Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Azurá Stevens

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Mexico

Azurá Breeona Stevens is an American professional basketball player for the Chicago Sky of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Stevens played collegiately for the Duke Blue Devils
and the Connecticut Huskies. She was drafted with the 6th overall pick in the 2018 WNBA draft by the Dallas Wings.

Monique Billings

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Mexico

Fashion-forward, athletic, cultured, and full of personality. all of these traits describe WNBA player Monique Billings. Born May 2nd, Billings was drafted into the 2018 WNBA draft class. Being afforded the opportunity to do what she loves in playing basketball, traveling the world, Broadcasting, and inspiring others, Billings takes advantage of every opportunity that is presented to her. always looking to inspire and empower others, Monique Billings aims to be a voice and light For women and girls trying to figure out life just like she is.

Nicolas Pereira

Tennis

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Brazil

Tennis
ITF World Junior Champion 1988
ATP Tour Player # 74 Singles # 44 Doubles 1986-1997
Pan-American Games. 1995 Flag Bearer/Silver medal
Atlanta Olympic games 1996
Davis Cup Player Venezuela 1987-1997
Davis Cup/Fed Cup Captain. Venezuela

Entrepreneur
Founder/Director, Lighthouse Corporate/TV Events Miami, FL 2000-present
Advisor Aspen International Realty Miami, FL 2000-present
Founder/Partner, The Court Tennis Gear Key Biscayne, FL 2015-18
Director, Break Point Events, Venezuela 1987-2000
Copa Eriksson ATP Challenger Tournament Director. Venezuela 1998-99

Broadcasting
ESPN Lat Am/US/ Brazil 2001-present
beIN Sports USA/ Europe/ Middle East 2012-2016
Canal Sony Lat Am 2017-2018
PSN International Miami, FL (Sports Variety Show) 1999-2001

Charity
Voting/Committee Member. International Tennis Hall of Fame 2016-present
Committee member ATP Alumni Division 2016-present
Director “Walk now for Autism” Pro Am. Key Biscayne, FL 2006-2013
Founder “Proyecto Social” Youth scholarships. Venezuela 1997-2001

Interests
Family, sports, music, sociology, arts, motorcycling, adventure travel, golf, photography

Personal
Born in Salto, Uruguay
Represented Venezuela
Languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, French (basic)
Married with 3 children

Vania King

Tennis

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Brazil

Two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Vania King reached a career-high doubles ranking of world No. 3 in 2011 and also had a Top-50 singles career on the WTA Tour. Over the course of her 15-year professional career, the Monterey Park, Calif. native reached the third round of all four Grand Slams in singles, represented the U.S. in Billie Jean King Cup play, and won Wimbledon and the US Open in doubles in 2010. After retiring as a player last year, she was elected to the USTA Board of Directors, and recently founded her own non-profit organization, Serving Up Hope, which provides tennis programs for underserved children in Uganda and the United States.

Rodney Wallace

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Trinidad and Tobago

Rodney Wallace is a Bilingual Sports Analyst, Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur and Retired Professional Soccer Player. Rodney has appeared on Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, US Soccer Federación and ESPN.

Born in Costa Rica, Rodney moved to the United States at age 9. He overcame all adversity to become a NCAA Champion, MLS Cup Champion, Comeback Player of the Year, Brasil Serie A Player, Liga Nos Player, and Costa Rican National Team Player in which he appeared at the highest level in 2018 FIFA World Cup. Rodney continues to give back the game that taught him so much through clinics and training local youth.

Bob Mackinnon, Jr.

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Mexico

BOB MACKINNON has 35 plus years of experience coaching at the Collegiate and Professional levels, including eight seasons as a Head Coach in the NBA G League. In his first year in the G-League, MacKinnon coached the Colorado 14ers to a 34-16 regular season record and ultimately the 2008-09 D-League Championship.

MacKinnon then went on to coach the Idaho Stampede and Springfield Armor (in his first season in Springfield, he led the Armor to a League record turn around; going from 8 wins the season before to 29 wins), before landing in Los Angles with the Lakers Affiliate. In the 2013-14 season, MacKinnon led the development of three Lakers assignees, while boasting four NBA Call-Ups from the D-Fenders. MacKinnon also coached in China, as the Head Coach of the CBA’s Tianjin Team in 2010 – 11. Additionally, he was selected to run the G-League’s Elite Mini-Camp and National Tryouts for the seven years.
MacKinnon completed his third season as the Head Coach of the Dallas Mavericks affiliate, the Texas Legends in 2020; in his first season with the Legends he led the team to franchise records in NBA Call-ups (5), wins (25) & attendance. In his second season, the Legends led the League again in Call-ups (7), had another win’s record (29), & topped their attendance mark yet again. Over the course of his 8 years in the G League, MacKinnon’s teams have always finished in top 3 in the league in scoring, pace of play, rebounding, steals and assists. MacKinnon is the All-time leader in the NBA G League history in both Call-ups (28) & Wins (207 – the only coach in NBA G League history to record over 200 wins).

MacKinnon’s career began at the Collegiate level at King’s College in Pennsylvania where he played four seasons and got his first coaching opportunity in 1982. He would go on to Coach at the Collegiate level for 25 years starting as an Assistant Coach at Mercyhurst College (1982-85), followed by George Washington University (1985-90), and Niagara University (1990-97), before he was named the Head Coach of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1997. MacKinnon led the Mariners to two Skyline Conference Championships, securing consecutive NCAA tournament bids, and earning Skyline Conference Coach of the Year in 1999. He then joined the staff at the University of Notre Dame (1999-2000) as an Assistant Coach, followed by being named an Assistant Coach at the University of North Carolina (2000-03), before becoming the Senior Assistant Coach at Marshall University (2003-07).

