Allan Houston

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Global

Allan Houston is the New York Knicks Vice President of Player Leadership and Development, and all-around powerhouse in the sports industry. A consummate athlete, Allan is a two-time NBA all-star with a 12-year playing tenure with the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks and was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Men’s Basketball team at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Allan’s impact extends beyond the court through the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation, through The FISLL Project, which serves underserved youth, families and communities nationwide through its strategic partnerships, coaching clinics, fatherhood and family programming. He received the President’s Council on Service and Engagement Award from the Obama Administration and earned his Bachelor of Arts in African-American studies from the University of Tennessee. Allan and his wife, Tamara of 22 years, have 7 children.

Tiara Brown

Boxing

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Timor Leste

Began training at age 13. Team USA World Gold medalist. Current professional boxer with record of 11-0 (7 KOs), featherweight division.

Lives in Fort Myers, Florida where she is a police officer.

USA BOXING & OLYMPIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Retired amateur boxer for Team USA. I am the first U.S. female in history to win both the Gold and Bronze Medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championship. 2009 I made Team USA National Boxing Team and was ranked #2 in the Nation at 132 lbs 2010 I placed 2nd in the USA National Championship at 132lbs again ranking at #2 in the Nation 2012 I competed in the first ever Women’s USA Olympic Trials, placing 4th.

A month later, I moved down a weight class and won the USA National Championship at 125lbs making me #1
in the Nation in my weight-class. A few months later I won Gold in Canada at the Pan American Games ranking #1 in the Continent at 125lbs. A few months later I was the only American to win Gold in China at the Women’s World Championship
becoming the third American in history to do so ranking #1 in the world at 125lbs from 2012-2015.

I have competed against countries such as Bulgaria, China, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, and many other wonderful countries.

Obed “Radar” Bartee-El

Boxing

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Timor Leste

19 years old, just returned from representing Team USA at the World Championships in Serbia where he made it to the quarterfinals. Multiple national championship wins. Graduated high school this past May. Lives in Huntsville, Alabama.

2021 National Golden Gloves – 2nd
2020 USA Box Elite National Championships – 3rd

Kei Kamara

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Sierra Leone

To Kei Kamara, his home country of Sierra Leone means everything to him. Born in Kenema on Sept 1, 1984, he spent his childhood days like most African youngsters – playing soccer/football. By 1990, his mother left for the US and the country was in the middle of a bloody civil war that lasted 12 years. Fearing for their lives, Kamara and his family fled their home, eventually seeking refuge with his mom in 2000 in Los Angeles, California.

As a 16-year-old refugee Kamara, quickly found the structure and support he needed to graduate high school, and soon developed into a top goal scorer at nearby California State University Dominguez Hills. By 2006, he garnered attention from Major League Soccer and was drafted 9th overall by the Columbus Crew.

Over the past 15 years Kei has had an illustrious professional career that has included stints in the English Premier & Championship Leagues, and Veikkausliiga, the top division in Finland. He currently ranks 5th on the all-time MLS goal scorers list and is one of only 10 players to score over 100 goals. Kei has also represented Sierra Leone (Leone Stars) on the national stage for 12 years and helped lead the team to the 2021 African Cup of Nations Tournament for the first time since 1996.

While he’s enjoyed success on the field, Kei holds Community works close to his heart. In 2012, The Kei Kamara HEARTSHAPEDHANDS Foundation was founded with the sole purpose of providing scholarships to schools and students in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The foundation, named after his signature goal celebration, has allowed Kamara to follow his heart and use his hands to give back to the place he loves.

When the Sierra Leone government recently created free education for all, Kamara shifted the focus of his Foundation to help students earn an education through sports to study abroad. In the Fall of 2021, HSH helped its first-ever student athlete secure a scholarship to a prestigious Waldorf boarding school in New England and is currently working with other students for the same potential opportunities.

In addition, Kei has also been an active board member of the Black Players for Change (BPC) organization “committed to tackling racial injustices that have limited Black people from an equitable stake in the game of soccer and society.”

When he’s not playing soccer, Kei likes to spend time with his wife Kristin and three children – Kierin, Kendrick, Kaelan, and dog Chelsea (affectionately named after his favorite soccer team). If you know him you will know that family is his number one priority whether in Sierra Leone or in America

Etan Thomas

Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Global

Etan Thomas has been the personification of “The Activist Athlete.” his entire 11 NBA career. Thomas defies the stereotype of the apolitical athlete, planting his roots in his formidable literary career, passion for mentoring and civic engagement.

Born in Harlem, New York and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thomas’ childhood was surrounded by books on the civil rights movement, politics and the 1960′s. He was greatly influenced by his mother, Deborah Thomas, a schoolteacher, who instilled in her two sons to think critically and use their platform to make a difference. Etan Thomas has made his mark far beyond the boundaries of his 11 years in the NBA.

