NewsBethany Donaphin Makes The Plays For WNBA Players

Bethany Donaphin Makes The Plays For WNBA Players

Donaphin has married the two things she is most familiar with–business and basketball–to become a playmaker for the women of the WNBA.

Donaphin is currently the Head of League Operations for the WBNA and is responsible for overseeing all on-court basketball affairs, including rule changes, evaluating referees, and applying analytics and innovation for the future benefit of the women’s professional league. 

As Andscape reports, Donaphin, who holds the distinction of being the first New York Liberty player from New York to play for the team, has married the two things she is most closely familiar with–business and basketball–to become a playmaker for the women of the WNBA. 

“As [the WNBA has] driven a business transformation, I’ve gotten to utilize both – having been a player, having been on NBA basketball outside, having been in business school, and having worked as a strategy consultant,” Donaphin told Andscape. “I like that various parts of my background get married into what I do day to day.”

Donaphin explained her motivations to Andscape, saying, “[It’s important] for me to be an advocate for things that players care about in the league office, particularly because our league is full of women of color and people I see myself in and people I hope see themselves in me.”

She added, “For all those reasons, it’s a true honor to be in this role.”

New York Liberty forward and reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart encapsulated how the players feel about Donaphin’s role within the league.

“She listens,” Stewart told Andscape. “She lets us know what’s possible and what’s not. Obviously she’s working on the W side, but, as a former player, understanding the things that we’re wanting and asking for, then being able to communicate that to both sides…She is the bridge between the players and the league.”

Although some have speculated that Donaphin would be a good commissioner for the league, she is currently content to play point guard for the league’s players.

As Donaphin told Andscape: “Where I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be. … If at some point an opportunity to do more presents itself, we’ll see, but I don’t really think about that. I think about what’s needed of me in the moment, where can I have impact that’s unique to me because of what I bring to the table and because of what my background is. I don’t try to be anybody else.” 

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Source: Black Enterprise

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