From April 21-25, former WNBA players Tamika Williams and Edna Campbell will visit Sri Lanka as State Department Sports Envoys. Williams and Campbell will teach basketball skills with a focus on empowerment of girls and with an emphasis on teamwork and cross-cultural communication.
The exchange is part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative. The program supports women and girls in local communities in building the leadership skills necessary to succeed on and off the court. The Envoys will engage women and girls in the cities of Colombo, Galle, and Matara. Upon returning home, Williams and Campbell will continue their connection with the Sri Lankan coaches virtually, providing guidance and support so the Sri Lankan coaches can conduct additional programs.
Williams played professionally as a member of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. From 1998 to 2002, she was an integral member of the UConn basketball team, which earned NCAA Division I National Championship titles in 2000 and 2002.
Campbell, a member of the WNBA from 1999-2006, publicly battled breast cancer in 2002. She received treatment and continued her professional career, inspiring many others fighting cancer. She became the WNBA's national spokesperson for its anti-cancer efforts with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and received the league's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2003.
Since 2003, ECA has brought nearly 1,000 athletes from more than 60 countries to the U.S. to participate in sports visitor programs while sending over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries on sports envoy programs.