Each year, the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award is given to a WNBA player who constantly gives back to her community. The honor itself is named after South Carolina’s head coach who is not only a Hall of Famer, but also a WNBA legend.
Staley is known for her leadership, spirit, charitable efforts, and love of the game, therefore the recipient of the award must showcase those same efforts. After exceptional work in 2016 and this season, the WNBA announced this year’s winner is Ivory Latta of the Washington Mystics.
Latta stated the following on the recognition:
“I’ve been blessed to be able to accomplish my goals and fulfill my dreams, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without people who went out of their way to support me. As WNBA players, we have the platform to assist others in reaching their potential. I love having the chance to give back and help people achieve as much as they can.”
Latta recently published a book named “Despite the Height” which highlights the accomplishments in her life, even though she is undersized. With that motivation, Latta gives back to her community by promoting youth to be involved in sports, while encouraging children and their families to be active in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
“Ivory’s commitment to serving her community and making a difference in the lives of young adults exemplifies what it means to give back,” said Staley. “Her service through her trips and clinics abroad showcases the incredible impact that you can make not only at home but all over the world.”
“Ivory is not only influential on the basketball court but she is also a dynamic leader in the community,” said WNBA President Lisa Borders. “Her passion and dedication for educating youth has been inspirational to watch and represents the best of the WNBA. It is an honor to recognize her with this award.”
As a part of the reward, the WNBA will donate $10,000 to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation on behalf of Latta. The Mystics guard has participated in a plethora of clinics and camps including the following: a WNBA FIT clinic at the Frank Bailey Senior Center in Atlanta, Hoops for Troops USO tour in the Middle East, and overlooked a series of clinics for players ages 8-18 in the United Arab Emirates as part of the Monumental Sports Global Academics.