New York (AFP) - Michele Roberts, a Washington trial attorney, was named executive director of the NBA players union on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to lead a major US sports union.
She will take over the National Basketball Players Association following the removal of Billy Hunter from the job almost 18 months ago. Ron Klempner had served as the interim executive director.
Hunter served as executive director from 1996 until his ouster in February of last year when he was fired by a unanimous vote over questionable business practices.
"We're thrilled the players selected Michele Roberts as #NBPA Executive Director! Congrats to our players & exec comm for a historic choice," the union said in a statement on Twitter.
Roberts, also an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Law School, was welcomed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
"On behalf of the NBA, I would like to congratulate Michele Roberts on her appointment as the NBPA's new executive director and look forward to working with her and the NBPA executive committee to ensure the continued health and growth of our game," Silver said in a statement.