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Lisa Borders steps down as WNBA president

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The news comes as a surprise to many following the most successful season in WNBA history and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team winning its third straight FIBA World Cup gold medal just two days ago.

WNBA President Lisa Borders presents the Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart with the WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player award on Sept. 12, 2018 in Fairfax, Virginia.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Lisa Borders has announced her decision to step down from her position as President of the WNBA to accept a post as the first-ever President and Chief Executive Officer of Time’s Up, “an organization that insists on safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds.”

She will be replaced by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum on an interim basis, until a permanent replacement has been found.

In her three years as head of the WNBA, Borders amassed significant accomplishments towards advancement of the league, including:

  • “In 2017, the WNBA recorded its highest regular-season attendance in six years.”
  • Borders ushered in new ways for fans to engage with the league, through “live-streamed games on Twitter and the launch of the WNBA’s first official one-day fantasy game with FanDuel.”
  • She led the way for a full roster of WNBA teams and players to appear in a video game for the first time in the league’s history, in NBA LIVE 18.
  • “In 2018, the WNBA delivered its most-watched season in four years, with combined viewership across ESPN networks and NBA TV up double digits.”
  • The league launched the “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” in the 2018 season, “a program that donates a portion of WNBA ticket proceeds to designated nonprofit organizations committed to empowering women and girls.”
  • Borders played a key role in bringing a WNBA team to Las Vegas, with the Aces.

Of Borders’ departure, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said:

We are extremely grateful for Lisa’s leadership and tireless commitment to the WNBA. This is a natural transition for Lisa knowing what a champion she is for issues involving women’s empowerment and social justice and fortunately for us, she leaves the league with strong tail winds propelling it forward.

Of her resignation, Borders said:

It has been an honor and my absolute privilege leading the WNBA and being part of what it stands for. I want to thank Adam for giving me the opportunity and support to help grow this league. I am most proud of the W players for their amazing talents on the court and their dedication to making an impact in their communities. I look forward to continuing my support for the W in my new role with Time’s Up. I will always be the W’s biggest advocate and fan.

The news comes as a surprise to many following the most successful season in WNBA history and the USA Basketball Women’s National Team winning its third straight FIBA World Cup gold medal just two days ago.

This is a developing story.