Rakuten Future Leaders Experience

Empowering Young Women to Pursue Careers in Sports

In celebration of Women’s Empowerment Month, the Warriors teamed up with Rakuten to hold a Future Leaders Experience with youth from Girls, Inc., ahead of Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets.

The Future Leaders Experience focused on introducing young women in middle school to careers in sports. Before the game, the Dubs and Rakuten assembled a panel of successful women to share their advice and insight with the young group. Moderated by NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke, the panel featured Sonya Curry, two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker, Rakuten Ebates COO Adrienne Down Coulson and California Women’s Basketball Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Together the women discussed important topics about overcoming obstacles, building confidence, teamwork, passion and how preparation yields rewarding results.

Curry, who says she has shared the same encouraging advice with her son Stephen said, "Just don't give up. Be persistent. If you have a goal, keep keep keep keep keep chugging at it. Don't give up because the moment that you probably think that 'uh it's not gunna happen,' it's gunna happen. So you just gotta keep at it." Her advice rang in tune with Parker's wisdom, who spoke on the importance of putting in the time to improve your craft.

Parker and Gottlieb each told stories about late Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, whose work ethic had an everlasting impact on both women; always practicing what she preached and always going the extra mile. Furthermore, they discussed the importance of seeking other female mentors to learn from, with Lindsay Gottlieb concluding, "If you're inspired to think about what's possible for you, that's what today is all about...You can have it all. It's out there for you as women."

Followed by the panel discussion, the group from Girls, Inc. then shadowed twelve Warriors employees in their gameday duties from various departments, including game operations, public relations, corporate partnerships, and more. The girls also watched the game from a luxury suite and were honored during a halftime presentation alongside their inspirational panelists. Together, the Warriors and Rakuten are committed providing young girls with the knowledge and tools imperative for future success, both on and off the court.

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