The WNBA and the Indiana Fever today announced that Fever player Natalie Achonwa has been recognized as the recipient of the 2020 Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award. The award, named after the former WNBA player recognized for her leadership, is given each year by the WNBA to a player who has demonstrated outstanding community and team leadership.
In addition to the recognition, a $10,000 donation will be made in Achonwa’s name to the Madam Walker Legacy Center in Indianapolis. The funding will assist four female start-up entrepreneurs, who will also receive business and professional development training as part of the partnership.
“I am grateful to the League for this recognition and the opportunity it gives me to help Black women in my community,” said Achonwa. “Black women are starting businesses at the highest rate of any racial group, yet there is still a huge inconsistency when it comes to access to capital. Partnering with MWLC and focusing on Black woman entrepreneurs directly aligned with the vision I had for this award donation.”
Just one other Fever player has won this award. Tamika Catchings, now the Fever vice president for basketball operations and general manager, won the inaugural Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award in 2008. Catchings subsequently won the award again in 2016, her final year in the WNBA.
“This is a tremendous honor and well-deserved tribute to all Natalie has done as a leader and advocate,” said Catchings.
Achonwa and Catchings will be available to media via zoom at 1:15 p.m. ET. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fever season tips off against the reigning WNBA champion Washington Mystics on Saturday, July 25, at 5 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. Fans across Indiana can watch the Fever live by visiting FeverBasketball.com or the Fever Facebook page, as well as by downloading the official Indiana Fever app from iOS or Android stores.