Anucha Browne Sanders

January 30, 2012 by staff 

Anucha Browne Sanders, Anucha Browne Sanders is an American former women’s basketball player, collegiate star at Northwestern University, former executive for the New York Knicks of the NBA. She is also known for winning a sexual harassment lawsuit that she filed against New York Knicks general manager Isiah Thomas and Madison Square Garden.
In 1982, she enrolled at Northwestern University, where she was a star on the school’s women’s basketball team. She was selected to the all-Big Ten team three times, and Big Ten Player of the Year twice; she also holds the all-time conference records for scoring (2,307 points) and rebounds (951), and in 1985 led all Division I women’s basketball players nationwide in scoring average with 30.5 points per game. According to an article published by Northwestern University, Sanders may be “pound for pound, one of the most accomplished athletes in the school’s history”.

Browne graduated from Northwestern in 1985 with a degree in communications, and was selected to the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. She later would complete a Master’s degree in Marketing Communication at Florida State University.

After graduation, Browne continued to participate in organized basketball to some extent. She was briefly on the United States Women’s National team, and participated in several organized exhibition tournaments. However, an attempt at a pro career in the WNBA (which did not start operations for more than a decade after her graduation) did not pan out; she applied for that league’s draft and was not selected.

After her collegiate career ended, Browne Sanders worked for eleven years for IBM in several roles; her final role was as a program manager in the company’s Worldwide Sports Office. As program manager, she oversaw IBM’s marketing sports-related marketing activities, including at the Olympic Games in 1996, 1998, and 2000.

In 2000, Browne Sanders was hired by the New York Knicks as a marketing executive.

In 2002, she was promoted to the position of senior vice president of marketing and business operations by the franchise, making her one of the most powerful female black executives in pro sports in the United States. She held that role for nearly four years, until January 2006, when she was fired.

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