WNBA awards: Ivory Latta wins Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award


Washington Mystics guard Ivory Latta has won the Dawn Staley Community Leadership Award, the WNBA announced on Friday.

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The award is presented annually to a player who shows exemplary leadership and service to her community. It is named for Hall of Famer and current South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley.

WNBA President Lisa Borders spoke of Latta’s influence in a statement Friday:

"“Ivory is not only influential on the basketball court but she is also a dynamic leader in thecommunity. Her passion and dedication for educating youth has been inspirational to watch and represents the best of the WNBA. It is an honor to recognize her with this award.”"

Latta’s work off the court includes a recent autobiographical children’s book titled Despite the Height, where the 5’6 guard described playing and thriving through the adversity of being an undersized basketball player.

She also participates in local clinics and camps to promote a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Latta’s influence has extended abroad, where she participated in the Hoops for Troops tour in the Middle East in February, and in March joined teammate Krystal Thomas in a series of clinics for children in the United Arab Emirates.

"“I’ve been blessed to be able to accomplish my goals and fulfill my dreams, but I wouldn’t beable to do it without people who went out of their way to support me,” Latta said in a statement. “As WNBA players, we have the platform to assist others in reaching their potential. I love having the chance to give back and help people achieve as much as they can.”"

For winning the award, the WNBA will make a $10,000 donation to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation on Latta’s behalf.

Past winners of the award include the Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings and Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne.