Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Valarie Jenkins

Disc Golf

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Russia

Valarie Jenkins is a professional disc golfer, currently the number one ranked female disc golfer in the world. Growing up in a disc golf family, she was around the sport from an early age. She began her professional career in 2003 after placing second in the Amateur World Championships. Valarie has won 13 majors during the course of her career, including three World Championships. During the three years that Valarie was the world champion (2007-2009), she won 22 tournaments that were National Tour Events or Majors. Valarie remains one of only four women in the history of Disc Golf to have won at least 3 PDGA World Championships.

Eddie Lewis


Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Indonesia

Eddie Lewis is a retired professional left-side midfielder soccer player. Before playing professionally, Lewis played for UCLA Bruins and in 1995, scored 11 goals and 10 assists, finishing his Bruin career with 30 goals and 28 assists. Lewis started his soccer career with San Jose in MLS before moving to England in 2000. He stayed in English soccer until he returned to MLS with the LA Galaxy in 2008.

He played professionally for 14 years playing as a left midfielder for club and for the US in the World Cup. He played in 11 of 18 qualifying games for the 2006 World Cup, scoring 2 goals and registering 2 assists.

Cobi Jones


Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Burma
  • 2014  –  Brazil
  • 2015  –  Tonga
  • 2015  –  Fiji
  • 2021  –  Virtual

Cobi Jones is a Southern California sports legend, maintaining the title of the longest standing member of the LA Galaxy dynasty. LA’s “Original Cobi,” spent 15 seasons with the Galaxy, as both a player and coach from 1996 – 2010. A 2011 US Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, Cobi is a two-time MLS Cup winner (2002, 2005) with a storied international career with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team. A permanent fixture with the team from 1992- 2004, he played in three World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002) and has the most international appearances for the Men’s side with 164 caps. He is also a 1992 Olympian. Prior to his MLS career, Cobi played overseas with Coventry City (English Premier League) and the Brazilian side, Vasco de Gama.

Today, Cobi is one of the sport’s preeminent broadcasters working with FOX Sports, where he was part of both the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup broadcast teams, both as a game analyst (2018) and co-hosting World Cup Tonight (2018-2019). He is the lead English language analyst for Fox’s coverage of Liga MX, Mexico’s top professional soccer league. He has also covered the Bundesliga, US Men’s National Team games, CONCACAF Champions League, the Gold Cup, and various FIFA tournaments for Fox. Cobi has been in the booth as the color commentator calling the LA Galaxy matches since 2012 for Spectrum SportsNet (formerly Time Warner Cable), Pac-12 Network, BeIn Sports, Next VR and he was also part of the 2012 NBC Olympic coverage.

A UCLA Hall of Famer and 1990 NCAA Champion with the Bruins, Cobi works closely with the LA2028 Olympic Committee, The Rose Bowl Institute, the LA84 Foundation, Cal South, AYSO, the US Soccer Foundation, and others. He represented the White House as part of the Presidential Delegation, attending both the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final in Canada and the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup Final in Brazil. He is also consistently part of the US State Department’s Sports Envoy.

In the Fall of 2020, it was announced that Cobi joined the esteemed ranks as one of the founding investor owners of the NWSL’s newest team, Angel City FC, brining women’s professional soccer to Los Angeles. Cobi joins sports greats Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Serena Williams, actresses Natalie Portman, Jennifer Garner, America Ferrara and other notable names as part of the ownership group that is moving the needle for parity and equality in sports.

In an effort to work toward racial equality, improve the gender pay gap and continue to help elevate American soccer on a global level, Cobi will work with US Soccer and the US Soccer Foundation to bring his passion and commitment to the beautiful game to another level.

Ronald Cass III


Served as envoy

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

Ruthie Bolton


Served as envoy

  • 2008  –  Saudi Arabia
  • 2013  –  Kazakhstan
  • 2014  –  Moldova
  • 2015  –  Bangladesh
  • 2018  –  Armenia
  • 2018  –  Georgia
  • 2019  –  Kosovo
  • 2019  –  Albania

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and WNBA All-Star.

Scored over 2,000 career points, is fourth of the WNBA’s all-time 3-pointer list, and is the only player in the history of the Sacramento Monarchs to have her number retired.

First WNBA Player of the Week in July of 1997, a member of the 1999 First Team All WNBA, and a two-time WNBA All-Star in 1999 and 2001
The 1991 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year.

Played with the 1995-96 US Women’s National Team that compiled a perfect 60-0 record.

In four seasons at Auburn, she led her team to a combined record of 199-13, which included three Southeastern Conference Championships (1987-1989), four NCAA Tournament appearances and two runner-up finishes in 1988 and 1989.

