Marcelo Balboa

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  Nigeria
  • 2008  –  Nigeria

Former San Diego State University men’s soccer player Marcelo Balboa was a two-time All-American and led the Aztecs to two NCAA Tournament appearances in 1988 and 1989. SDSU posted a combined record of 29-8-7 in Balboa’s two years and he was inducted to the Aztec Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.

Following his time at SDSU, Balboa played professionally in Mexico and the U.S. until 2002, spending 1996-2001 with the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer (MLS).

On the international stage, Balboa became the first American to earn 100 caps with the U.S. National Team and played in three World Cups (1990, 1994, 1998). Balboa was named the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1992 and 1994 and has been inducted into both the National Soccer Hall of Fame and the Colorado Hall of Fame.

Balboa has been broadcasting since 2003 and has covered the Colorado Rapids for Altitude TV the past 13 years. He coached his sons, Owen and Nicholas, at Monarch High School before becoming the head coach for the Colorado Rapids Development Academy’s U-14 squad.

Tamika Raymond

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2010  –  Malawi
  • 2011  –  Tanzania
  • 2012  –  China
  • 2013  –  Ukraine
  • 2013  –  Nigeria
  • 2014  –  Sri Lanka

Tamika Maria Raymond is an Assistant Coach for the women’s basketball team at the University of Kansas. Prior to serving in that role, Raymond played professional basketball in the WNBA for six seasons. During the 2002 WNBA Draft, the Minnesota Lynx selected Raymond with the sixth overall pick. She played her last season in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun.

Prior to playing in the WNBA, Raymond attended the University of Connecticut, where she majored in interpersonal communications. She played for the school’s women’s basketball teams, which won Division I National Championship teams in 2000 and 2002. She completed her four-year collegiate career with averages of 10.6 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. She finished as UConn’s all-time leader in field goal percentage at 70.3 percent.

Raymond had a stellar high school basketball career in Dayton, OH. She was named the 1997 and 1998 Ohio Player of the Year and was selected to the 1997-98 Associated Press girls Division I All-Ohio high school basketball team. She was named “Ohio’s Miss Basketball” by the Associated Press.

Obinna Ekezie

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2005  –  Nigeria

Though he was heavily pursued by several colleges after finishing high school, Obinna signed on to attend and play basketball for the University of Maryland at College Park in 1995. In considering his educational future, he was drawn to the school by its engineering and IBM Total Quality Management programs. The same university was also part of the college basketball conference that Obinna considered to be the best at the time, the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Obinna played on their basketball team, the Terrapins, throughout his college career. In the 1999 NBA draft, he was picked in the second round and joined the Vancouver Grizzlies. Throughout the six years that followed, Obinna played for five different NBA teams and was also a member of three different international teams. When he sustained an injury in 2005, Obinna took his recovery time to seriously consider what he would do professionally at the close of his basketball career. Although this was an issue he had forethought many times, he knew the next chapter of his life was right around the corner.

Obinna retired from professional basketball in 2007 and moved home to Nigeria to pursue his new dream. He co-founded a travel website in 2008, Zeeptravel.com, while continuing to build an even bigger website at the same time. Two years later, during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Obinna and his business partner launched Wakanow. Through a series of aggressive business strategies and a strong concentration on customer service, it has become one of the fastest growing and largest Internet travel sites in Africa.

Detlef Schrempf

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Nigeria

Detlef Schrempf is a German-American basketball player who was drafted into the NBA by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1985 NBA draft, with the eighth overall pick. Schrempf played in the NBA for 16 seasons, with the Indiana Pacers, the Seattle SuperSonics, and the Portland Trail Blazers. He also played for the West German, and later German, national team in the 1984 and 1992 Summer Olympics and the 1983 and 1985 EuroBasket championships.

He has been awarded three NBA All Stars, two NBA Sixth Man of the Year, and one All NBA Third Team. Outside of the US in his home country, he was announced German Player of the Year in 1992. During his career, he ranked second in the NBA in three-point accuracy during the 1994–95 season with a 51.4 three-point field goal percentage and became leader in the NBA in offensive rating the same season with 127 points per 100 possessions.

Schrempf established the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in 1996 to benefit local charities. His foundation hosts the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic at McCormick Woods Golf Course in Port Orchard, Washington, each summer and has raised about $10 million for children’s charities in the Pacific Northwest. He as well in January 2012, won the Paul Allen Award for Citizenship at the 77th annual Sports Star of the Year banquet in Seattle.

Jeremy Guthrie

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Panama
  • 2017  –  Nigeria
  • 2018  –  Brazil
  • 2020  –  Virtual

Beginning his baseball career as the starting pitcher at Stanford University, Jeremy Guthrie currently plays for the Eastern Reyes del Tigre of the Constellation Energy League, but played for 15 years in MLB for the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, and the Washington Nationals.

