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NBA All-Star: Thunder staff members attend Women in Basketball Operations Forum

All-Star weekend has become more than just a celebration of the individual achievements of NBA players. Away from the bright lights of the arena, forums and summits pop up in venues around every host city. On Thursday, four women on the Thunder staff attended the second annual Women in Basketball Operations Forum, in Chicago.

In all, over 125 women were scheduled to attend, according to Liliahn Majeed, NBA senior vice president of diversity & inclusion.

“To say that we have well over 100 women who are at our teams -- NBA, WNBA, all those teams -- in basketball operations, and our former W players as well,” Majeed told The Oklahoman, “it's something we are very, very proud about.”

The forum has evolved even in just the past year. In Charlotte last season, a star-studded list of both male and female speakers included women who were pioneers in their fields – Pacers assistant general manager Kelly Krauskopf, Jazz senior VP of basketball operations Linda Luchetti, former coach and current broadcaster Stephanie Ready, and NBA VP of player development Jamila Wideman.

This year, the forum took on a new format.

“We always want to find new angles and approaches to do this differently,” Majeed said. “What we're doing now is, it's going to be very hands-on, interactive, workshop-y -- knowing that's not a word. What we're doing this time is less people talking to us and more us working together in partnership to build tools.”

Cathy Engelbert, WNBA commissioner, and Byron Spruell, NBA president of league operations, were still scheduled to give opening remarks. But after that, those in attendance went through branding coaching and breakout sessions.

Related Photos
Ayana Lawson is the Thunder's director of player services in Oklahoma City, Okla. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.  Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Ayana Lawson is the Thunder's director of player services in Oklahoma City, Okla. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e9f3624f50ed803b725ccd1dbb912e0c.jpg" alt="Photo - Ayana Lawson is the Thunder's director of player services in Oklahoma City, Okla. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman" title="Ayana Lawson is the Thunder's director of player services in Oklahoma City, Okla. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Ayana Lawson is the Thunder's director of player services in Oklahoma City, Okla. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Photo by Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eac7141b13c05d6dfc63653f47b67655.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan argues a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan argues a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan argues a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a8b863969cea96c3b81e7e3e8338bb42.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel (9) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel (9) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel (9) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1a7c14255c9bed88959f2115e8006844.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) goes up for a dunk next to New Orleans Pelicans center Derrick Favors (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) goes up for a dunk next to New Orleans Pelicans center Derrick Favors (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) goes up for a dunk next to New Orleans Pelicans center Derrick Favors (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-baa0c9e7386b08edc8fb5e07fed4352d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (10), right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (10), right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (10), right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8aeae87732e40ec6d40d854dcf4e91c9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b8c211ea418758fe75d3abb33b0880fa.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-881334dcdc0281c5689d477e78bff34a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c0b5223d0a1ec1427261af20868329e7.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c6b13163df289d66fc51dc1db4caf560.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) celebrates a basket from half-court against the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-89eb5a99fddd0035b5a66139f94ce75a.jpg" alt="Photo - New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates a 3-point basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)" title="New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates a 3-point basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)"><figcaption>New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates a 3-point basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)</figcaption></figure>
Maddie Lee

Maddie Lee followed an NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City, she just took a 10-year detour in between. Lee joined the Oklahoman in October 2018 as a Thunder beat writer, fresh off a stint in Oxford, Miss., where she covered Ole Miss for the... Read more ›

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