Power players: 10 African-Americans who impact D.C. sports teams and events
John Thompson III, Vice President of Player Development and Engagement, Monumental Basketball
Responsibilities: Thompson is in his first season as Monumental Basketball's vice president of player development and engagement. Thompson brings a vast array of experience to DC, including 13 years (2004-2017) as head coach at iconic Georgetown University.
Thompson arrived at Georgetown with a unique pedigree as the son of one Hall of Fame coach and the student of another, having played basketball for the legendary coach Pete Carril as an undergraduate at Princeton University. He achieved several coaching milestones, including an NCAA Final Four appearance, two NCAA Sweet-16 appearances, three Big East regular-season championships and one Big East tournament championship. In his four years as head coach at Princeton, Thompson won three Ivy League championships. Overall, he owns a stellar 346-193 (.641) all-time record and was named Big East Coach of the Year (2013), NABC Coach of the Year (2007) and was a two-time recipient of the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year.
Following his tenure at Georgetown, Thompson continued his path as a stalwart in basketball, serving as an analyst for ESPN and an assistant coach for the USA Men’s National Team (where he assisted head coach Jeff Van Gundy as the team qualified for the 2019 FIBA World Cup). He also served on the Commission on College Basketball (established by the NCAA Board of Governors, Division I Board of Directors and the NCAA president and chaired by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to fully examine critical aspects of Division I men’s basketball) and was the recipient of the 2019 Guardians of the Game Award for Service, presented by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Off the court, Thompson has been an active member of his community. His greatest contribution was establishing the John Thompson III Foundation in 2007 to create a positive and lasting impact on the city he cherishes, Washington, DC. He currently he serves on the boards of his alma mater, Gonzaga College High School, the NABC and the non-profit, Men Against Breast Cancer.
Doug Williams, Senior Vice President of Player Development, Washington Redskins
Responsibilities: Providing Redskins players the guidance and resources needed to be successful, working with Coach Rivera in making sure players are prepared for life on and off the field.
Greg O'Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Events DC
Responsibilities: Events DC is the official convention and sports authority for Washington, DC. As president and CEO, O’Dell oversees Events DC’s three lines of business: conventions and meetings, sports and entertainment and creative services. Events DC owns and operates some of the most iconic venues in the nation’s capital, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Carnegie Library at. Mt. Vernon Square, the 190-acre RFK Stadium-Armory Campus, Nationals Park, the Gateway DC events pavilion, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and the Entertainment and Sports Arena. His primary responsibilities include oversight of the development and promotion of hospitality, athletic, entertainment and cultural events that generate economic and community benefits for the residents and businesses of the District of Columbia.
Erik Moses, Team President, DC Defenders
Responsibilities: Responsible for building and leading a team that will conduct all fan engagement and business operations, including ticket sales, corporate partnerships, marketing and communications, content, community relations and game day experience.
Sashi Brown, Chief Planning & Operations Officer, Monumental Basketball
Responsibilities: Mr. Brown is in his first season as Monumental Basketball's chief planning and operations officer. The Boston native is a seasoned NFL executive, who has over 15 years of experience in both football and business operations. In his current role, Brown is responsible for directing and managing all efforts relating to technology, finance, communications, security, player engagement and development and the long-term term visions of all Monumental Basketball’s entities (Wizards, Mystics, Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming).
Before joining Monumental Sports & Entertainment, Brown spent four seasons with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns – originally hired by the team in 2013 as executive vice president and general counsel, working in both football and business capacities. In 2016, he was promoted to executive vice president of football operations, where he was responsible for drafting several of Cleveland’s current cornerstone players such as Myles Garret, Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. He also acquired draft picks and assets during his tenure that would later lead to the trade acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr.
Brown started his career as an attorney at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr here in Washington, D.C. He would later join the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2005, where he served as senior vice president and general counsel.
Patrick Ewing, Head Men's Basketball Coach, Georgetown University
Responsibilities: Serves as the head men's basketball coach at his alma mater, Georgetown University, and is currently in his third season. He is recognized as the greatest men’s basketball player in school history and following a 17-year professional career, he was selected as one of the top 50 players in the history of the NBA and has twice been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Lee Reed, Francis X. Rienzo Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Georgetown University
Responsibilities: Oversees all 30 intercollegiate teams at Georgetown University having been in this role since 2010 with the philosophy "Georgetown Athletics is STUDENT-ATHLETE centered, COACH driven, and ADMINISTRATOR assisted."
Sheila C. Johnson, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner, Washington Mystics
Responsibilities: Johnson is an entrepreneur and philanthropist whose accomplishments span the arenas of hospitality, sports, TV/film, the arts and humanitarian causes. She is CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, overseeing a growing portfolio of luxury properties and lifestyle businesses. Ms. Johnson is the only African-American woman to have a principal shareholder stake in three professional sports teams: Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, for which she serves as governor. She also serves on the board of the Greater Washington Partnership focused on strengthening the region’s commerce and innovation. Ms. Johnson is known as a TV pioneer, having been a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television.
Mike Locksley, Head Football Coach, University of Maryland
Responsibilities: Oversees all aspects of the Maryland football program.
Damon Evans, Athletic Director, University of Maryland
Responsibilities: Oversees the University of Maryland Athletics Department, which is comprised of 20 varsity sports, 500 student-athletes, a full-time staff of over 200 employees and an annual budget of $95 million.