The new-look Big East conference, which officially opens for business on July 1, named Val Ackerman as its first commissioner on Wednesday.
Ackerman previously served in that role for the WNBA for nine years in addition to working for the NBA and was the first female President of USA Basketball. A 2011 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Ackerman is the current U.S. Representative to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
“Val has achieved great success within every element of the sports business industry,"Georgetown University President John DeGioia said in a statement. "With the psyche of a former Division I athlete, she has marshaled operations that directly resulted in elite levels of play, lucrative sponsorship deals, and lasting partnerships. We are thrilled to welcome her to the BIG EAST.”
Ackerman and DeGioia will be among those speaking on a conference call with media members at 2 p.m. ET.
“I congratulate the BIG EAST for making such an inspired choice in Val Ackerman,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “I had the pleasure of working alongside Val for many years, including the period in which she transformed the WNBA from a mere concept into a thriving basketball league. Her experience and intelligence, along with a keen analytic ability, an intense work ethic and a winning management style will help steer the historic BIG EAST Conference to even greater heights.”
The headquarters for the 10-team conference will be in New York City. Along with Georgetown, the conference members are Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Villanova and Xavier.
Ackerman was a four-year starter on the University of Virginia's women’s basketball team, played basketball professionally in France for one year before enrolling at UCLA, where she earned her law degree.