Guthrie pitched for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. During his time with the Kansas City Royals, he logged the most innings of his career during the 2013 season with 211⅔. He finished with a 15–12 record and a 4.04 ERA. The 2014 season Guthrie posted a 4.13 ERA over 202.2 innings and finished the regular season with a record of 13–11.

Guthrie is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and he served for two years as a missionary for the church in Spain. On February 1, 2018, Guthrie began a three-year assignment as president of its Texas Houston South Mission for the LDS church.

Dennis Ogbe

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria

Dennis is an elite shot-put and discus thrower who has competed in numerous competitions all over the world. His competitions include, but are not limited to, the Czech Opens, Toronto Opens, multiple World Championships, Pan-American Games and the prestigious London 2012 Paralympic Games. At the USA Track & Field National Championships Dennis has won over a dozen gold medals throughout the years. He holds the US National Record in shot-put and discus throws (class F58).

As a survivor of Polio, Dennis is actively engaged in the campaign to eradicate Polio. He is an ambassador for the United Nation’s Foundation Shot@Life, UNICEF, and Rotary International. His articles advocating for vaccinations have been published on the Huffington Post and CNN. Since 2013 Dennis has participated annually in World Polio Day events. Dennis was a presenter for Rotary International’s World Polio Day: Making History (2013 and 2016) a Livestream event featured in 15+ countries.

His story was featured in the HBO documentary and book Citizen USA: A 50 State Road Trip by Alexandra Pelosi.

Dennis lives in the U.S. with his wife and their two children.

Cathy Sellers

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria

Recently retired from the United States Olympic Committee. Served the last nine years as the Director of Paralympic Track and Field. A track and field coach for over 40 years at multiple lev-els- High School level, Collegiate level ( Stephen F. Austin State and The Ohio State University) and Team USA.

The Rio Paralympic track and field team garnered 43 medals, more than any sport in Olympics or Paralympics since 1972.

Previously served as the Manager of the USOC Coaching program and editor of Olympic Coach magazine prior to Paralympics. Was the Manager for Development Programs for USA Track and Field for eight years managing USATF Coaching Education program, Juniors, Men and Women’s Sport Development.

A former All-American, who spent her collegiate career jumping over barriers in the 400 Hurdles, Sellers received her B.S. (All-Level HPE)from Texas Woman’s University, a Masters of Educa-tion (University of Houston) and an Educational Mid-Management certification (Prairie View A & M University).

Deja Young

Track & Field Paralympics

Served as envoy

  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2020  –  Virtual
  • 2021  –  Japan

Born with brachial plexus that caused nerve damage and limited mobility to her right shoulder, Young has excelled with her unique running form. A standout on her high school track team, she lettered all four years while also competing in volleyball and softball. Despite her success, she received a lot of resistance from recruiters and college coaches because of her disability. She earned a track scholarship to Wichita State University where she was All-Conference. It was at a college meet that she learned about Paralympic track and field, a path that would lead her to her first Paralympic titles at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. She also served as an athlete mentor as part of the Sports Envoy Program of the U.S. State Department to Nigeria in 2018.

Lauren Gregg

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  Nigeria
  • 2008  –  Nigeria
  • 2012  –  Argentina
  • 2016  –  China

A long-time assistant coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Lauren Gregg was a member of the coaching staff for the U.S. at the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China, the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden and the 1996 Olympic Games in the USA.
During her tenure as assistant coach, from 1989-2000, Gregg also served as U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team head coach, leading the team to Nordic Cup titles in the 1997 and 1999 editions of the tournament and second place in the 1998 Nordic Cup.

Prior to becoming an assistant coach with U.S. Soccer, Gregg led the University of Virginia to the NCAA Final Four in 1991 and seven straight NCAA tournaments, from 1988-94. Gregg was named NSCAA Coach of the Year in 1990 and was the first woman to lead a team to the NCAA Division I Final Four.

Gregg holds a U.S. Soccer “A” coaching license and earned one cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1986.

Staci Wilson

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Peru
  • 2016  –  Senegal
  • 2018  –  Niger
  • 2019  –  Nigeria
  • 2019  –  Ethiopia

Staci Wilson – former professional soccer player with extensive experience training athletes, teams and coaches. An NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, she holds a US Soccer B Coaching License, and has teaching certifications in yoga and Pilates. She played professional soccer for the Carolina Courage and on the 1996 USWNT that won the first ever Olympic Gold Medal for Women’s Football. Currently Wilson coaches youth, high school in south Florida and has a soccer consulting business. She devotes free time to giving back to the sport through charitable organizations that target females and underserved communities.