She was named to the 1988 NCAA Women’s Final Four All-Tournament Team.

A 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army.

2011 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

Ruth Riley


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

-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

Nicole Powell


Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Poland

Nicole Kristen Powell (born June 22, 1982) is a basketball player who was a standout at Stanford University and has played for several teams in the WNBA. She has also excelled on the Fenerbahçe Istanbul squad in Europe. Powell joined the coaching staff of the Gonzaga University women’s basketball team, where she coached for one year. At the end of the 2014 WNBA season, Powell joined the coaching staff on the University of Oregon women’s basketball team (assisting head coach Kelly Graves) and retired from the WNBA.

High school
Born in Sierra Vista, Arizona, Powell played for Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, where she was named a WBCA All-American. She also was named a 2000 Parade Magazine First Team All-American in 2000 and the Arizona Player of the Century by the Arizona Republic. She participated in the 2000 WBCA High School All-America Game where she scored fourteen points.

In addition, Powell during her high school years earned all-region selection in both tennis and track, won the state badminton singles championships in 1997, 1999 and 2000, won the state discus title in 2000, and was an Arizona 5A doubles runner-up in tennis in 2000.

Powell played the forward position for Stanford University women’s NCAA basketball team. During her tenure there, she broke many school records, was named an All-American three times, and won numerous awards. She majored in urban studies.

She is the only female basketball player in Pac-10 history to have achieved multiple triple-double games (that is, 10 totals or more in three different statistical categories) during the same season.

WNBA career
Powell was picked No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Sting in the 2004 WNBA Draft. She was used by the Sting as a utility player, appearing in 31 games. On March 3, 2005, she was traded to the Sacramento Monarchs in a multi-player deal. The trade greatly aided the Monarchs in the 2005 season while Powell enjoyed a breakout year and eventually was named the recipient of that year’s WNBA’s Most Improved Player award. She played a pivotal role in the Monarchs’ 2005 WNBA Finals victory over the Connecticut Sun.

Although the Monarchs struggled in subsequent years, Powell’s statistics continued to improve. In 2009, with several of her teammates hobbled by injuries, Powell averaged 16.7 points per game and was the best free throw shooter in the WNBA with 97.9% of attempts made. She also participated in the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game, where she scored 21 points off the bench.

The Monarchs ceased operations following their 2009 season. The New York Liberty selected Nicole Powell with the first pick in the ensuing dispersal draft. She was traded to the Tulsa Shock before the 2013 season and signed with the Seattle Storm before the 2014 season.

USA Basketball
Powell was a member of the USA Women’s U18 team which won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mar Del Plata, Argentina. The event was held in July 2000, when the USA team defeated Cuba to win the championship. Powell averaged 8.2 points per game and led the team in rebounding with 6.4 per game. Powell was named to the USA Women’s U19 team which represented the USA in the 2001 U19 World’s Championship, held in Brno, Czech Republic in July 2001. Powell scored 7.0 points per game, led the team in rebounding with 6.3 per game to help the USA team to a 6–1 record and the bronze medal.

In 2003, Powell helped the United States women’s national basketball team win a silver medal at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She also helped national teams win a bronze medal (in the Czech Republic) and a gold medal (in Argentina) at two other international tournaments.

International career
During the 2008–2009 and 2009–2010 WNBA off-season, Powell contributed to Fenerbahçe’s victories each year in the Turkish women’s basketball league championship. In 2007–2008 she played for CSKA Moscow in Russia, in 2006–2007 for Perfumerias Halcon Avenida in Spain, in 2005–2006 for Fenerbahçe for the first time, also winning the country’s championship, and 2004–2005 Basket Spezia in Italy. Now Powell is a player of Polish team – TS Wisła Kraków.

Vital statistics
• Position: Guard/Forward
• Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.88 m)
• Weight: 175
• College: Stanford University
• Team(s): New York Liberty, Sacramento Monarchs, Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca, Fenerbahçe Istanbul, Charlotte Sting, TS Wisła Can-Pack Kraków
Awards and achievements
• 2009 WNBA All-Star Selection
• 2005 WNBA Most Improved Player

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.

Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike


Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Brazil
  • 2023  –  Cote d'Ivoire

Chinenye “Chiney” Ogwumike is a professional basketball player for The Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Chiney holds the record for most rebounds in the history of Stanford Women’s Basketball and the Pac-12 Conference.

In 2014, Ogwumike signed an endorsement deal with Nike soon after being drafted first overall in the WNBA. As of 2016, Ogwumike was elected Vice-President of the WNBA Players Association, and signed an endorsement deal with Adidas. In May 2018, Ogwumike signed a multi-year contract with ESPN to become a full-time in-sports analyst.

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.