A mother to two travel sports-playing daughters, Kate is excited to create a national platform to celebrate the leadership, commitment and talent of the nation’s remarkable, young female athletes. A former public affairs executive in New York with Cablevision, a media and telecommunications company that owned the New York Knicks (NBA) and New York Liberty (WNBA), Kate has been working and impacting the national youth sports scene for more than two decades.
Kate and her husband created and managed the U.S. Army Bowl on NBC for more than 10 years, the biggest showcase event in high school football. Kate was also a creator and executive producer of “The Ride,” a docu-style reality TV show about eight high school quarterbacks searching for a DI scholarship (MTV2, Fox Sports and NBC Sports). Most recently, Kate helped to create Gurlz Got Game, a national basketball showcase for middle school girls.
Kate is no stranger to the Hall of Fame brand as Kate’s husband Rich managed the football portfolio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village for several years. Kate has worked directly with young athletes as a certified yoga instructor and studio owner helping athletes move better through TRX, FMS and yoga. Kate is behind much of the combine testing that will be featured at the “Ladies Ball.” Through her company StillPoint Yoga, she pursues her passion of helping young athletes and others find a mind-body connection. Her movement philosophy is best summed up by Gray Cook, “First move well, then move often.”
As a “Trailblazer” inductee to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, Mary has spent a lifetime contributing to the great game of basketball as a player, a coach, an administrator, a business leader, and a champion for the growth of women’s basketball.
Mary was a stand-out college basketball player for four years at Briar Cliff University before playing for the Iowa Comets of the WBL, the first ever professional basketball league for women. Mary also played in the European Women’s Pro League for three years. In 1992, Mary was the first female inducted into the Briar Cliff Hall of Fame. Her successful coaching career spanned twenty-two years at the JUCO, NAIA and NCAA levels. Mary also served as a sports administrator working in college compliance and as an Assistant Athletic Director. Her rich business background included National Director of Fitness Franchises and CFO of Sports Health Clubs. A rare “five position” athlete, Mary will be using her talents and energy to work with our national partners to enrich their investment and return in the Lady’s Ball. She will also be using her background to create a Hall of Fame experience for our athletes, coaches, parents and corporate partners.
A former baller and graduate from Sam Houston State with a degree in Mass Communications, Marissa created PassThaBall in 2010, a national game-changing media company that focuses on girls’ basketball and top brands that are investing in young women. Attending and covering top national events throughout the country, Marissa and her staff have a finger on the pulse of the women’s game and have covered its athletes and teams like no other media group in basketball. An entrepreneur, Marissa’s commitment and passion to growing the game and celebrating the achievements of top girls has fueled the growth and success of PassthaBall. The brand has a tremendous and loyal following of athletes, fans and top brands which has been growing on a daily basis. Following and highlighting the excitement region by region, game by game and round by round, will be Marissa and her team from across the country.
A father and travel coach on the national girls’ basketball circuit, Rich is excited to help architect the “Ladies Ball” as the next big event in basketball. Before turning his energy to basketball, Rich spent twenty years building the nation’s biggest football events, including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on NBC that featured the nation’s top prep stars like Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow and Adrian Peterson. Over the past five years, Rich created and ran the biggest football event portfolio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, which featured showcase events on CBS Sports Network and events in China, Europe and Mexico. With an appetite to make the girls’ game bigger and better, Rich launched Gurlz Got Game, the first ever national combine for top middle school and high school girls that featured many Division I athletes. Rich also served as a National Testing partner for AAU basketball. His event team has supported the Capital Classic, the longest running all-star game in the country. Rich believed that today’s girls deserve more and created a national basketball platform and event series that features the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame where the legends and current stars come together to showcase the future of women’s basketball. The platform is supported by top brands and national media.
A top point guard who has graced many tournament courts domestically and in the Philippines, “Jersey Jay” has been coaching top girls’ teams and athletes in the New York tri-state area. He also has served as the chief evaluator for international girls’ teams from Asia, Europe and Latin America. A professional fitness athlete and top sports executive, he continues to love and grow the great game of basketball with the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Coach Rudd has a diverse basketball pedigree with excellence at every level. A Wake Forest legend, who played professionally in Greece and France and an NBA career with the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers, Coach Rudd owns and manages the Lady Phoenix Basketball Organization. Phoenix Basketball has been one of the top programs in the country. Coach Rudd's has over 100 female athletes playing college Basketball today. Including WNBA players. He also manages a top basketball facility and academy in the Winston Salem /Greensboro area. His 3 daughters all played college Basketball and are now College coaches. Rudd is currently the Head Coach at Winston Salem Christian School.
A Chicago sports legend, Chris found his passion and love for basketball at St. Francis de Sales High School where he was a three-sport athlete. Chris went on to become a Division I athlete at the University of Memphis and then spent almost twenty years in youth basketball running leagues and coaching young athletes in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. Chris has evaluated top talent in boys and girl’s basketball and continues to play, teach and learn from the game. A father to a basketball-playing daughter, Chris is excited to help create the regional and national power rankings for girls’ basketball and help select the final teams who will represent each region.
A former Division I basketball player at St. Peter's College and Evangel University, Eddie “EJ” Tarpey has lived a life of basketball and uses basketball as a ministry to teach his passion and life-lessons to young athletes. EJ was an all-state forward at NJ’s Phillipsburg High School where he led his team in scoring, field goals and free throw percentage and then to a NJ state championship. In his senior year, EJ was named The Express Times’ Player of the Year. EJ has coached and trained top basketball athletes in Florida where he currently resides and trained top athletes throughout the world, including the Philippines, Italy, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. EJ stays current with basketball with his continued elite level play in 3v3 and 5v5 in top national and international events for his age group. EJ has scouted top athletes and teams all over the country and world. A father to a top female tennis player, EJ is excited to help create the regional and national power rankings for girls’ basketball and help select the final teams who will represent each region.
Creator of the McDonald’s All American Game, with over fifty years of experience producing some of the biggest events in basketball, we were proud to have had basketball legend Bob Geoghan serve as Honorary Chairman of the first Ladies Ball National Selection Team in 2020/2021.
Bob started his basketball journey in 1966 and 1970 by serving on the Hospitality Committee for the NCAA Final Four. In 1978, he forever changed high school basketball with the creation of the McDonald’s All American Game, one of the biggest all-star basketball events as well as one of the longest running events in sports. The game has been played for over 42 years in cities around the country and has featured the best of the best. Its alumni include Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Patrick Ewing, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James.
Bob continued his work as a basketball pioneer when he launched the tradition of showcasing the best lady ballers with the addition of the girls’ game in 2002. His deep pool of basketball and media contacts in the national girls’ community helped him build a blue-ribbon national selection team that identified and selected the top ladies from around the country. Hundreds of the best girls in the country have played in the McDonald’s Game with many later becoming college and WNBA stars. Alumni include Breanna Stewart, Candace Parker, Skyler Diggins, Elena Della Donne, Ivory Latta, Tina Charles, A’ja Wilson, Katie Lou Samuelson, Chiney Ogwumike, Sue Bird, Kelsey Plum, and Maya Moore.
Bob was a great inspiration to the game of basketball and a pioneer in the creation of high-level basketball events. We miss Bob greatly, but will continue to grow the game and opportunities for young players in his honor.
700 Hall of Fame Drive
Knoxville, TN 37915