Flashback: WNBA starts at the top

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Diana Taurasi was just one of the many stars Val Ackerman oversaw during her tenure as president of the WNBA.

On this day in 1996, Val Ackerman was named the first president of the WNBA. The announcement came four months after the NBA Board of Governors had approved the concept of the new professional women’s basketball league. Ackerman held the position until after the 2004 season, when she stepped aside to focus on her family. After Ackerman, the WNBA stewardship passed to Donna Orender and now is with Laurel J. Richie. Ackerman was inducted to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Ackerman served as the first female president of USA Basketball from 2005-08 and was named the first commissioner of the new Big East in June.