NBRPA WELCOMES HALL OF FAMER LYNETTE WOODARD AS FIRST FEMALE MEMBER

February 4, 2013

HISTORY MAKER: NATIONAL BASKETBALL RETIRED PLAYERS ASSOCIATION WELCOMES HALL OF FAMER LYNETTE WOODARD AS FIRST FEMALE MEMBER

CHICAGO, ILL. – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only association comprised of NBA, ABA, and Harlem Globetrotters alumni, today announced Lynette Woodard – a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – as the first female member in the organization’s 20-year history. As a former Harlem Globetrotter, Woodard is eligible for membership in the NBRPA and joined through the efforts of NBRPA Houston Chapter President Major Jones.

“It is a true honor to join the NBRPA and become its first female member,” Woodard said. “I look forward to sharing in fellowship and giving back to the community alongside other former professional basketball players. I am eager to take advantage of all the benefits NBRPA Membership has to offer.”

Breaking barriers is nothing new for Woodard, who was a four-time All American at the University of Kansas from 1978-81 before starring as team captain for the gold medal-winning United States Women’s Olympic basketball team in 1984. Woodward made history and world-wide news in 1985 when she became the first female to play for the Harlem Globetrotters, and that time with the Globetrotters made her eligible for NBRPA Membership.

“Basketball is all about bringing different people together for the good of the game and Lynette Woodard embodies that philosophy,” said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “The NBRPA is proud to announce Lynette as our first female member – she has opened a new door and we welcome her into our family with open arms.”

Woodard was exposed to the Globetrotters at an early age, as her cousin – Hubert "Geese" Ausbie – also played for the team from 1961 to 1985. After success in college, as an Olympian and professionally overseas, joining the Harlem Globetrotters was a natural for Woodard.

“I always enjoyed the fancy ball handling and had admired the Globetrotters for a long time because of my cousin,” Woodard said. “I didn’t think of myself as a trailblazer at the time, but I do now. It’s been a great ride for me and I hope my success, continuing now as a member of the NBRPA, will encourage young people to go after their dreams.”