Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Nykesha Sales


Served as envoy

  • 2009  –  Uganda
  • 2010  –  Cape Verde
  • 2011  –  Haiti
  • 2012  –  Venezuela
  • 2013  –  Ukraine
  • 2014  –  South Korea

The all-time leading scorer in Connecticut Sun history, Nykesha Sales returns to the team for her second season as the community liaison and an assistant to the coaching staff.

In 2013, Sales made numerous community relations appearances on behalf of the Sun, practiced regularly with the team and also provided color commentary on selected team broadcasts.

Sales was the first member of the Connecticut Sun franchise, which began as the Orlando Miracle prior to the 1999 season. She played with the team from 1999-2007, helping the Sun reach two WNBA Finals and four straight Eastern Conference Finals between 2003 and 2006.

A seven-time WNBA All-Star, Sales was the second player in league history to amass 3,000 points, 500 assists and 400 steals during her career – joining Sheryl Swoopes. She finished her career with 3,955 points, 683 assists and 490 steals.

Keia Howell


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.

Hamchétou Maïga-Ba


Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Mali

Hamchetou Maiga-Ba was the 2001 CAA Player of the Year. She was a three-time All-CAA selection and three-time All-Tournament pick. Maiga-Ba completed her career at ODU with 1,483 points. She led the Lady Monarchs in rebounding, both in 2001 at 7.4 and 2002 at 8.1, and hauled down a career high 20 rebounds against SMU in March of 2000.

She also helped lead the Lady Monarchs to the 2002 NCAA Elite eight and the CAA championship, and was selected to the CAA’s All-Defensive squad. Maiga-Ba was selected in the second round of the WNBA draft in 2002 by Sacramento where she teamed with another Lady Monarch great Ticha Penicheiro to help the Monarchs win the 2005 WNBA title.

A native of Mali, she helped lead her country to the 2008 Olympic games. She currently lives in Sacramento, CA., with her husband Baba Ba and son Mamadou, who was born in May. Maiga Ba graduated with a degree in information systems. She was named to the CAA’s Silver anniversary team in women’s basketball.

Edna Campbell


Served as envoy

  • 2011  –  Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 2012  –  Indonesia
  • 2014  –  Sri Lanka

Edna Campbell (born November 26, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.) is a retired women’s basketball player who played in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The 5′ 8″ guard was a star player for the Sacramento Monarchs and has also played for three other teams, but is well known for continuing to play despite suffering breast cancer.
Campbell’s college career began at the University of Maryland, College Park, but achieved her most notable success at the University of Texas’ women’s team, known as the Lady Longhorns, where she was named the Southwest Conference’s Newcomer of the Year in 1990. She graduated in 1991 after the Lady Longhorns compiled a 48-14 won/loss record while she was there.
Campbell played for the Colorado Xplosion in the American Basketball League (ABL).
Edna Campbell was the 10th overall draft pick, selected by the Phoenix Mercury during the 1999 WNBA Draft. She was left unprotected in the expansion draft the following year, and was chosen by the Seattle Storm. She became the new franchise’s go-to option, but the team finished with a cellar-dwelling 6-26 record.
The next year, the Storm drafted its first superstar, Lauren Jackson, and Campbell was traded to the Sacramento Monarchs for Katy Steding and a draft pick. During the second of her four seasons in Sacramento, Campbell was diagnosed with breast cancer. She received treatment and was welcomed back before the fans of her two most recent teams in the Monarchs’ final game against Seattle during the 2002 season.
Campbell continued to play despite the cancer, and has become a symbol to some survivors of the disease. She became the WNBA’s national spokesperson for its anti-cancer efforts with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She received the league’s Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award in 2003.
Campbell signed a free agent contract with the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2005. She played with the Silver Stars for that one season, before announcing her retirement from the WNBA on February 28, 2006.
During the 2006 WNBA season, which honored 9 years of existence, Edna Campbell’s return from breast cancer was nominated by fans as Most Inspirational and one of the top four WNBA Anniversary decade moments.
Shortly after retiring from basketball, Edna was hired as a television commentator for the San Antonio Silver Stars games during the 2006 WNBA season. In addition, Campbell has worked in Real Estate. Edna Campbell became a nurse in 2008, and also began coaching high school girls.

Ebony Hoffman


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.

Candice Wiggins


Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  Nicaragua
  • 2014  –  Chile
  • 2018  –  Algeria

Candice Wiggins is the new Sports Director of Basketball (Girl’s Chair) for the Southern Pacific region of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). She will be operating clinics, leagues, tournaments and national qualifiers primarily in the Los Angeles area of the region.

After spending 12 seasons participating as a professional athlete, including a WNBA championship with the Minnesota Lynx in 2011 and concluding with the New York Liberty in 2015, Candice “Coach Ice” knows what first made her life successful on the court: AAU Basketball. In 2000, her team NJB All-Stars won the coveted 13U Girls title at the Disney Wide World of Sports in Orlando. The following year she was featured on the Disney Channel original program Totally Hoops.

A coach at heart, Candice plans to provide her service to an important sports institution, and welcomes people of all ages into the revolutionary sports platform provided by the AAU.

