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NCAA recognizes 8 individuals as Legacy Award recipients

Civic involvement and inclusion efforts of honorees in Men’s and Women’s Final Four host cities celebrated

The NCAA has honored eight individuals as 2021 Legacy Award recipients for their community outreach, local activism and commitment to inclusive excellence.

The NCAA recognizes local individuals at both the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Final Fours each year with the honor. The awards program, which began in 2014, puts a spotlight on the career accomplishments and civic involvement of former student-athletes, coaches, administrators and community leaders.

Recognizing that basketball has historically been an environment for diverse engagement and representation, the NCAA office of inclusion, education and community engagement sought to leverage the platforms of these prominent national championships to elevate the value of inclusion as a core value of the Association. The program also focuses on bridging targeted communities and businesses in conjunction with the Final Four experience.

Past recipients have been trailblazers, pioneers, activists or key contributors, many of whom have been the first of their race or gender to accomplish significant achievements related to athletics and higher education, such as former coaches Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith and Carolyn Peck. This year’s awards were presented virtually due to ongoing health concerns around COVID-19.

“We are thrilled to recognize this year’s NCAA Legacy Award recipients who have committed their time, service and energy to improving their communities, and who continue to embrace and uphold diversity, equity and inclusion in their everyday lives,” said Derrick Gragg, NCAA senior vice president of inclusion, education and community engagement. 

“These eight individuals are trailblazers, leaders, accomplished athletes and community warriors, and we celebrate them as role models and beacons of society. They have certainly enhanced the communities of San Antonio and Indianapolis, where our Final Fours are being played this year. Their will and determination inspire us all,” Gragg said.

This year’s Legacy Award recipients from San Antonio, the host city of the 2021 Women’s Final Four:

Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil

Davis-Wrightsil earned numerous honors, including all-Southwest Conference and All-American, during her playing days with the Texas Longhorns women’s basketball team and had her jersey retired. She earned medals on numerous U.S. national teams, including a bronze Olympic medal in 1992. She was a two-time Naismith Player of the Year and earned Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA Final Four in 1986 after Texas won the national championship. She is also a member of the Women’s Basketball and the San Antonio Sports halls of fame, and the University of Texas at Austin Hall of Honor. Davis-Wrightsil is founder and president of the TeamXpress Foundation, which empowers girls through sports by exposing them to positive role models, by creating opportunities to secure scholarships, and by encouraging literacy, goal-setting and volunteerism. She also mentored and helped 150 female high school student-athletes earn athletics scholarships to NCAA schools. Additionally, she counsels and advises youth and has been instrumental in raising awareness for girls and women’s basketball in South Texas. She has also been an assistant coach at Rutgers and Texas, has worked as a chief operating officer in the WNBA, and has served on several local boards.

Becky Hammon

Hammon, the first female full-time assistant coach in the NBA, is entering her seventh season with the San Antonio Spurs. Hammon played at Colorado State, earning three All-America honors and a Naismith Award. She is also a member of the Colorado Sports and San Antonio Sports halls of fame. She played for 16 years in the WNBA, and her name still appears in several WNBA record categories, including 3-point field goals made (fourth), total points (12th) and games played (14th). She is one of the WNBA’s Top 20@20, an honor given to the league’s 20 greatest and most influential players in its 20-year history; was named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time; and was an WNBA All-Star six times. She played for two teams, New York and San Antonio, and in 2008 led the Stars to their only WNBA Finals appearance.

Stacey Johnson

Johnson is founder of the “Dreams for Youth” San Antonio Sports Foundation, which is a grant program that serves more than 200,000 children in the city. She has held several senior leadership roles in her career, including president of Valencia College East and Winter Park campuses and president of the U.S. Fencing Association. At the U.S. Fencing Association, she led a successful campaign to bring more equity to women in the sport. The U.S. women also earned their first gold and bronze medals in sabre at the Athens Games under Johnson’s presidential tenure. Johnson is also a member of several halls of fame as a result of her achievements in fencing and the community. She was named to San Antonio’s 100, which is a group of 100 top women leaders in the city. Her outstanding accomplishments as a fencer include four All-America honors; two national collegiate individual championships; four national collegiate team championships; three U.S. national team championships; and membership on two World University Games teams. Additionally, she amassed one of the most impressive collegiate records of 305 wins and only one loss.

