Shannon MacMillan

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  South Africa
  • 2010  –  Argentina
  • 2011  –  Guatemala

Shannon enjoyed a career with the US Women’s National team for 12 years; playing in 176 games and scoring 60 goals.

During that time she won a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and another gold as an alternate for the 2004 Greece Olympics. She also played a vital role in winning the 1999 Women’s World Cup and followed that up with a third place finish in the 2003 Women’s World Cup. In 2002, Shannon was named the US Soccer female athlete of the year. Shannon was a member of the US Soccer Envoys that conducted clinics in South Africa and Guatemala emphasizing the value of teamwork, respect, and leadership. In 2016, Shannon was elected to the US Soccer Hall of Fame.

In February of 2014, Shannon was inducted into the Cal South Hall of Fame.

Shannon currently holds a USSF National “B” license. She is a Certified Advance Sports Technology Facilitator. Shannon also is a Fox Soccer and ESPN/SEC analyst, covering matches such as the U17 and U20 Women’s World Cup.

Prior to joining the Sharks she was the Assistant Coach for the UCLA Womens team for two years, 2007-2009, helping lead the Bruins to two final four appearances. She is a 2008 Inductee to San Diego’s Breitbard Hall of Champions. Shannon graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in Social work. She was also a four time All American for the Pilots and the winner of the prestigious Hermann Award as college soccer’s top player in 1995.

Glenn Myernick

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  South Africa

An NASL and national-team defender who parlayed his playing career into a successful coaching career before his death at the age of 51. Myernick played 168 games during his eight seasons in the NASL, for Dallas, Portland and Tampa Bay, and appeared in the national team 10 times. He was coach of MLS’ Colorado Rapids for four years and an assistant coach of the U.S. teams at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Inducted in 2015.

Kelley Cain

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  South Africa
  • 2014  –  Rwanda

Kelley Cain is an American basketball center who last played for the Connecticut Sun. Currently she plays for Gure Belediye Woman Basketball Club in Izmir, Turkey.

Cain was a member of the USA Women’s U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in 2006. Cain helped the team earn the gold medal by scoring 6.5 points per game. Her field goal percentage of 57.9% was second among all contestants and 1.75 blocks per game which tied her for first place. She was selected as the 7th overall pick by New York Liberty during the 2012 WNBA Draft.

Ronald Cass III

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Mozambique
  • 2015  –  Botswana
  • 2015  –  South Africa

Ruth Riley

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Morocco
  • 2014  –  Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2014  –  Spain
  • 2015  –  Mozambique
  • 2015  –  Botswana
  • 2015  –  South Africa
  • 2015  –  Saudi Arabia

Person Info/Academic
-Born: August 28, 1979
-University of Notre Dame 1997-2001
-Summa Cum Laude, BA in Psychology
-Recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship
-2001 Recipient of the NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award recognizing athletics, academic achievement, character and leadership
-First Vice President of the WNBA Players Association since 2005
-A 2010 inductee into Notre Dame’s prestigious Ring of Honor
-Inducted into the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame
-Wrote a children’s book “Spirit of Basketball” for the WNBA’s Detroit Shock
-13 year WNBA veteran currently playing for the Atlanta Dream

In the Community
-Spokesperson for “Nothing But Nets” established by the UN Foundation to combat Malaria in Africa (#1 killer of children on the continent)
-Spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative.
-Co-Founder of Inspire Transformation (and NGO that does HIV/AIDS awareness & prevention through leadership and sports training in South Africa)
-4 time recipient of the WNBA’s Community Assist Player
-Appointed in 2009, by President George W. Bush to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
-Recipient of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award in 2010
-Recipient of the 2011 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award presented by the WNBA
-NBA/WNBA Cares Ambassador for the NBA since 2013

USA Basketball
-2004 Gold Medal Olympic Games (Athens)
-1999 Silver Medal World University Games

WNBA
-2006 WNBA Champions (Detroit)
-2005 WNBA All-star (Detroit)
-2003 WNBA Champions (Detroit)
-2003 WNBA Finals MVP
-2003 No. 1 Overall WNBA Dispersal draft pick by Detroit
-2001 No. 5 Overall WNBA draft pick by Miami Sol

College Basketball Awards and Honors
-2001 NCAA Finals MVP
-2001 NCAA Champions
-2001 Naismith Player of the Year
-2001 Big East Player of the Year
-2001 NCAA Verizon Academic All-American of the Year
-2001 Big East conference Silver Anniversary Women’s Basketball Team
-three-time Big East All-Tournament Team (1999- 2001)
-three-time Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year (1999-2001)
-two time Associated Press All-American First Team (2000, 2001)
-1998 Big East All-Rookie Team

Patricia “Ticha” Penicheiro

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Angola
  • 2014  –  South Africa
  • 2014  –  Rwanda

Growing up in Portugal, Patricia “Ticha” Penicheiro was introduced to basketball by her father and brother when she was just five years old. Immediately hooked on the sport, Ticha spent countless hours on the playground courts proving girls can play sports too. All the teasing and blocking she received as a female playing with her older and stronger male counterparts groomed her for what was to come, which was more than she could have ever imagined.

Before long, Ticha had developed the “American Dream” and decided she wanted to come to the United States and attend a university. After being offered a few full basketball scholarships, Ticha chose to attend Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, VA and in 1994 packed her bags and left her country, her family and her friends to follow her dream.

From 1994 through 1998, Ticha grew as a woman and a basketball player while helping to position ODU back to a place of national recognition as a Top 25 team for the majority of her college career. Seeing her dreams come true before her eyes, Ticha was considered one of the top players in the United States. By 1998, Ticha was a two-time Kodak All-American player and won the prestigious Wade Trophy Award. Inspired to work toward her next career milestone, Ticha followed along with the first season of the WNBA in 1997, ready to make her move.