MacKinnon is a world-renowned Basketball Clinician. He has Directed or spoken at over 300 camps/clinics in 18 countries. He works with the NBA in many of their overseas programs, and with the Tel-Mex foundation in Mexico directing camps for Coaches and youth programs alike. MacKinnon is also a certified trainer for the Positive Coaching Alliance in the United States. He leads and directs workshops for PCA, as they attempt to enhance the culture of Youth Sports in the United States.

Lacey Henderson

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2022  –  Peru

Lacey was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma at the age of 9 that resulted in the amputation of her right leg. Despite her disability, she pursued sports cheerleading in high school and college.

After a Division I athletic scholarship for cheerleading, Lacey discovered the world of disability. Only until she started Paralympic track and field did she realize she had been not only avoiding her disability but a huge part of herself. It was a long journey of therapy, finding resilience and a lot of time training on the track, she became an American Record Holder and a Rio Paralympian. She works now as a disability advocate having conversations that normalize being and feeling different and how it is our differences that truly unite us.

She is the host of her own podcast, Picked Last in Gym Class. She has also hosted for Microsoft’s InCulture season on Accessibility and for Ottobock Healthcare’s Fireside Chats.

Raúl Casanova

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Ecuador

Raúl Casanova is a former Puerto Rican Major League Baseball player who was a catcher from 1996 to 2008. Casanova belonged to the Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay and New York Mets teams with whom he ended his career in the 2008. Casanova earned a world championship ring with the Chicago White Sox team in 2005.

Thomas Dooley

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Trinidad and Tobago

Considered one of the key players for the USMNT in the 1990’s, Thomas Dooley brought the professionalism he earned through years in the German professional leagues. The son of a US serviceman, Dooley was eligible to represent the United States and he took that option in 1992. Appearing in the 1994 and ’98 World Cups, Dooley captained the USMNT in France. After 14 years in the German leagues, including a German Cup win with Kaiserslautern in 1990 and a UEFA Cup win with Schalke in ’97, Dooley signed with Major League Soccer and joined Columbus in the summer of ’97. He retired in 2000 and was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010.

Misty Copeland

Ballet

Served as envoy

  • 2016  –  Cuba

Born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro City Ballet.  At the age of fifteen she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards.  She then began her studies at the Lauridsen Ballet Center.  Copeland has studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT’s National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.

Copeland joined ABT Studio Company in September 2000, then joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001 and was appointed a Soloist in August 2007.  Her roles with the Company include Terpsichore in Apollo, Gamzatti, a Shade and the Lead D’Jampe in La Bayadère, Milkmaid in The Bright Stream, the Fairy Autumn in Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella, Blossom in James Kudelka’s Cinderella, Swanilda and the Mazurka Lady in Coppélia, Gulnare and an Odalisque in Le Corsaire, Kitri, Mercedes, Driad Queen, the lead gypsy and a flower girl in Don QuixoteDuo Concertant, the Masks in Christopher Wheeldon’s VIII, Lise in Las Fille mal gardée, the Firebird in Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird, Flower Girl in Gaîté Parisienne, GiselleZulma and the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, Queen of Shemakahn in The Golden Cockerel, Pierrette in Harlequinade, the title role in Jane Eyre, Manon and Lescaut’s Mistress in Manon, Clara the Princess, Columbine and one of The Nutcracker’s Sisters in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, Bianca in Othello, a Gypsy in Petrouchka, the Lead Polovtsian Girl in the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, the Saracen Dancer in Raymonda, Cowgirl in Rodeo, Juliet and a Harlot in Romeo and JulietSinatra Suite, Princess Florine in The Sleeping Beauty, Odette-Odile, the pas de trois, a cygnet and the Hungarian Princess in Swan Lake, the Waltz in Les Sylphides, the Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Princess Praline in Whipped Cream, leading roles in Bach PartitaBirthday Offering, Brahms-Haydn Variations, Monotones I, and Thirteen Diversions, and roles in AirsAmazed in Burning DreamsBaker’s DozenBallo della ReginaBlack TuesdayThe Brahms-Haydn VariationsBrief FlingCompany BDésirDeuce Coupe, GongHereafterIn the Upper Room, Overgrown Path, Pretty Good Year, Private LightRaymonda Divertissements, Sechs TänzeSinfoniettaSymphonic Variations, Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and workwithinwork.

Copeland created the Spanish Dance in Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, the Fairy Fleur de farine (Wheat flower) in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, His Loss in AfterEffect, and roles in AFTERITE, C. to C. (Close to Chuck), DumbartonGarden Blue, Glow – StopHer Notes, I Feel The Earth Move, One of Three and With a Chance of Rain.

Copeland received the 2008 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and was named National Youth of the Year Ambassador for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 2013.  In 2014, President Obama appointed Copeland to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.  She is the recipient of a 2014 Dance Magazine Award and was named to the 2015 TIME 100 by TIME Magazine.  Copeland is the author of the best-selling memoir, Life in Motion, children’s book Firebird and Ballerina Body.

Copeland was appointed a Principal Dancer in August 2015.

Ms. Copeland’s performances with American Ballet Theatre are sponsored by Valentino D. Carlotti.