Maj. Gen. Angie Salinas

Salinas is the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. She joined the organization after a 39-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, where she was the first Latina selected and promoted to the general officer ranks and was the senior ranking woman and senior Hispanic in the Corps at the time of her retirement. She is considered a major role model for girls and women who seek to break through glass ceilings. She has commanded at every level from lieutenant to general and was the first woman in multiple assignments, which includes commanding general. She has earned several awards for her community outreach and service in the city, including the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Tribute to Women Business Leaders Hope Award, the San Antonio Business Journal Women’s Leadership Award and the American Latino Influencer Valor Award. She also was named a Woman of Distinction by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce and is in the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame and Hispanic Women in Leadership Hall of Fame. She serves on several local foundation boards and committees.

This year’s recipients from Indianapolis, the host city of the 2021 Men’s Final Four:

Dr. Virginia Caine

Caine has dedicated her life to improving health and well-being in Marion County, in Indiana and in the country and has been a major voice and influencer in the fight against COVID-19. Her practice and service on infectious diseases, public health and health disparities also have had significant impact worldwide. She is director and chief medical officer for the Marion County Public Health Department and an associate professor of medicine in the infectious disease division of the Indiana University School of Medicine. She also mentors medical students and young minority health professionals. Caine has been instrumental in setting up the first nationwide physician AIDS educational program for the National Medical Association, which was duplicated by the American Medical Association. She has worked with local school districts to reduce obesity and improve the overall health of youth in Marion County. Additionally, she facilitated a mobile dental office called the Smile Mobile to provide dental care for children in need. She has earned numerous accolades for her service, including Madame C.J. Walker Outstanding Woman of the Year and the Sagamore of the Wabash, one of Indiana’s highest honors.

Floyd Keith

Keith has 50 years of service and expertise in the sports and business professions. He is the chief executive officer of Planned Positive Attitude Professional Services, which provides services in professional development, diversity and inclusion, and motivational speaking. Keith was executive director of the Black Coaches and Administrators organization for 12 years. During his tenure at BCA, Keith increased the organization’s membership from 172 to over 5,500. Keith has conducted collaborative diversity and inclusion initiatives during his career, including Equity in Hiring Summits, which were created to increase minority hirings for head coach and administrative athletics positions. Many consider today’s Hiring Report Card, which is used by media and the athletics industry, to be a result of the summits. He has received numerous honors, and in 2004 Sports Illustrated recognized him as one of the “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports.” He coached collegiate football for 30 years on the Division I level and is a member of the Ohio Northern University Athletics Hall of Fame and one of the school’s distinguished alumni.

Pastor Jeffrey Johnson Sr.

Johnson has been the senior pastor of Eastern Star Church, the largest predominantly African American church in Indiana, for the past 33 years. Johnson ministers to thousands of people and is a pillar of the community who often advocates for positive change. Eastern Star has numerous impactful community programs, including its Financial Freedom Institute, and has made a commitment to improving the quality of life for individuals in underserved areas. Eastern Star also has the ROCK Initiative — a transformative program that focuses on four pillars: affordable housing, strong community, enhanced educational opportunities and financial stability. The ROCK Initiative, which was spearheaded by Johnson, is another way the church demonstrates the love of Christ through service to others. Johnson also has led efforts to ensure that children of all ages are able to benefit from quality education in their own neighborhoods. He has led the development of a multiuse commercial complex that includes affordable apartments. With a multitude of accomplishments in the community, Johnson has used his voice to encourage racial justice and change. An accomplished author, Johnson has been recognized worldwide for his outreach and activism.

Rep. Greg Porter

Porter is a member of the 122nd Indiana General Assembly, serving in his 14th term for the 96th Indiana House District. The Indianapolis Democrat is a past president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, whose primary mission is to develop and promote educational, research and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of its members as they consider legislation and issues of public policy. Porter is also a senior vice president at Health & Hospital Corp. of Marion County, where he advises on strategies around communications and facilitating relationships between corporations and external stakeholders. Porter has held several leadership roles, including past chairman of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and of the Indiana House Educational Committee. He also has authored legislation that established accountability and standards for K-12 education, cultural competency and anti-bullying. The Earlham graduate is involved with several community organizations and has also been named an Outstanding Alumni, among his many accolades. He graduated from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Program and served on the Harvard working group on early childhood science and policy.