Upon graduating ODU in 1998, she was quickly drafted as second pick overall and headed to Sacramento, CA to begin her career playing in the best women’s professional basketball league in the world. For the next 12 years, California became Ticha’s home and before the Sacramento Monarchs folded in 2009, they were able to bring a WNBA championship to the city in 2005. Ticha’s next career move was to former rivals, the Los Angeles Sparks where she played two seasons. Then in 2012, she joined the Chicago Sky for her 15th and last season in the WNBA.

Through it all, Ticha is most grateful for the amazing friends she made and has created lifetime memories. “Being European, I loved heading to Europe and continuing to get my passport stamped visiting so many different countries through basketball.”

Ticha had a stellar professional career. Looking back, Ticha has humbly exceeded her expectations in moving across the country from Portugal to America as a young woman. Under her belt are three different WNBA teams, four-time All Star, a first team All League a few times and was able to leave her mark as one of the best passers in the league. Following such a successful and adventurous career, Ticha has finally retired and decided to follow her heart and become a sports agent, “becoming a sports’ agent is something Ive always seen myself doing because it will keep me close to the game I love and I will be able to help players make a smoother transition to the professional basketball world”, Ticha said.

Ticha is now the Director of Women’s Basketball at the Sports International Group (SIG).

Keia Howell

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Rwanda
  • 2014  –  South Africa

Keia received her Bachelors in Kinesiology and her Masters in Sports Management from LSU. Once she graduated, Keia quickly realized that even though she had earned two degrees, she did not have a plan and was completely undecided about the direction of her professional career.

After accepting a few positions in collegiate and professional sports, she realized she wasn’t happy with the path her career had taken. She recognized that she was qualified to do more than work in the sports arena. Sports played an integral role in her life and it was where she felt most comfortable, which made change very frightening. She took a chance and interviewed for a pharmaceutical sales position and has worked in the industry for 17 years prior to founding iLettered and her non-profit organization, After Life Consulting.

Ebony Hoffman

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2009  –  Lebanon
  • 2013  –  Thailand
  • 2014  –  South Africa
  • 2014  –  Rwanda
  • 2015  –  Botswana
  • 2015  –  Mozambique
  • 2015  –  South Africa

Ebony Hoffman (born in 1982), played basketball at USC before being drafted by the Indiana Fever in the 1st round of the 2004 WNBA Draft. Hoffman left Indiana in 2011 when she moved to play for the Los Angeles Sparks. Hoffman spent her final WNBA season with the Connecticut Sun in 2014. Across her 11 seasons, Hoffman started 172 games, averaging 5.8 points per game.

From 2013, Hoffman has been the President and CEO of EbHoops Clinics, an organization geared towards coaching young kids interested in basketball. Hoffman is also currently Assistant Basketball Coach at Windward School in the greater Los Angeles area.

Natasha Hastings

Track & Field

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  South Africa

Natasha Hastings is an Olympic, World and US National Champion Track and Field Sprinter. She specializes in the 400 and 4×400 meter relay events. Born and raised in New York City, Natasha started running at the age of 9. While a student at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, Natasha won the 2003 USATF Junior Nationals and the IAAF World Youth Championships in the 400 meters.

Following a successful prep career, Natasha attended the University of South Carolina, where she majored in Exercise Science. As a scholar athlete at USC, Natasha won both the 400 meters Indoor and Outdoor NCAA Championships her junior year, setting collegiate records in the process. Natasha finished her junior year undefeated in her competitions.

After turning pro in 2007, Natasha made her first USA Olympic Track and Field team in 2008, as a member of the Gold medal winning 4×400 meters relay team. Additionally, Natasha has made every USA World Championship team since becoming a professional sprinter. In 2007, 2009 and 2011, Natasha won the Gold medal as a member of the 4×400 meter relay team.

Not one to shy away from the Indoor season, Natasha won the 400 meters USA Indoor Track & Field Championship in 2011 and finished second in 2012. She went on to win the Bronze Medal in the 400 meters at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. Although she missed the 2012 Olympic team, Natasha refocused on her personal goals and had an outstanding 2013 season. In 2013, Natasha won her first U.S. National Championship in the 400 meters. In addition to winning the 4×400 meter relay Gold at the 2013 World Championship, Natasha finished fifth in the 400 meter final.

While Natasha accomplishes a lot on the track, she knows that rest is just as important as exertion. She also knows how to have as much fun off the track as she does on the track. After she jokingly described the ladies of her collegiate track team as the “Gamecock Divas”, in honor of the University of South Carolina’s mascot, Natasha became known as the 400M Diva. For a further look into her personality and professional life, Natasha Hastings vlogs on her YouTube channel. Ultimately, as Natasha nears retirement, there is no doubt that she will continue to strive for excellence on and off the track.

Mechelle Freeman

Track & Field

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  South Africa

A Maryland native, Mechelle Lewis Freeman is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she obtained her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mass Communications. She was a member of the 2002 Women’s Outdoor Track & Field team who brought the first National Championship in any sport to the university. Mechelle is a Track & Field 2007 Pan American Double Silver Medalist, 2007 World Champion, and 2008 Olympian. Her events included the 100 meters and the 4×100 meter relay. When off the track, Mechelle turns her focus to her career in brand and activation management for companies including, Coca Cola and Xerox and shares her Olympic journey through motivational speaking.

Founded in 2015, TrackGirlz ® LLC. was born after she realized how underutilized and unrecognized phenomenal world class track and field women and girls were considered. Since then, Mechelle realized the impact of TrackGirlz could be greater as a nonprofit and teamed up with Jennifer Nash Forrester to bring this new direction to life.