Swin Cash becomes highest-ranking woman in an NBA front office

BY Preta Peace Namasaba June 28, 2024 8:16 AM EDT

Former WNBA star and Naismith Hall of Famer Swin Cash has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations for the New Orleans Pelicans. This promotion elevates her to one of the highest-ranking women in an NBA front office. It marks the latest achievement in her distinguished career, both on and off the court.

“I am so excited to join the New Orleans Pelicans as Vice President of Basketball Operations/Team Development. I will use my experience as a professional athlete in the WNBA, Vice President of the WNBPA, businesswoman and philanthropist, along with the knowledge I’ve gained as a front office executive, to cultivate the organization’s basketball culture on the court and in the community,” Cash said about her appointment to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019.

As the Pelicans’ vice president of basketball operations and team development, Cash has been instrumental in scouting and player development. She joined the organization in 2019 just before the team used its No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to select Duke forward Zion Williamson. Before that, she worked as the director of franchise development for the New York Liberty in the WNBA. It was her first assignment to a team’s front office.

Cash credits her exposure to all levels of the basketball business for her exceptional leadership acumen. After retiring from a career as a professional basketball player, she transitioned to broadcasting as a studio analyst for MSG Networks. Cash covered the New York Knicks pre-games and post-games as well as the weekly coaches show. She has also worked as an analyst on NBA TV, providing insights on various ongoings around the league.

During her collegiate career, Cash led the University of Connecticut to two national championships and an undefeated season. She was picked second overall by the Detroit Shock in the WNBA 2002 draft. Cash went on to amass an impressive list of accolades, including three WNBA championships, four WNBA All-Star selections, and two Olympic gold medals. Cash was inducted into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.

Beyond the court and front office, Cash is a tireless advocate for social responsibility and civil rights. She founded Cash Building Blocks, an urban development initiative for low-income families, and the Cash for Kids Foundation, which focuses on youth development through various programs like physical fitness, nutrition, education, cultural trips, and sports camps. As a pioneer, Cash intends to keep competing as an executive, championing the diversity of thought and people in the NBA, and supporting more young women to follow in her footsteps.

“I wasn’t afforded a life where everything was always easy, but I was given an opportunity to compete. Competing for me is like breathing. Whether it’s competing in the classroom, competing on the court or competing with my family playing board games growing up – I always had this level of competition, and that’s what I’ve felt has separated me,” Cash explained what inspires her excellence.