Now that the NBA season is over and the Miami Heat have captured the 2012 championship, all eyes are on today’s NBA draft. Whether Anthony Davis ends up at New Orleans, Charlotte trades their second pick, or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist drops to 7th, it will all be revealed today. But one thing’s for certain… once a player’s name is called, before they take to the stage and face the throngs of media, they all will stop to see Chrysa Chin. Today, Ms. Chin is celebrating her 15th draft as the VP of player development for the NBA. Although she plays many roles in her position, she is best known for her role in the draft as the “Hat Lady” – handing each of the draft picks their hat for the team that they have been selected for.
Born and raised in New York, Chrysa Chin joined the NBA in 1997 and has since been assisting players in reaching their maximum potential on and off the court. Her amiable personality and no-nonsense approach has made her a well-trusted source and resource for her players. She oversees day-to-day communication with players and their families to ensure a strong support network and counsels players through all the phases they will encounter along the way – the transition into the league, maintenance while they’re active and the transition out.
Chin is particularly focused on the challenges that young, new players face. In 1998 she created and introduced the 20 & Under Program, which offers players vital support and the fundamental skills they need to succeed as professional athletes. The program goes as far as teaching these young men how to manage a checking account, something many of these 20 & under players have never experienced. “It’s not simply getting them through the first years of their careers; it’s about establishing life skills that will help them succeed in all aspects of life during and after their playing days,” Chin has previously said. Over the course of her impressive career with the NBA, she has nurtured some major superstar talent, including Chris Paul, Steve Nash, LeBron James, and Larry Johnson, just to name a few.
Ms. Chin was recently named one of The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Business of 2012 for her passion, spirit of service, and commitment to building future leaders. In addition to her work with the NBA, Chin assisted with the launch of the WNBA and plays and active role in the USA Basketball program. She also supports a variety of youth related initiatives such as UWANTGAME, a mentoring program for high school athletes, and serves on several advisory boards and committees.
So, when all eyes are on the stage waiting to hear who the next generation of NBA stars will be, we will be tipping our hats off to Woman You Should Know, Chrysa Chin.