Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Phaidra Knight

Rugby

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  New Zealand

Phaidra Knight is an athlete, sports media talent, motivational speaker, and business entrepreneur. For nearly 18 years, she traveled the globe as a professional rugby player, establishing herself as one of the premier players in the sport. She made three appearances in the Rugby World Cup and was selected as the top player in the world in her position in 2002 and 2006. In 2010, she was named the US Rugby Player of the Decade. She became the first and only black American inducted into both the World Rugby and USA Rugby Halls of Fame in 2017 and 2021 respectively. The former attorney is on the Board of Directors for USA Rugby Board and the Board of Trustees for the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF). She served as the WSF President in 2021.

Phaidra founded PeaK Unleashed in 2019, a non-profit organization dedicated to the personal and physical development of marginalized youth through educational support, rugby and yoga, particularly those of incarcerated and exploited populations. She is a keynote speaker and has an expansive television dimension to her dynamic career. Her on-air sports broadcast experience includes sideline reporting, in-booth commentating and studio analysis. Phaidra has worked with ESPN, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, World Rugby, Flo Sports, and USA Rugby TV. She travels around the world delivering rugby commentary. Phaidra was on the NBC Universal 2020 Tokyo Olympics broadcasting team and covered women’s sevens rugby games. She was featured in a pivotal fighting scene with Oscar Award winning Halle Berry during her directorial debut “Bruised” (2021). Currently training as a mixed martial artist at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York, New York, Phaidra is grooming to become a professional fighter. In 2021, she made her debuts in Muay Thai Kickboxing and MMA. Her current record is MMA (4-0) and Muay Thai (1-0).

She launched her clothing line, the PSK Collective, in August of 2020. The PSK Collective is a group of female athletes coming together to have a positive impact on girls and women alike. The PSK Collective has created a fusion of active and streetwear, designed to marry fashion, sports, and togetherness for greater causes. These causes include the empowerment of the athlete in us all, shifting attitudes surrounding fashion and expression, giving back to the organizations that help girls and women along their journey, and bringing athletes together – as part of a Collective – to help promote the line and important causes that advance women’s equity. One of the most popular products featured in the line is the Equal Pay rugby jersey. The PSK Collective is available at Walmart, Kohls, and JCPenney.

Imani McGee-Stafford

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Singapore

Imani McGee-Stafford is a WNBA player, abuse survivor, mental health advocate, and poet. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Accounting from The McCombs School of Business.
At Texas, she left her name in the record books becoming the first UT women’s basketball player to garner over 1000 points, 1000 rebounds and 200 blocks. She was drafted 10th overall in the 2016 WNBA Draft to the Chicago Sky and has since played for the Atlanta Dream and Dallas Wings. She has also played professionally overseas in Turkey, China, Israel, Australia, and Lebanon.

While her 6’7” frame made her presence felt on the court, she left her biggest impact off the court when she chose to speak out about her struggles with mental health and overcoming her abusive childhood on SportsCenter in a segment called SC Featured: Her Voice.

In college, she stumbled across her life purpose: providing a voice to the silenced. She now takes every opportunity she can to live in her truth and hopefully provide light to those going through or who have been through the same struggles.

In the spring of 2020, she announced that she is stepping away for the next two WNBA seasons to pursue a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

Al-Farouq Aminu

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Singapore

Al-Farouq Aminu is a professional basketball player who last played for the Chicago Bulls. A native of Atlanta, Aminu was a highly rated recruit who chose to attend Wake Forest University. While at Wake, he excelled and landed on the ACC All-Freshman team. After his first year on campus, he declared for the 2010 NBA Draft. Aminu was selected 8th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers and within 8 games had notched his first 20-point contest. In 2011, he was traded to the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, where he spent the next four seasons. Aminu went on to have stints with the Mavericks, Trail Blazers, Magic and most recently the Bulls. He also plays internationally for the Nigerian national basketball team.

Tiara Brown

Boxing

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Timor Leste

Began training at age 13. Team USA World Gold medalist. Current professional boxer with record of 11-0 (7 KOs), featherweight division.

Lives in Fort Myers, Florida where she is a police officer.

