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Tamika Raymond receives leadership award

June 14, 2009 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) News Release

NEW YORK, June 14, 2009 - WNBA fan-favorite Tamika Raymond, who played in the league for seven seasons, most recently for the Connecticut Sun, was named the recipient of the 2008 Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award today in recognition of her outstanding community work in Connecticut. The award recognizes the player who best exemplifies the characteristics of a leader in the community and reflects Staley's leadership, spirit, charitable efforts, and love for the game.

"It is an honor to have Tamika Raymond associated with the WNBA. Not only has she proven herself to be a leader on the court and in the locker room, but she has also brought that same dedication and passion to her fans and the community," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "Through her actions, she has touched the lives of thousands of young fans in Connecticut and across the nation, and we congratulate her for all her efforts and good work."

Throughout the year, Tamika worked with the Thames River Family Programs (TRFP), a transitional home for women and their children. She made several visits to the center to take part in various "core classes" designed to help them set goals and create action plans to improve their lives. She served as a motivational speaker to the women and spent time reading, painting, and playing basketball with the children. She also purchased game tickets and dinner and provided transportation for the women, their families, and the TRFP's staff to attend a Connecticut Sun game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

"Tamika's work in her community speaks volumes as she is affecting lives in a way that will change generations within a family and community," said Dawn Staley. "We need more Tamikas in this world to secure the success of our youth. I am so proud to somehow be connected to her."

In addition to her work with TRFP, Tamika was a regular participant and avid supporter of WNBA Cares events and causes, including Nothing But Nets, a grassroots campaign with the United Nations Foundation that provides education on proper use to prevent malaria, and Fast Break to Reading, the League's initiative with Pitney Bowes that focuses on the importance of reading and literacy. She also made several visits to local schools, youth organizations, and fan events during the year.

"To receive an award as prestigious as the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award is a tremendous honor as Dawn has brought such leadership, commitment, dedication and change to her community in Philadelphia," said Tamika Raymond. "She is a role model to me both as a player and as a coach and an even bigger figure to me as a leader, mentor and woman who's making a difference. Community work is key for me because I'm from a small town and I know what it means when someone tells you that you can't do something or you don't have the means to do it and because I've played in the WNBA it gives me the opportunity to give back to my community."

The Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award is presented annually. Each WNBA team nominated one player and a designated committee selected Raymond as the winner. The WNBA will make a $10,000 donation to a charity of her choosing.

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