Women’s equality speaker Rebecca Lobo became the first woman to serve as the guest speaker at the Nevada Governor's Dinner, a function that initially catered to men only. On the grounds of the Governor's Mansion in Carson City, the 53rd Governor's Dinner was held in late July.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, Lobo, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Olympic gold medalist, and NCAA women's basketball champion at Connecticut, was chosen as the keynote speaker. Lobo, a mother of three girls, stated that Title IX has given women in athletics a lot more opportunities.
"I've seen, first-hand, as my kids have gone through the different levels, just how many more opportunities they have than I did.”
According to Lobo, a rise of interest in women's sports, particularly WNBA and collegiate basketball, is evidence that Title IX is making an impact.
"I've seen how much growth there has been in (the WNBA). I've seen how much growth there has been in women's college basketball, and in women's college sports all around in terms of fan interest and viewership," she said. "And in how many more opportunities there are for women not only in sports, but in education, which of course was the original intent of Title IX."
Lobo, who was voted the year's top player by the public, led Connecticut to win its first national title in 1995. As the youngest member of the American Olympic team in 1996, she took home a gold medal before beginning a fruitful seven-year career in the WNBA.
According to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, Lobo helped in eliminating barriers for female athletes.
"Especially young women that now see the opportunity that exists because of what she was a trail blazer at. From the gold medal Olympic team to working at ESPN and know that these jobs are available for any woman out there," he said.
In 2001, Lobo and her mother established The RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Scholarship in Allied Health and Nursing with the goal of promoting diversity within the medical field. In the fall of 2003, Lobo announced her retirement from the WNBA. In2017, she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She is now a basketball analyst for ESPN and a women’s equality speaker.
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