one of its newcomers who made a big difference on the court this season.

Allisha Gray of the Dallas Wings was named the league’s Rookie of the Year for 2017.

While much of the pre-season hype around rookies revolved around the San Antonio Stars’ Kelsey Plum, Gray made her transition to the W look almost seamless. She averaged 13 points per game, had an 80 percent free throw percentage, and also averaged over one steal per contest.

Gray was instrumental in willing the Wings to their first ever trip to the playoffs since the franchise relocated from Tulsa.

Also…there was a trophy sighting…

Sunday. 3:30 ET/12:30 PT. ABC. Is it Sunday yet?

By: Akiem Bailum (@AkiemBailum on Twitter, Instagram)

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