Ex-Wizards, Capitals co-owner Irene Pollin dies at 96

WASHINGTON (AP) — Irene Pollin, who co-owned the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Capitals along with late husband Abe, has died. She was 96.

Monumental Sports and Entertainment said Pollin died Tuesday at her home in Amherst, Massachusetts.

“Much like her husband, Abe Pollin, she was an icon in the sports world and beloved throughout the Greater Washington communities who have benefited from her generosity over the course of her lifetime,” Monumental chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis said. “Irene will always be remembered and truly missed.”

The Pollins owned the Wizards, who were known as the Bullets until the mid-1990s, for 46 years. They were the NBA’s longest-tenured owners when they sold the franchise to Leonsis in 2010.

Irene Pollin is perhaps best remembered for her excited reaction to the Wizards winning the 2010 NBA draft lottery for the opportunity to select John Wall. She also played a role in the construction and operation of two arenas in the Washington area.

Outside of sports, Pollin was a psychotherapist and philanthropist and a pioneer of women’s health causes.