Edwina Brown

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  Israel

Edwina Brown was born in Dallas, TX and shortly after moved to Lockhart, TX. As a natural athlete, Edwina grew up playing all sports but developed a love for basketball at an early age. In her senior year, she was named the Texas Class 4A Player of the Year and was awarded a basketball scholarship to The University of Texas at Austin.

Edwina had four successful seasons at The University of Texas. She holds a number of UT records including 1,705 career points, 517 career assists and 257 career steals, which is the only player to have at least 1,500 points, 500 assists, and 250 steals. She remains the only individual in school history to lead the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals in the same year, an accomplishment she achieved in both her junior and senior years.

As the 3rd overall pick in the 2000 WNBA Draft, Edwina played five years in the WNBA: Detroit Shock (2000-2002), Phoenix Mercury (2003-2004), Houston Comets (2006 post-season).

Her international experience includes playing in Austria (2001),
Lebanon (2002), Israel (2003-2005, 2007-2010), Spain (2005), and France (2006).

Her NCAA coaching experience includes her positions at the University of Texas (2011) as Strength & Conditioning Coach, at the University of Texas (2011-12) as Assistant Coach, at the University of New Mexico (2012-2014) as Assistant Coach, at the Texas Christian University (2014-2016) as Recruiting Coordinator, and at the Southern Methodist University (2016-2017) as Recruiting Coordinator.

Off the court, Edwina is pursuing her passion of giving back to the community and recently founded a non-profit, MAP’D Out (Mentoring Athletes and Providing Dreams). Raised by her mother and grandmother in Lockhart, TX, Edwina realizes the importance of an inspirational mentor and started MAP’D Out to lend a helping hand to youth in the community that exemplify sportsmanship, integrity and the desire to “MAP OUT” their future goals.


Edwina also acts as a consultant to coaches that aspire in growing their knowledge and platform in their specific craft. She recently grounded the idea of “Whiteboard Exchange” in which she relays and mentors those with the same vision of growing our community through sport.

Linda Hamilton

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  Philippines
  • 2010  –  Ivory Coast
  • 2011  –  Brazil
  • 2013  –  Chile
  • 2014  –  Bangladesh
  • 2015  –  Burma
  • 2016  –  China
  • 2019  –  Egypt

Linda Hamilton enters her fifth season as head coach of the Southwestern women’s soccer team, coming off a season in which she was named the SCAC Coach of the Year, leading the Pirates to the SCAC Championship match.

Hamilton brings a wealth of experience to the program, both as a player and coach. She played collegiately at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina, earning All-America status and all-conference honors all four years. She was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1988. Hamilton was a member of the United States National Team, where she played in 82 international matches. She helped the team to a World Cup gold medal in 1991 and bronze in 1995.

Hamilton, who owns a United States Soccer Federation “A” coaching license, got her start in coaching at Old Dominion University as the team’s head coach from 1993 to 1995. She later served as an assistant at Hofstra University (2006-2007) and most recently served as head coach at the University of North Florida (2007-2013). She has additionally worked with the Easter Seals and National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2002-2006), serving as director of development.

Juwan Howard

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  Democratic Republic of Congo

Howard has played six-and-a-half seasons (1994–2001) for the Bullets franchise (renamed the Wizards in 1997), three full seasons (2004–2007) for the Houston Rockets, 2+ seasons for the Heat and shorter stints with several other teams. During his rookie year with the Bullets, he became the first player to graduate on time with his class after leaving college early to play in the NBA. He had one season as an All-Rookie player and a second as an All-Star and an All-NBA performer. Juwan Antonio Howard currently is an assistant coach for the NBA’s Miami Heat.

He was most recently a regular starter during the 2005–2006 NBA season. In 2010, he signed with the Heat and entered his 17th NBA season, during which he reached the playoffs for the sixth time and made his first career NBA Finals appearance. He remained with the Heat the following season and won his first NBA championship during the 2012 NBA Finals. He returned to the Heat for part of the following season and helped them win their second consecutive title.

