The Sports, Race and Society Lecture returns to campus Monday, February 12th and will feature a panel conversation with former athletes and accomplished professional sports executives Swin Cash, Allison Feaster and Nyaka NiiLampti ’97. Cash (Vice President of Basketball Operations & Team Development, New Orleans Pelicans), Feaster (Vice President of Team Operations & Organizational Growth, Boston Celtics), and NiiLampti (Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services, National Football League) will be joined by Ford Family Director of Athletics John Mack ’00 to discuss their individual journeys to distinguished leadership roles within two of the most prominent men’s professional sports leagues in the world, and the positive impact they are working to make in their respective communities.
The lecture, co-sponsored by the Department for African American Studies and Department of Athletics at Princeton University, will be hosted in McCosh Hall, Room 50 (see map) starting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 12th. It is free and open to the public (please note: the event will not be streamed online). Advanced registration is not required but encouraged for planning purposes.
The Sports, Race and Society Lecture, made possible by the Stephen C. Mills ’81 Fund, aims to bring accomplished speakers to campus to explore the implications and possibilities of uniting sport with the American experiment, the obligation that executives in the governance of sport ought to fulfill to athletes and communities, and the impact of athletes as citizens and influential community members. The Department for African American Studies and Department of Athletics are committed, with the support of the Mills Fund, to continuing this forum and discussions for years to come.
Learn more about the featured speakers:
Swin Cash-Canal, an illustrious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, currently serves as the Vice President of Basketball Operations & Team Development for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. A three-time WNBA champion (2003, 2006, 2010), four-time WNBA All-Star (2003, 2005, 2009, 2011), and two-time WNBA All-Star Game MVP (2009, 2011), Cash also helped lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to two Olympic gold medals (2004, 2012) and was named one of the WNBA’s Top 20 Best and Most Influential players. Cash also covered sports and culture for several media outlets, including Turner Sports, CBS Sports, and MSG Network.
Off the court, she founded Cash for Kids, a charity whose mission is to motivate, educate & elevate kids through physical fitness, nutrition, education, cultural trips, and sports camps. In addition to her non-profit contributions, Cash also founded She’s Got Time – a Women in Sports Organization whose mission is to create a diverse ecosystem of culture and resources while inspiring an intergenerational community of Women in Sports through interactive summits, the art of storytelling, authentic athleisure wear, and networking. She is proud to have worked extensively with the NBA as a global ambassador for social responsibility and civil rights. Although Cash holds many titles, there are none greater to her than that of a wife to her husband – Steve Canal, and mother to their two boys – Saint Cash-Canal and Syer Cash-Canal.
Allison Feaster is Vice President of Team Operations & Organizational Growth for the Boston Celtics. She is a former professional basketball player, a global citizen, and a trailblazer in the sports industry who is highly regarded for her leadership and teambuilding skills. During her decorated college basketball career, Feaster was the first player in any sport to be honored as Ivy League Player of the Year three times, leading the first-ever NCAA Division-I Tournament upset of No. 16 seed Harvard against No. 1 seed Stanford. She was a first-round WNBA draft pick and went on to a 17-year professional playing career in the US, Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal.
Following her retirement from playing in 2016, Feaster joined the NBA’s Basketball Operations Management Development Program. After serving as the lead of Player Personnel & Coach Relations for the NBA G-League, she joined the Boston Celtics organization where she currently leads Team Operations & Organizational Growth.
Beyond the court, Feaster serves on the NCAA’s Board of Governors, and she is co-lead for Boston Celtics United, the Celtics’ social justice initiative to impact social and racial inequities in Black and Brown communities in Greater Boston. She maintains her role as an active public speaker, a champion of the advancement of women and girls, and serves as a global advocate for sport, including serving as a Sports Envoy for the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Feaster is a graduate of Harvard College (BA, Economics) and the Universidad Europea (MBA).
Dr. Nyaka NiiLampti ’97 serves as the National Football League’s Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services. A four-year track and field letterwinner, NiiLampti graduated from Princeton with a bachelor’s degree in psychology before earning her master’s in sport psychology and exercise sport science at UNC and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Temple University. She taught psychology courses as an assistant professor at Queens University of Charlotte until 2016 before transitioning to a career as the Director of Player Wellness with the NFL Players Association. During her time with the NFLPA she helped educate professional football players on different aspects of their wellness, with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse.
In her current role, NiiLampti heads the NFL’s Total Wellness and Mental Health platforms. She is a critical player in advancing the NFL’s Player Engagement mission of making a positive impact inside and outside of the NFL family.
While at Princeton, NiiLampti focused her thesis on the psychological impact sport can have on women. She has also co-authored a book called “The Career Game Plan: Preparing Student Athletes to Compete and Win in the World of Work.”