USA BOXING & OLYMPIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Retired amateur boxer for Team USA. I am the first U.S. female in history to win both the Gold and Bronze Medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championship. 2009 I made Team USA National Boxing Team and was ranked #2 in the Nation at 132 lbs 2010 I placed 2nd in the USA National Championship at 132lbs again ranking at #2 in the Nation 2012 I competed in the first ever Women’s USA Olympic Trials, placing 4th.

A month later, I moved down a weight class and won the USA National Championship at 125lbs making me #1
in the Nation in my weight-class. A few months later I won Gold in Canada at the Pan American Games ranking #1 in the Continent at 125lbs. A few months later I was the only American to win Gold in China at the Women’s World Championship
becoming the third American in history to do so ranking #1 in the world at 125lbs from 2012-2015.

I have competed against countries such as Bulgaria, China, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, and many other wonderful countries.

Obed “Radar” Bartee-El

Boxing

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Timor Leste

19 years old, just returned from representing Team USA at the World Championships in Serbia where he made it to the quarterfinals. Multiple national championship wins. Graduated high school this past May. Lives in Huntsville, Alabama.

2021 National Golden Gloves – 2nd
2020 USA Box Elite National Championships – 3rd

Dr. Becky Clark

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  China

Becky Clark, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker/Psychotherapist (LCSW-R) and Certified Consultant (CC- Association for Applied Sport Psychology) with a private practice in New York City. With more than 20 years of experience, she specializes in working with adolescents and adults with hearing loss, childhood trauma, exercise and psychotherapy, deaf and disability sport, individuals and teams from recreational to elite athletes.

Dr. Clark has a rich and long history as a multi-sport standout athlete including: four sport high school letter winner, former basketball player for the University of Tennessee Lady Vols, three-time Deaflympian with one gold and two silver medals in volleyball, 1991 Olympic Festival (volleyball), all star catcher/1st baseman in fast pitch softball and has run 7 marathons. She was a Torchbearer for the 2002 Winter Olympics Torch Relay Team.

Dr. Clark is an internationally published author, researcher, freelance writer and public speaker. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). She serves on the Diversity Committee and Women in Sports & Disability SIGs of AASP (www.appliedsportpsych.org).

Dr. Clark also serves as a member of the ING New York City Marathon Psyching Team, the Advisory Council for Healing with Basketball (www.healingwithbasketball.org) and the Strategic Planning Committee of the USADSF (www.usdeafsports.org).

Willie O’Ree

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Virtual
  • 2021  –  China
  • 2021  –  Russia

Willie O’Ree is a  Canadian  former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first black player in the National Hockey League. O’Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins. O’Ree is referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of ice hockey” for breaking the black color barrier in the sport. O’Ree played much of his professional career in the United States and settled in San Diego following his retirement.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018. Since 1997, O’Ree has been the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, traveling across North America to schools and hockey programs to promote messages of inclusion, dedication, and confidence.

Blake Bolden

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Russia
  • 2021  –  China
  • 2021  –  Global

Blake Bolden has broken many barriers in achieving many firsts in the sport of women’s ice hockey. After graduating from Boston College, she joined the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, winning the Clarkson cup in 2015. In 2016, she played for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League winning the inaugural Isobel Cup. Dawned the Jackie Robinson of women’s hockey, she is the first black player drafted in the first round of the CWHL and the first ever to compete in the NWHL. Blake currently resides in San Diego, California during the off-season, working with girls all over the country specializing in mental skills, goal setting, and nutrition, using her Blake Bolden Athletics platform. She has now joined the Los Angeles Kings as their newest pro scout.

Anson Carter

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Russia
  • 2021  –  China
  • 2021  –  Global

Anson Carter is a former professional hockey player, playing for eight different NHL teams over the course of his career. Since joining NBCSN in 2013, Carter has worked on NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the NHL regular season, Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final. In 2005, Carter founded Big Up Entertainment, a record label specializing in hip hop music. Carter is also a co-founder of the clothing line SOMB (Shirt Off My Back). Proceeds from sales go towards providing uniforms for underprivileged youth in Africa.

Michael “BearDaBeast” Key

E-Sports

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  China

After being highlighted as a top prospect in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft, BearDaBeast was selected 11th overall by T-Wolves Gaming. After starting the season 3-6, he propelled the T-Wolves to eight-straight regular-season wins to sneak into the playoffs. Leading his team as the point guard, his team raised the 2019 NBA 2K League trophy and BearDaBeast was named the MVP of the Finals