Becky Bonner


Served as envoy

  • 2008  –  Kazakhstan
  • 2008  –  Kyrgyzstan
  • 2013  –  Ukraine
  • 2014  –  Sri Lanka
  • 2015  –  Saudi Arabia

Becky Bonner enters her first season as Director of Basketball Operations for the University of Louisville women’s basketball program. Bonner joined Walz after spending the last season as the Assistant Director of Operations at the University of Maryland.

At Maryland, Bonner worked with marketing and promotions, as well as facilitating the day-to-day operations of the team, which included supervising the team’s managers.

Bonner joined the Maryland staff after a successful stint playing professional basketball in Sweden and after a four-year career in collegiate basketball.

Bonner began her collegiate playing career at Stanford University, helping the Cardinal win the 2002 Pac-10 Championship. She transferred to Boston University after her sophomore year and started in all 30 games of the 2003-04 season. She earned third team All-America East Conference honors, after averaging 14.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game her junior year. She set the single-season school record with 72 three-pointers, while shooting 42.9 percent from behind the arc.

In her two seasons with the Terriers, Bonner connected on 113 three-pointers, which ranks fourth in the career annuals and ranks second all-time with a 37.3 career three-point shooting percentage.

After graduation from Boston University in 2005, Bonner spent the summer working for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats minor league baseball team before being contracted to play with Sweden’s Norrkoping.

Bonner is a native of Concord, N.H. She was a third team Parade All-American at Concord High School and was selected her home state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. In her junior year, she averaged a triple-double with 28.4 points, 16.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game while earning All-American honors from Street & Smith’s that year.

Bonner earned a degree in communications from Boston University. She is the younger sister of Matt Bonner who is a member of the 2007 NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs. Her younger brother, Luke, will be a junior at UMass where he is a member of the basketball team.

Allison Feaster


Served as envoy

  • 2012  –  Burma
  • 2014  –  Philippines

Born in 1976, Allison Feaster played basketball for Harvard University before being drafted in the first round of the 1998 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. Feaster played with the Sparks until 2001, when she left to play for the Charlotte Hornets until 2006. In 2008, Feaster finished her final WBNA season with the Indiana Fever. Over her 10 seasons, Feaster played 284 games, averaging 8 points per game. After retiring from the NBA, Feaster was a part of the inaugural NBA Basketball Operations Associate Program, which was created to prepare former NBA and WNBA players to pursue career opportunities in team management positions. Feaster is now the G League player personnel and coach relations lead and serves as one of the primary liaisons for the NBA G League Basketball Operations group.

Hilary Knight

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Belarus

Hilary Knight is one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s ice hockey.

Hilary first stepped onto the ice at the age of five, when her family relocated from California to Chicago. When there were no girls’ teams, she played with the boys. By high school, she was a standout star and had her pick of colleges. She chose the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she earned First Team All-American honours and Player of the Year in her sophomore year – and helped her team capture two National Championship titles. She took a year off from college to train for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where, at age 20 and the youngest on the team, she helped Team USA earn the silver medal. She returned to the Olympics in 2014 in Sochi to claim another silver. In her rookie season playing for the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, she became the first American-born player to win MVP. In 2015, she joined the National Women’s Hockey League to play for the Boston Pride. In 2017 she won her seventh IHF World Women’s Championships gold medal. “When I step on the ice, it’s like I’m entering a different world,” Hilary says. “It’s like a sanctuary. All my worries and stress shed from my shoulders.”

Julie Chu

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Belarus
  • 2014  –  Kazakhstan

Julie Chu has had a tremendous career coming from an unlikely
background that would lead her to 14 years playing on the US
National Team, collegiately at Harvard, 4 Olympic Games, 5 World
Championships, 3 Clarkson Cup Championships and off the ice
coaching at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Union College.
A native of Fairfield, CT, Julie’s life on the ice didn’t begin in the faceoff circle but with toe picks and figure skates. Julie’s brother Richard played hockey and with the blessing of her parents (Wah and
Miriam), Julie made the move from figure skating to hockey.
What a move it ended up becoming. Julie was able to make huge
strides locally in Connecticut first playing co-ed and then on to playing
with girls. She was able to win US National Championships with the
Connecticut Polar Bears, played prep hockey at Choate Rosemary
Hall and was recruited to play at Harvard. Prior to playing at
Harvard, she deferred enrollment for the opportunity to play on the
US National Team ahead of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games.
Since then, Julie went from being one of the youngest players to now
being the oldest having participated in Salt Lake, Torino, Vancouver
and Sochi for Team USA. On the ice, she has always been the
ultimate professional doing whatever the team has needed from her
including making a position switch from forward to defense if that was
what the team needed to try and win. Her unselfish play has been a
guiding light for younger players to see and know that they are only
as good as the team around them doing whatever it takes to try and
get a W.

While at Harvard, Julie was outstanding and during her career there
she set the All-Time NCAA Scoring & Assist record, led her team to
multiple Frozen Fours and won the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best
collegiate hockey player. During her international career, Julie has won the most World Championships for a US player, she is tied with the second most amount of US Winter Olympic medals and at the conclusion of theSochi 2014 Winter Olympics was elected by the members of the entire US Olympic Team to carry the flag during Closing Ceremonies.

Professionally, Julie has won 3 Clarkson Cups (pro women’s hockey)
with Minnesota and Montreal which is the most for a US player and is
still playing today for Montreal in the CWHL.