His latest work, We Matter “Athletes And Activism” was released March 6th 2018, Thomas has amassed an amazing collection of interviews intertwined with the heartfelt commentary of his own to create a masterpiece. You’ll read the voices of athletes, activists, media personalities, scholars, and the family of victims of police brutality. We Matter was listed as one of the top ten best activism books of all time by Book Authority. And tied for best non-fiction for 2018 by the African-American Literary Awards (AALAS)

In 2005, Thomas released his first book, a collection of poems called More Than An Athlete (Haymarket Books) that set Thomas apart as “this generation’s athlete with a moral conscious and a voice.” In 2012, Thomas released his 2nd book, Fatherhood: Rising To The Ultimate Challenge (Penguin), as a national conversation about fatherhood ensued and The Fatherhood Movement was borne. Thomas continues this conversation holding Town Hall panels through-out the country at prisons, churches, Universities, schools, and various conventions where he continues to inspire, motivate and support generations. In January 2013, he released Voices Of The Future (Penguin), a collection of poems and essays from young writers from around the country on topics such as Racism, Trayvon Martin, President Obama, Gun Violence, and Aids. Thomas utilizes poetry as an expressive form and encourages young people to read, write and develop the skills to express themselves.

Etan Thomas approaches his work fearlessly. Never afraid to voice his opinions, Etan was honored for social justice advocacy as the recipient of the 2010 National Basketball Players Association Community Contribution Award, as well as the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation, Inc. Legacy Award. Etan jumps at the opportunity to support civic engagement especially for under- resourced populations.

He is a senior writer for basketballnews.com and is the host of The Rematch. He writes for The Guardian and has previously written for The Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN, ESPN, Hoopshype.com and slamonline. He frequently can be seen on MSNBC as a special correspondent for “hot topics.” He continues to be invited on syndicated radio and co-hosts a weekly local radio show on WPFW 89.3FM, The Collision, where sports and politics collide.

Tucker Dupree

Swimming (para)

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Qatar

Four-Time Paralympic Medalist Three-Time Paralympian Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Disability: Blind/ Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy

At 17, Tucker began to lose his vision and was diagnosed with a rare disease – Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). In a short period of time, he lost 75% of his central vision in both eyes.

Tucker currently holds 9 American and Pan-American records.
At the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio, Tucker won a Bronze medal in the 100 meter backstroke.

At the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Tucker won a silver medal in the 100m backstroke and bronze medals in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle.

Tucker has been able to swim his way into over 10 world championship titles.

Tucker currently works for an energy company in Chicago and has a passion for accessibility, technology, plays piano, does yoga, and loves cooking.

Jessica Clinton

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Morocco

Jessica Clinton, former women’s soccer associate head coach at Boston University, was named head women’s soccer coach at Fordham in January of 2014.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Coach Jessica Clinton to Fordham,” said Fordham director of athletics David Roach. “After an extensive search it became clear that Jessica was the individual we wanted to lead our women’s soccer program. Her experience, passion and drive make her the ideal person to coach our soccer student-athletes. I look forward to working with Jessica and anticipate a bright future for women’s soccer here at Fordham.”

In her first six seasons at the helm, Clinton has put the Rams in the Atlantic 10 Championship hunt, making the title match for just the third time in team history in 2015, while qualifying for the championship in 2016, 2018, and 2019. During the 2015 run, Fordham won 13 games, just one shy of the program record, and set team marks for shutouts (11) and goals against average (0.84). The team was also listed in the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings for most of the year, finishing the year tenth.

Individually, five Rams received postseason honors, led by Jessica Widmann, who was First Team All-Atlantic 10, First Team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Kristina Maksuti, Nicole Bates, and Ally Doyle each earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Brooke Salmon receiving All-Rookie Team accolades.

In 2016, four Rams received postseason honors, highlighted by Bates, who was First Team All-Atlantic 10 and ECAC All-Star, Third Team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region, and a Third Team CoSIDA Academic All-American®. Doyle also earned First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Bates, while the duo also received NSCAA Scholar Athlete All-East Team. Salmon also earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors with Margaret Roughley being placed on the conference’s All-Rookie Team.

2017 saw more awards for Fordham, as the team was once again a recipient of the United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) Team Academic Award and the Ethics & Sportsmanship Award. Salmon earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors for the second straight season, while Clara Gastaldi earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team. In addition, the Rams set a new school record for team goals against average at 0.82.

The Rams matched that goals against record again in 2018 at 0.82, while also setting a new shutout streak record at 416 minutes, which included four consecutive shutouts. Three Rams earned All-Atlantic 10 accolades, as Salmon was a First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, while Gastaldi and Roughley were both named to the Academic All-Conference Team. Gastaldi received additional academic honors as a Google Cloud/CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District selection.

In 2019, Fordham saw two players selected to the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team in Danielle Etienne and Kristen Cocozza, marking the first time since 2003 that the Rams had multiple All-Rookie selections. In addition, Etienne made her first appearance the the Haitian National Team, appearing in the Caribbean CONCACAF qualifiers for a spot in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

In her first full year at the helm in 2014, Clinton led Fordham to eight wins overall, which began with a 6-1 start, the team’s best-ever start through seven games. The team also tied a program record by recording six consecutive victories.

