WNBA to Honor Award-Winning Journalist Katie Couric with 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award

NEW YORK, May 18, 2011 – Katie Couric, the first solo female evening news anchor and author of “The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives,” is the recipient of the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award, WNBA President Laurel Richie announced today.

The WNBA will present the Inspiration Award recognizing an individual who inspires others through her personal and professional leadership at the league’s sixth annual WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon. This special luncheon will celebrate people who have blazed new paths on the court, in the boardroom, and in the community on Tuesday, May 24, at Gotham Hall in New York City. More than 400 people from the worlds of entertainment, sports, business, and politics are expected to attend.

Katie Couric is the recipient of the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award
“Katie Couric’s incredible leadership in the news industry along with her selfless efforts to increase cancer awareness and screenings has made her a true inspiration not only in her field but for the millions of women and young people who aspire to do great things just like her,” said Richie. “The WNBA is thrilled to recognize Katie and her outstanding accomplishments with the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award.”

In addition to the Inspiration Award, three special presentations will also take place during the May 24 luncheon. Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and the WNBA, in collaboration with Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, will award two $15,000 scholarships to young women (21+) from the tri-state area. This scholarship program was created to recognize leaders who excel in the classroom, are influential members of their community and who exemplify the values of volunteerism and service.

WNBA Legend Lisa Leslie will receive The CieAura Pioneer Award, which recognizes a leader who has paved the way and served as a role model on the court and in the community while overcoming adversity and inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.

The BBVA Leader of Tomorrow Award honors an organization that represents the qualities and characteristics of future leaders in their communities, professions and personal lives. This year’s inaugural award will honor New York Cares for its commitment to the community, support of hands-on service, and dedication to teamwork.

Additional supporters of this event include 2K Sports, American Express, The Coca-Cola Company Dry Idea, Hotel Indigo and USA Today.

At the league’s inaugural luncheon in 2006, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright addressed a group of inspiring women as the league honored and recognized the WNBA All-Decade Team. Other past honorees include former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, political commentator Cokie Roberts and US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.