Howard has developed a reputation as a humanitarian for his civic commitment.​ Juwan’s Foundation has been active for the past 17 years. The Juwan Howard Foundation mission is giving to at-risk inner-city children, by organizing clothing drives and donating funds to youth-oriented groups, including an adoption agency, a youth home, and boys’ and girls’ clubs. The foundation has helped to support the placement of over 50 abandoned children into permanent homes. When funds permit scholarship awards to individual high school students in Washington, DC, and Chicago, Illinois. Also the Foundation hosts an annual basketball/academic FREE camp of approximately 200 inner city at risk youth in Chicago.

Dikembe Mutombo

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2011  –  South Sudan

Dikembe Mutombo hails from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1987, Mutombo was the recipient of a USAID scholarship to attend Georgetown University, and he soon excelled both academically and in basketball. In the 1991 NBA draft, the Denver Nuggets drafted Mutombo with the fourth overall pick. The Nuggets ranked last in the NBA in opponent points-per-game and defensive rating and Mutombo’s shot-blocking ability made an immediate impression across the league.

As a rookie, Mutombo was selected for the All-Star team and averaged 16.6 points, 12.3 rebounds, and nearly three blocks per game. Over his career, he averaged 2.8 blocks and 10.3 rebounds per game. He is second all-time in registered blocks, behind only Hakeem Olajuwon, and is the 20th most prolific rebounder ever. He was also an eight-time All-Star and was elected into three All-NBA and six All-Defensive Teams.

A well-known humanitarian, Mutombo started the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve living conditions in his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. His efforts earned him the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2009. For his feats, Sporting News named him as one of the “Good Guys in Sports” in 1999 and 2000. In 1999, he was elected as one of 20 winners of the President’s Service Awards, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service.

In 2004, he participated in the Basketball Without Borders NBA program, where NBA stars toured Africa to spread the word about basketball and to improve the infrastructure. He paid for uniforms and expenses for the Zaire women’s basketball team during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta. Mutombo is also a spokesman for the international relief agency, CARE and is the first Youth Emissary for the United Nations Development Program.

BJ Surhoff

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China

After attending Rye High School, B.J. Surhoff was drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 1982 MLB June Amateur Draft. In 1985, Surhoff was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during the first round of the MLB June Amateur Draft. Surhoff’s MLB debut was with the Brewers the in 1987. In the positions of Left Field, Catcher, and Third Baseman, he played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, and Atlanta Braves. Surhoff retired in 2005 after a 19-season career. In 2007, Surhoff was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China
  • 2008  –  Nicaragua
  • 2011  –  Japan
  • 2018  –  Czech Republic

Cal Ripken Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB draft, remaining with the team for 21 seasons in which during his time, was managed by his father and played alongside his brother Billy Ripken

His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only ten players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. One of his position’s most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career. Won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense and was a 19-time All-Star. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Major League record for consecutive games played (2,130) and in 1996 he surpassed Sachio Kinugasa’s streak of 2,215 straight games and voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games.

On July 29, 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Cal received the 4th highest percentage of votes in history, collecting the second highest vote total ever (98%) by the BBWAA.

In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in memory of the family’s patriarch. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, using sports-themed programs to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 to 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills. In addition, the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multi-purpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Over the last nine years, the Ripken Foundation has created 88 completed parks across the country in 23 states, 17 of which are Adaptive Fields for children with special needs. In 2018, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentoring programs.

Tiffany Roberts-Sahaydak

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2006  –  Uganda
  • 2007  –  Philippines
  • 2010  –  Thailand
  • 2011  –  Brazil
  • 2014  –  Brazil
  • 2015  –  Indonesia
  • 2017  –  Belarus
  • 2017  –  Albania
  • 2019  –  Egypt

An Olympic gold medalist, World Cup champion and two-time NCAA champion, Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak was named head women’s soccer coach at UCF in May 2013.

