Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Cherelle “Torch” George

Harlem Globetrotters Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2023  –  Malaysia

Widely heralded as the “Queen of the Crossover” and owner of some of the best handles on Earth, Torch George brings the fire every time she steps onto the court with her razor-sharp shooting skills and ankle-breaking dribbling moves.

In 2018, Torch made Globetrotter history when she became the first of the team’s female stars to own her own Guinness World Record title. In celebration of Guinness’ annual World Record Day, Torch set the record for the most basketball under the leg tumbles in one minute (female), with 32.

The 5 foot 3-inch guard attended Iowa Western Community College (IWCC), where she led the Reivers to a 26-5 record her sophomore year while averaging 25.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4.3 steals per game. She finished her sophomore year with four single-game records and was later inducted into IWCC’s Hall of Fame in 2019. After a brief stint at Purdue University, she transferred to Oklahoma City University, where she earned a degree in Kinesiology.

Torch’s on-court success has led to her off-court development as an entrepreneur and inspiration, with the recent launch of her “Hood to History” clothing line. This successful apparel line aims to show young people how to dominate without a ball in their hands. With an eye on the future, she hopes to bring her fire to the sideline in a Division 1 coaching role.

Shane “Scooter” Christensen

Harlem Globetrotters Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2023  –  Malaysia

There’s family, and then there’s extended family. That’s how Globetrotters dribbling wizard Scooter Christensen describes his teammates. “I consider my teammates my brothers and sisters,” he says. Of course, like siblings do, the players fun-lovingly joke around with each other a lot. “My first year, we had a player that looked like Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants. Some guys put a picture of Squidward right on his seat on the bus. We were trying not to laugh, but as soon as he got on the bus, it was over.”

He was introduced to basketball at the age of five. He played soccer too, but when he started growing faster than most of the other kids, he started concentrating solely on basketball in eighth grade. After winning a state championship and team MVP honors in high school, Scooter went on to play at the University of Montana, leading the Grizzlies to the NCAA tournament in 2002. He is one of only three players in school history to lead the team in assists three straight seasons, and he is still second on the school’s all-time assist list.

Scooter has appeared on such popular TV shows as “The Bachelorette,” and GAC’s “Top 20 Countdown.” Being on camera in front of millions can be nerve-wracking for some, but Scooter says the craziest thing he has ever done is cliff diving.

Not only is Scooter one of the Globetrotters’ premier ball handlers, he also has a great set of pipes; he once won a karaoke contest in Montana. “I come from a singing family; we sang a lot in church.” He even sings on the bus now and then when the Globetrotters are traveling from city to city. He can also keep his teammates entertained with one of the nearly 1,000 movies he has in his collection.

Chineze Nwagbo


Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Kosovo
  • 2019  –  Azerbaijan
  • 2019  –  Albania
  • 2019  –  Tanzania
  • 2023  –  Malaysia

Chineze Nwagbo started her basketball career at Duval Senior High School in Lanham, Maryland, where she is recognized as a four-year varsity letter recipient and two-time team captain. Her honors include two back-to-back State Championship Titles, All-American Honorable Mention, All-County First Team, All-Gazette, USA Today’s Most Improved and Most Important Player to Scout in Maryland, amongst a plethora of other accolades.

Chinny was a standout basketball player at Syracuse, where she earned her B.S. in Biology. Shortly after graduating, Chinny embarked on a career playing professionally for 11 years in Spain, Chile, Brazil, Poland, Portugal, & Israel, winning 4 MVP titles and appearances in championship games. The highlight of her career was when she represented her parent’s native country of Nigeria in the 2006 World Championship Games.

After retiring in 2016, Chinny began a series of ventures with the NBA. In China, she helped develop the grassroots implementation of an NBA-based basketball curriculum. She has done work for Jr. NBA programs, the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders developmental camps, and has been brought on to work with the Atlanta Hawks, NY Knicks, Washington Wizards, and the National Basketball Players Association as a youth development coach and mentor.

She has served as an Envoy for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Sports Diplomacy program, which was designed to use the transformative power of sports to create social change in global communities around the world by bridging divides, creating cultural understanding, supporting women’s empowerment (& gender equality), advocating safe environments for kids with disabilities to play, and championing the importance of creating a more equitable and peaceful society.

As an Envoy, Chinny has traveled to various parts of the world, building relations with various U.S. Embassies, Sports Federations, Sultans, Chargé d’ Affaires, administrators, coaches, and elite players. She has also dedicated her time as a motivational speaker to various youth programs and amazing nonprofits geared toward providing resources for under-represented & underserved youth worldwide. In her spare time, she has appeared on New Channel 8’s SportsTalk show as a guest sports analyst and hopes to play an instrumental role in the game’s growth, primarily serving as a role model for
young girls.

In 2020, Chinny joined PeacePlayers International, an organization utilizing the
transformative power of sports to bridge divides in historically conflicted
communities worldwide. There she served as the Director of Youth Programs & Development for Baltimore city providing unserved and underrepresented young people of color with afterschool programming geared towards connecting the community, providing equitable experiences and tools to mitigate conflict.

