The Great Ann Meyers (~57,000 views on LinkedIn )

One of the great perks of my role as Head of Sports at Ticketmaster is attending sporting events. After 25 years in the industry, games are often reunions. But, just as often, they serve as opportunities to meet industry icons—which is exactly what happened the other night when I attended a Suns game in PHX.

At halftime, I was introduced to the legendary Ann Meyers, now the VP of Basketball Ops at the Suns. I was in awe. Ann was not only one of the all-time great players to ever play the game, she was also a pioneer.​

Most notably, she was a trailblazer for women’s rights. In 1974, she was the first woman to receive a 4-year athletic scholarship to UCLA. In fact, she was such a standout player that in 1979 (before the WNBA), she became the first and only woman in history to sign an NBA contract. Later, she was such an accomplished executive, she was the first female front office exec in NBA history.

Talking to Ann made me appreciate what Title IX has meant not just for women’s athletics, but for our society. On the surface, this landmark legislation required that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports. In a deeper sense, it gave us a window into what is possible when we give the human spirit wings and let it soar.