Sparks to Host Inspiring Women Night, June 24

Team To Honor Dr. Judith Holland and Colleen Matsuhara, Will Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Title IX

The Los Angeles Sparks will host Inspiring Women Night presented by Farmers Insurance at STAPLES Center on Sunday, June 24th at 5:30PM PT when they take on the San Antonio Silver Stars.

The game will feature a halftime award ceremony for two inspiring women and will also celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Title IX. Commemorative Title IX t-shirts will be distributed at the game courtesy of adidas.

The WNBA’s Inspiring Women platform celebrates leaders who help ignite the dreams and aspirations of women in all endeavors and honors women who embody the same qualities as our players. On Sunday, the Sparks and Farmers Insurance will recognize two individuals who are part of the history of Title IX and who inspire others through their commitment and dedication to work, family, sports, and the community.

The two 2012 honorees of the Lisa Leslie Inspiring Women Award are Dr. Judith Holland and Colleen Matsuhara.

Dr. Judith Holland serves as Executive Director for The Collegiate Women Sports Awards and has over 40 years of progressive, comprehensive experience as an innovative leader in intercollegiate athletics. Dr. Holland started the awards program in 1976 to recognize excellence in women’s collegiate athletics. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and a Masters degree from Sacramento State University. She served as the first Director of Women’s Athletics at UCLA from 1975-1980.

Colleen Matsuhara recently completed her tenth year as Head Women’s basketball coach and Associate Professor of Physical Education at West Los Angeles College where she was the 2009 Western State Conference South Division Coach of the Year. Prior to her West LA tenure, Coach Matsuhara coached for over 23 years at the NCAA Division 1 level as well as Assistant Coach with the Los Angeles Sparks for two seasons (1998-1999). She is a charter member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

The Sparks are 9-3 to start the season and are a perfect 6-0 at home. It is their best home start since 2006, when the team went 7-0 at STAPLES Center. After hosting San Antonio on Sunday, the Sparks hit the road for games in Tulsa on Tuesday and San Antonio on Thursday, before returning to Los Angeles for a three-game homestand.