All these experiences have led Chinny to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) where she is the Director of Player Programs and Engagement dedicated to creating programs and resources to ensure Professional Athletes succeed far beyond the playing field!

Evan Lysacek

Figure Skating

Served as envoy

  • 2012  –  Sweden
  • 2012  –  Belarus
  • 2014  –  Russia
  • 2020  –  Japan
  • 2020  –  Malaysia
  • 2020  –  Singapore

Following his figure skating Gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, Lysacek was chosen as the 2010 United States Olympic Committee’s SportsMan of the Year, and the winner of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top U.S. amateur athlete of 2010. On January 22, 2016, he was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame. Evan Lysacek is the last American male figure skater to win an individual Olympic medal. He was a Sports Envoy in Belarus and Sweden in 2012 and Russia in 2014.

“With these adults, with young kids, with people who have nothing to do with skating whatsoever… our common language is sports and it transcends differences in language and differences in culture.” “I really feel like they absorbed the on-ice skills that I was trying to teach,” he said. “But also, I think they absorbed the message from what we were talking about a little bit and how that can help them if they continue skating, whatever skating will mean in their life, but it will also help them in everything that they do.”

Sue Wicks


Served as envoy

  • 2009  –  Philippines
  • 2010  –  Indonesia
  • 2011  –  Dominican Republic
  • 2013  –  Malaysia
  • 2016  –  Cambodia
  • 2017  –  Jordan

Sue Wicks was a first-round selection by the New York Liberty in the WNBA’s inaugural draft in 1997. Wicks went on to play six seasons with the Liberty, earning an All-Star selection in 2000. She also was the recipient of the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2000. Wicks finished her WNBA career in eighth place all-time in blocked shots.

Wicks played collegiately at Rutgers University, where she was a three-time All-American and the 1988 National Player of the Year. She was inducted into Rutgers’ Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in June 2013.

Cappie Pondexter


Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Malaysia

Cappie Pondexter is a former NBA player who is known for her play style, quick crossovers, and midrange jumpshot. In 2011, she was voted as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history.

In high school she was close friends with basketball star Dee Brown and played for John Marshall Metropolitan HS in Chicago where she was named a WBCA All-American. She also took part in the 2001 WBCA HS All-American Game where she scored 16 points and earned MVP. Pondexter attended college at Rutgers University. She led the Scarlet Knights to a 97–22 record and back-to-back Big East Championships in 2005 and 2006.

Cappie was drafted as the 2nd overall pick by Phoenix Mercury in the 2006 WNBA draft. As a rookie, she was picked to the western conference WNBA All-Star team. In 2007, she was named the WNBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player after she averaged 22 points per game. To celebrate the WNBA’s twentieth anniversary in 2016, she was named in the WNBA Top 20@20.

Brian Cardinal


Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Malaysia

Brian Lee Cardinal (born May 2, 1977 in Tolono, Illinois), nicknamed “The Custodian” or “The Janitor”, is an American professional basketball player who has most recently played for the Dallas Mavericks. Prior to being drafted to the NBA, Cardinal played college basketball at Purdue University. Brian Cardinal attended Unity High School in Tolono, Illinois where he played basketball with his brother, Troy. He led the Rockets to an 86–25 record during his high school career, where he averaged 23.5 points during his Junior year and 24.1 points per game in his Senior year. He scored 40 points in two different games. On April 15, Brian was selected as the Coca-Cola All-American Most Valuable Player, where he scored 24 points and 13 rebounds for the West team.

After graduating from high school, Cardinal attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana to play under head coach Gene Keady and assistant coaches Frank Kendrick and Bruce Weber. Cardinal was redshirted during his Freshman season. During the 1996–97 season, Brian averaged 10.6 points a game and grabbed 182 rebounds on the season. He recorded his first collegiate double-double in only his second game against Western Michigan with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Along with Juniors Brad Miller and Chad Austin, he helped lead the Boilermakers to an NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance.

Brian was selected as a team captain for his Sophomore season, where he averaged 12 points and grabbed 178 rebounds, while leading Purdue to a 28–8 record. He helped lead the Boilers to a Sweet Sixteen appearance.

Averaging 11.4 points and grabbing 186 rebounds in his Junior season, he scored a career high 33 points in a game against Michigan. Along with teammate Jaraan Cornell, he was named a Third Team All-Big Ten selection and led Purdue to a second straight Sweet Sixteen appearance with a 23–13 record. Cardinal played his last collegiate season with career season highs with 203 rebounds and 13.9 points a game. The Second Team All-Big Ten selection helped lead the Boilermakers to an Elite Eight appearance in 2000 during his Senior year and to a 24–10 record.

Brian Cardinal is second in career starts at Purdue with 125, behind E’Twaun Moore. His career 259 steals at Purdue is the second most in school history behind Chris Kramer’s 260 (2006–2010). His Freshman record with 51 steals in the 1996–97 season was also surpassed by Chris Kramer’s 64 a decade later. He received the nickname, “The Custodian”, due to the way he cleaned the floor diving for loose balls. Brian left Purdue being the only Boilermaker to receive both the “Mr. Hustle” Award and the “Courage” Award four years in a row. On November 28, 2008, ESPN’s Jay Williams compared North Carolina’s Tyler Hansborough to Brian Cardinal’s style of play. While at Purdue, Brian won a Gold Medal at the 1998 Goodwill games; Team USA went 4–1. He was also a member of the 1997 22-and under National Team, which finished 5th in a 12-team field.