A three-time American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Roberts Sahaydak has wasted no time in putting her stamp on UCF’s successful program. Under her guidance, the Knights have earned four NCAA Tournament bids and four American Athletic Conference championships while boasting 11 conference Player of the Year awards and 38 all-league and tournament selections.

In her first season (2013), she led UCF to a school-record unbeaten streak (18 matches), an NSCAA national standing through much of the year and the program’s first undefeated conference season since 1999. In addition, UCF made history as the first program to win an American Athletic Conference Championship.

Roberts Sahaydak came to Orlando after serving six seasons at VCU alongside her co-head coach, husband and current UCF associate head coach Tim Sahaydak.

Roberts Sahaydak spent a decade with the U.S. National Team from 1994-2004, earning 112 caps (with 60 starts). Her career was highlighted by three women’s World Cups – among them, the unforgettable 1999 championship – and a gold medal with the 1996 Olympic team.

After retiring from the USWNT, she has served as an ambassador for U.S. Soccer with the U.S. Department of State Sports Envoy Program since 2007, promoting the power and benefit of sport internationally. With the program, she has visited Indonesia, Uganda, the Philippines, Thailand, Namibia, Brazil and France. In 2014, she was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the Federative Republic of Brazil at the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. She is a native of San Ramon, Calif., and was selected as the 1994 California High School Player of the Year.

She was a three-time Parade High School All-American, a three-time NSCAA All-American and was the two-time National Girl’s High School Player of the Year. She debuted for the Stars and Stripes in 1994 when she was only 16 as one of the youngest players ever to suit up for the National Team. She played in her first FIFA Women’s World Cup a month after her 18th birthday and won Olympic gold before she was out of her teens (USSoccer.com).

As a collegian, Roberts Sahaydak was a standout midfielder for North Carolina (1995-98) as a three-time All-ACC First Team selection. She led the Tar Heels to two NCAA titles (1996, 1997) during her tenure, was voted the 1998 ACC Tournament MVP and finished third in voting for collegiate soccer’s highest honor, the Hermann Trophy.

She still ranks among the top five for career starts in UNC’s record book.She was a two-time captain for the Carolina Courage in the first fully professional U.S. women’s league (Women’s United Soccer Association). She helped the Courage win the 2002 title after finishing last in the team’s inaugural campaign one year prior.

Roberts Sahaydak took over VCU’s program in 2007 and led the Rams to three conference championship game appearances. She was voted as the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association Co-Head Coach of the Year, along with her husband Tim. The duo mentored two CAA Defenders of the Year, one CAA Rookie of the Year and 20 all-conference players, including six first-team honorees.The Sahaydaks reside in Orlando with their two daughters, Layla and Evie.

“It’s been a life changing experience being involved in the Sports Diplomacy Envoys. I have had the good fortune of participating in programs all over the globe, and I’ve worked together with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I am constantly reminded that sport can bring us closer together. We can celebrate our differences and our common interests. Every time we start to play a game we start to connect and the world seems to get a bit smaller.”

Michelle Kwan

Figure Skating

Served as envoy

  • 2007  –  China
  • 2007  –  Russia
  • 2008  –  Argentina
  • 2009  –  Ukraine
  • 2010  –  South Korea
  • 2011  –  Singapore

Michelle Kwan has had a distinguished career in public service, diplomacy, and sports. She is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, having won 43 championships, including five world championships, nine national titles, and two Olympic medals. She became the first Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2006 and for a decade, traveled extensively on behalf of the U.S. Department of State to engage youth around the world on social and educational issues. Kwan currently serves as the Treasurer and Board Member of Special Olympics International.

After she earned a B.A. from the University of Denver with a focus on international relations and a M.A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, she became a Senior Advisor at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In addition, she served as an Advisor to the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State, where she assisted with the U.S.-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue. She was also a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition and Council on Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports initiative at the U.S. Department of State.