Indiana Pacers hire NBA’s first female assistant GM Kelly Krauskopf

The Indiana Pacers hired former WNBA executive Kelly Krauskopf as the first female assistant general manager in NBA history, the team announced Monday.

“As the architect of one of the WNBA’s most successful franchises, Kelly is a true pioneer in our sport,” Pacers owner Herb Simon said. “I’ve worked with Kelly over the past two decades, so I know her tremendous basketball mind, strong work ethic and proven leadership skills will continue to be of great benefit to our organization.”

Krauskopf was president and general manager of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever for 17 years, before leaving that role to oversee operations for the Pacers’ esports operations. Krauskopf helped build one of the most successful franchises in the WNBA with the Fever. She built a championship squad in 2013 and took the team to multiple finals appearances. 

“I have admired the work that Kevin and his staff have put forth so far and I am honored to be a part of an elite and historical franchise,” Krauskopf said in a statement. “The chance to work in an NBA front office for a first-class organization filled with great people I know and in a city that has become my home is extraordinary.

“… My past experience has shown me that building winning teams and elite level culture is not based on gender — it is based on people and processes. I am excited to join the Pacers as we continue building the best NBA franchise in the business.”

She joins a growing list of female executives in a league that continually outperforms other professional leagues in racial and diversity  hiring practices. The NBA earned an A+ for racial hiring practices but a B for its gender hiring practices according to a study from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports.

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