Diggins Honored as March of Dimes Sportswoman of the Year
Mariano Rivera, longtime New York Yankees great and the all-time saves leader in baseball, and Skylar Diggins, WNBA star and former All-American at Notre Dame, will be honored as Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, respectively, by the March of Dimes New York Division at its 30th Anniversary Sports Luncheon on Wednesday, December 4 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network President, and Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, will be honored with the Corporate Leadership and Sports Leadership Awards, respectively.
Each year, March of Dimes honors the outstanding achievements of men and women in the sports industry. Past recipients include New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, NBA Commissioner David Stern, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Cal Ripken, Jr., tennis legends Andre Agassi and Venus Williams, basketball Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing and Lisa Leslie, and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team.
Rivera, one of the most accomplished and popular Yankee players in history, recently retired after an extraordinary 19 seasons in Pinstripes. During his storied career, the future Hall of Famer set the all-time record for saves (652) and earned five World Series rings as the game's preeminent closer. In addition to his career saves record, Rivera's accomplishments are numerous. He earned at least one save in 18 straight seasons; recorded a 40-save season (twice, actually) at age 40 or older; pitched for the Yankees in 19 different seasons (1995-2013), which tied him with teammate Derek Jeter (also 1995-2013) for most seasons played with the Yankees; and recorded a career ERA of 2.21, second-lowest all-time (minimum 1,000 innings pitched) since earned runs became an official statistic. His remarkable mound mastery earned Rivera a host of honors, including: five American League Rolaids Relief Man of the Year awards; World Series MVP (1999); League Championship Series MVP (2003); and 13 selections to the American League All-Star Team.
Before joining the Tulsa Shock as the number three pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, Diggins enjoyed one of the most accomplished careers in NCAA history. The standout guard was the only Notre Dame player ever to be a four-time All-American selection, earning consensus first-team honors in 2012 and 2013. In addition, she broke new ground in the Notre Dame record books as a three-time NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player (2010-Dayton, 2011-Raleigh, 2012-Norfolk), a two-time Big East Player of the Year and a two-time recipient of the Nancy Lieberman Award, given annually to the nation's top point guard (the past two seasons making her just the third two-time honoree in the award's history), along with being the 2013 recipient of the Dawn Staley Award. She is also the only player (male or female) in Notre Dame basketball history to register 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals in her career, and one of only six NCAA Division I women's basketball players since 1999-2000 to reach those impressive marks. During her stellar rookie season with Tulsa, Diggins was named to the WNBA's All-Rookie team.
Miller is President, Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network where he oversees programming and is prominently involved in sales for both networks. Previously, Miller served as Executive Vice President, NBC Sports since November 2006. He reports to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. Miller, who is credited for co-creating the NHL Winter Classic - an event that the New York Times said "has stolen New Year's Day" - oversees nearly 9,000 hours of annual programming on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) including the Triple Crown and its surrounding horse racing coverage, the NHL, French Open, Notre Dame Football, MLS, Tour de France, IndyCar and NBC's golf properties, which include the PGA TOUR's Players Championship and Presidents Cup, the PGA of America's Ryder Cup and the USGA Championships including the U.S. Open. Miller, who has been with NBC for more than three decades, is also responsible for original programming on NBCSN and has been integral in creating programs such as Pro Football Talk and NFL Turning Point. Most recently, Miller has been instrumental in the acquisition of some of the world’s top sports properties, helping solidify multi-year agreements for Formula One, the top international open-wheel racing series; NASCAR, America’s top motorsports franchise; and the Premier League, the preeminent soccer league in the world.
As the Chief Executive Officer of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Yormark has overseen all aspects of the team's move to the new arena in Brooklyn, including the rebranding, marketing, and sponsorship sales. Since he joined the Nets in 2005, Yormark's mission has been to make it the most accessible, inventive, fan-friendly, and community-active team in sports. In his role as CEO of Barclays Center, Yormark has oversight for all facets of the sports and entertainment venue, including operations, event programming, sales, and marketing. In January 2007, Yormark secured a 20-year strategic marketing partnership with Barclays, which includes the naming rights to Barclays Center. In addition to Barclays, Yormark has signed agreements with 10 major partners for Barclays Center, including Honda, American Express, Calvin Klein, Cushman & Wakefield, EmblemHealth, Foxwoods Resort Casino, GEICO, MetroPCS, Stolichnaya, and Ticketmaster. Yormark joined the Nets after a successful six-year tenure with NASCAR, for which he helped build the stock-car racing organization into a major sports property. He has been named the maximum three times to the "Forty Under 40" list by Sports Business Journal and was selected twice to the "40 Under 40" list by Crain's New York Business.
March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, and its premier event, March for Babies, March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. More than 4 million babies were born in the United States last year and March of Dimes helped each and every one through 75 years of research, education, vaccines and breakthroughs. For the latest resources and information, visitmarchofdimes.com/ny or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.