Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Hall of Famer and retired WNBA star Lynnette Woodard has been appointed the Harlem Globetrotters’ Special Advisor to the organization’s president.
On December 14, Herschend Entertainment Studios and Globetrotters’ President Keith Dawkins made the announcement. Woodard was also the basketball team’s first female player. In the position, the 63-year-old Kansas native will play an integral role in building female representation within the organization. Woodard will also act as a liaison between former Globetrotters and the brand and reinforce the Goodwill Ambassador Initiative– it works “with partners in the areas of Education, Health & Wellness, Community Empowerment while continuing to grow the game of basketball across the world.”
“This is a critical time for the Harlem Globetrotters as we look ahead to our upcoming 2023 World Tour, our 100-year anniversary in 2026 and the overall growth of our business,” Dawkins said about Woodard’s new role. “To have an American sports icon like Lynette Woodard return as a Special Advisor at a time when we just increased the number of women athletes on our roster to largest in the organization’s 96-year history is seismic!”
About her new position, Woodard said, “I’m living proof that lightning can strike twice, and it did with my return to this team that I have loved all my life. A seed was planted when I became the first female to join the Harlem Globetrotters. Now I can see the fruit of my joy with the largest group of women athletes to be celebrated in the team’s history.”
The Harlem Globetrotters have added six new female players to its upcoming 2023 roster. They are–Arysia’ Ace’ Porter, Mia’ Ice’ Castaneda, Kayla Gabor of the Washington Generals and current players– Mia’ Mighty’ Hopkins, Cherelle’ Torch’ George, Fatima’ TNT’ Lister.
In 1985, the iconic baller became the first woman ever to play for a men’s basketball team upon signing with the legendary Harlem Globetrotters. Woodard played with the squad from 1985 to 1987. In 1984, she was the U.S. Women’s Basketball Team captain, leading her squad to a gold medal. The 63-year-old athlete phenom is still the all-time leading female scorer with 3,649 points in college basketball.
In 1997, Woodard went on to play in the WNBA’s first season. She played for the Cleveland Rockers and then was selected for the Detroit Shock in 1998. She’s also earned a Harlem Globetrotters “Legends” Ring. The two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee was first inducted by the Harlem Globetrotters team in 2002 and then individually in September 2004.