Cardinal was selected the 44th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. During his rookie season, playing in only 15 games, he had his best game against the Toronto Raptors on April 11, 2001, scoring a season-high 9 points, 4 rebounds and a game high three steals in 18 minutes. Playing in a total of 23 games for the Pistons in two seasons, he averaged 2.1 points a game and shot over 80 percent from the free throw line.

On September 11, 2002, he was traded to the Washington Wizards along with Jerry Stackhouse and Ratko Varda, for Richard Hamilton, Hubert Davis and Bobby Simmons. Cardinal was waived shortly after playing in only five games for the Wizards.

He spent the rest of the 2002–03 season playing in the Spanish league for Pamesa Valencia. He was instrumental in leading Pamesa to the ULEB Cup Championship.

After returning to the NBA, he signed with the Golden State Warriors. Cardinal had a breakthrough season with the Warriors, averaging nearly 10 points and 4 rebounds per game, appearing in 76 games. He was a finalist for the NBA Most Improved Player Award, eventually won by Zach Randolph. On February 11, 2004, Cardinal scored a career high 32 points against the Phoenix Suns and just three weeks later he had his career high of 14 rebounds against the Chicago Bulls on February 28.

After a breakthrough season in personal numbers and playing time, Cardinal signed as a free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he posted similar numbers from the previous season, averaging almost 6 points and 2.5 rebounds in the four seasons with the Grizzlies, while injuries diminished playing time. During the 2006–07 season, Brian held career highs of field goal percentage (.494) and free throw percentage (.926).

In June 2008, Cardinal was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of an eight-player deal. Teamed with fellow forward Kevin Love in his eighth season in the NBA under head coach Kevin McHale and assistant coach Jerry Sichting, a former Boilermaker, Brian averaged 3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists a game for the 2008–09 season. He recorded his career high three blocks in a game against the New York Knicks on March 13, 2009. In the 2009–10 season, while appearing in 27 games for the Wolves, he averaged a team-low 9 minutes per game and went 21–21 from the free-throw line. On February 17, 2010, Cardinal was traded to the New York Knicks for Darko Miličić.[1] He was subsequently waived by the Knicks.[2] On March 23, he was re-signed by the Timberwolves.

On September 27, 2010, Cardinal was signed by the Dallas Mavericks.[3] On May 8, 2011, Cardinal hit the 20th three pointer in Game 4 of the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers series. His three pointer tied the record for most three pointers by a team in one playoff game with 20, which hadn’t been done since the Seattle SuperSonics did it against the Houston Rockets on May 6, 1996. Cardinal won his first NBA championship with the 2011 Mavericks in a six game playoff series against the Miami Heat. He agreed to sign a new one-year contract worth the veteran minimum on December 12

Brian’s father, Rod Cardinal, was the Illini’s head basketball trainer at the University of Illinois for three decades, from 1973 to 2003; he remains with the Illinois men’s basketball team as their special projects coordinator. Brian served as a towel boy for the 1989 Illinois Final Four team. Brian is married to former walk-on Purdue standout, Danielle Bird. The couple is currently involved with donations to the Purdue University athletics, along with former Purdue quarterback, Drew Brees.

Cheryl Jumao-as


Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Malaysia

Jimmy Cao


Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Kazakhstan
  • 2018  –  Malaysia

Jimmy Cao has been skateboarding professionally since 2013 and is currently sponsored by SK8MAFIA, OJ Wheels, Independent Trucks, Jessup Griptape, Hard Luck bearings and Slappy’s Garage. He is mostly a street skater and has starring roles in numerous skateboarding videos, including “JSLVX1000” and Sk8Mafia’s “Stee.” Jimmy has often been featured in internationally recognized skateboard magazines such as Thrasher and Transworld. Jimmy frequently travels around the world to engage with local skateboarders and promote the sport, including to Vietnam, China, and all over Europe.

Jimmy lives in San Diego, California and frequently teaches skateboarding at the local YMCA to new and experienced skateboarders alike. When he’s not involved in skateboarding, he enjoys watching and playing futbol (American soccer), hanging out with his fiancé and their son, Mason, who is almost 2 years old.

Cheryl Bailey


Served as envoy

  • 2012  –  Malaysia

Cheryl Bailey is a former executive director of the National Women’s Soccer League as well as the former general manager of the US women’s national soccer team from 2007 to 2011.

Bailey was appointed as the Athletic Director of Denison University until 1990. During her time there, she oversaw 12 women’s sports and was the head women’s soccer coach. For 15 years, she served in the Athletic Administration at the University of Wisconsin, overseeing 22 different teams. In 2007, she was appointed the general manager of the US Women’s National Soccer Team. She led the support staff for the US team during the 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 2008 Olympics.