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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Recent Hoya Lawya Out As Wiz Prez

Female president O'Malley leaves Wizards

Marketing whiz Susan O'Malley, the first and only female president of an NBA franchise, is leaving the Washington Wizards. O'Malley has been president of the Wizards since 1991, earning a leaguewide reputation for creative promotions that helped draw new fans to a team that had been struggling at the gate. "Susan has been my right hand through the past 20 years and has helped guide the fortunes of our company," said Wizards owner Abe Pollin. "She has simply been fantastic in every way, from the moment she came here to the present, and I will always be thankful for her guidance and leadership."
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O'Malley also oversaw the business operations of the NHL's Washington Capitals for four years until Pollin sold the team in 1999. Her contract with the Wizards expires June 30, but she said she will remain an adviser with the team through the 10th anniversary celebration of the Verizon Center in December. O'Malley, 45, graduated from the law school at Georgetown University last month. She said she will take a vacation before deciding on her future plans. "Nobody believes me when I tell them I have no idea," O'Malley said. "It's going to be hard to find something that challenges me like this gig."

One interesting side note: O'Malley graduated from Georgetown Law this year along with Rebecca Grunfeld Hamilton, daughter of the Wizards' president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld, and Jessica Thorn, daughter of the New Jersey Nets' president Rod Thorn.

Georgetown Law Graduates Have NBA Flair
"It's pretty crazy," Grunfeld Hamilton said. "It's a huge accomplishment, so to be able to do it with people that you share a common bond with makes it even more special." It's pure coincidence that the NBA-connected trio ended up together, although Thorn and Grunfeld Hamilton had previously known each other for a few years. Of course, both were familiar with O'Malley, the marketing whiz who in 1991 became the first female president of an NBA franchise.

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