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Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul is the first recipient of the Kobe & Gigi Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award, the league announced Sunday.
The honor is for significant contributions to the advancement of girls’ and women’s basketball, along with advocacy for the WNBA. The WNBA and Vanessa Bryant will present Paul with the award at the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday night in Cleveland.
The late Kobe Bryant was a longtime supporter of the WNBA and women’s basketball, and his daughter Gigi played youth basketball. They died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020.
“I have seen first-hand Chris’ appreciation of the WNBA and the game at every level for women and girls,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “His ardent support of our game strongly reflects the legacy of Kobe and Gigi. He serves as a leader and role model for other professional athletes around growing the future of the game for young girls and all fans.”
Paul has attended WNBA games throughout the regular season and playoffs, and also supports the youth girls’ game through camps and the CP3 Basketball Academy.
The WNBA also will make a donation to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to underserved athletes.
Source: ESPN NBA