In addition, Fordham was recognized three times by the NSCAA, receiving the Team Academic Award for the sixth straight season, while also earning the Ethics & Sportsmanship Award for the first time in 2014, which recognizes teams that exhibit fair play, sporting behavior and adherence to the laws of the game, as reflected by the number of yellow caution cards or red ejection cards they are shown by referees throughout the season. Fordham was one of 82 teams that claimed the Silver Award, which is given to teams that accumulate no red cards and a maximum of five yellow cards. The Rams were the only Atlantic 10 team among the 125 honored schools.

Clinton arrived at Rose Hill after serving on the staff of her alma mater, Boston University, for six years, first as an assistant coach from 2008-2012 and then as the associate head coach in 2013.

In 2013, Clinton helped the Terriers to the Patriot League regular season and tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Boston University, who entered the NCAAs ranked 25th in the nation, defeated Harvard University in the first round before falling to ninth-ranked Santa Clara, 2-1, in the second round. Nine members of the team received All-Patriot League honors while four received NSCAA All-Region accolades.

As an assistant coach, Clinton guided Boston University to America East Conference regular season titles for five straight years (2008-2012) and four consecutive tournament championships (2008-2011). The Terriers received NCAA Tournament bids each season from 2008 through 2011. The 2011 season was the best in program history as Boston University went 19-3-1 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after claiming their fifth straight America East title. The Terriers had a program-best 14 game winning streak that fall en route to securing the most victories in a single season (19).

Prior to her stint at Boston University, Clinton served as an assistant coach at St. John’s from 2007 to 2008. Clinton has also coached within the youth club NEFC since 2009.

Clinton has been a member of the U13 and U15 Region 1 Olympic Development Staff since 2009 and a Senior Staff member for the U15 age group.

As a player at Boston University, Clinton was one of the Terriers’ most accomplished keepers. She sits at the top of the school record books in saves in a season (98) and saves in a career (312), while also ranking seventh in career goals-against average (1.10) and sixth in career save percentage (.802).

The 2003 America East Goalkeeper of the Year, Clinton was a member of three AE championship teams (2000, 2001, 2003). She was an America East All-Conference First Team honoree in 2001 and 2003, while collecting NSCAA All-Northeast Region Team honors as a senior. In addition, Clinton trained with the Boston Breakers of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) for one season in 2003.

Clinton is a holder of NSCAA National and Advanced Diplomas, as well as a USSF “B” and “C” Licenses. She also received the Bob McNulty award which is named in honor of Bob McNulty, a former national staff coach, who instructed “C” courses for many years. The award is given candidates who best represent coaching and the important role it plays in the development of young people.

The Valley Stream, N.Y., native graduated from Boston University in 2004 with a degree in hospitality administration.

Marsha Harper

Soccer

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Morocco
  • 2021*  –  Morocco

Marsha Harper is the seventh head coach in women’s soccer history at American University, announced Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Billy Walker on December 29, 2019. Harper joined the Eagles after two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts, during which time the Minutewomen went 21-12-4.

Harper was part of a full coaching staff change at UMass, working with head coach Jason Dowiak who was a former mentor and colleague from the University of South Florida. While at UMass, Harper was directly in charge of all internal operations such as the development of practices, recruiting, social media, compliance and admissions for the women’s soccer program.

Prior to her time at UMass, Harper spent two seasons at Richmond, another Atlantic 10 Conference program. She has also had assistant coaching stints at Bowling Green State University (2015) and Northwestern State University (2014).

In addition to her tenures as an assistant coach at the collegiate level, the USF double-graduate has spent time coaching at the club and Olympic Developmental levels.

After completing her collegiate playing career, Harper volunteered as an assistant coach at USF in the spring of 2014 while also serving as a staff coach for the Future 50 Soccer Camp.

Harper was a member of the University of Florida women’s soccer team for three seasons before transferring to USF in 2011. She served as captain for the Bulls during the 2013 season. The collegiate defender earned her bachelor’s degree in applied science in 2012 and her master’s degree in exercise science at USF in 2014.

*denotes virtual program

Raúl Casanova

Baseball

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Ecuador

Raúl Casanova is a former Puerto Rican Major League Baseball player who was a catcher from 1996 to 2008. Casanova belonged to the Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay and New York Mets teams with whom he ended his career in the 2008. Casanova earned a world championship ring with the Chicago White Sox team in 2005.

Willie O’Ree

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Virtual

Willie O’Ree is a  Canadian  former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first black player in the National Hockey League. O’Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins. O’Ree is referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of ice hockey” for breaking the black color barrier in the sport. O’Ree played much of his professional career in the United States and settled in San Diego following his retirement.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018. Since 1997, O’Ree has been the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, traveling across North America to schools and hockey programs to promote messages of inclusion, dedication, and confidence.