Michael Weiner Sports Lawyers Association Award of Excellence

The Sports Lawyers Association periodically presents its Award of Excellence, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the association. The SLA is proud to announce that Commissioner Val Ackerman has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the prestigious Award of Excellence. This award is the highest honor that our association can bestow, and Commissioner Ackerman's outstanding contributions truly exemplify excellence in our field.

2024 Recipient

Val Ackerman was named the fifth Commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference on June 26, 2013. She previously served as an attorney and executive at the National Basketball Association, was the founding President of the Women's National Basketball Association, and is a past President of USA Basketball, which oversees the U.S. men's and women's Olympic basketball program. She also served for two terms as the U.S. representative to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). She has been inducted as a contributor into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (2021), the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (2011) and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame (2023) and received the Billie Jean King Leadership Award from the Women's Sports Foundation (2016).

Val is a 1981 graduate of the University of Virginia, where she graduated with high honors with a B.A. in political and social thought and was a three-time captain and Academic All-American on the women's basketball team. She received her law degree from UCLA in 1985.

We invite you to join us in acknowledging Commissioner Ackerman on May 10th at 12:15 pm during the 49th Annual Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Let's come together to celebrate her remarkable achievements and well-deserved recognition.


Previous Award Recipients

2022 Renee Montgomery
2021 Jim Delany
2019 Ray Anderson
2018 George H. Cohen
2017 Scott Blackmun
2016 Donald Fehr
2014 Larry Lucchino
2013 Donald Dell
2012 Dick Moss
2011 Gene Upshaw
2010 Jerry Colangelo
2009 Jerry Reinsdorf
2008 Donna Lopiano
2007 Alan H. (Bud) Selig
2005 Paul J. Tagliabue
2004 Marvin J. Miller
2000 Stanley H. Kasten
1997 Reuven J. Katz
1994 Gary Bettman and Jay Moyer
1993 Lloyd E. Shefsky and John F. Wendel
1992 Anita L. DeFrantz
1991 Alan I. Rothenberg