2024 Sports, Race & Society Lecture: LeadHERS

Featuring Swin Cash, Allison Feaster & Nyaka Niilampti ’97

The Sports, Race, and Society Lecture explores the integration of sports with the American experience, emphasizing the responsibilities of sports executives to athletes and communities, and the impact of athletes as influential citizens.

Feb 12, 2024, 7:30 pm8:30 pm
  • Alumni
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Graduate Affairs
  • Public
  • Undergraduate


Event Description

The Sports, Race and Society Lecture returns to campus Monday, February 12th and will feature a panel conversation with former athletes and accomplished professional sports executives Swin Cash, Allison Feaster and Nyaka Niilampti ’97. Cash (VP Basketball Operations & Team Development, New Orleans Pelicans), Feaster (VP of Team Operations & Organizational Growth, Boston Celtics), and Niilampti (Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services for the NFL) will be joined by Ford Family Director of Athletics John Mack ’00 to discuss their individual journeys to distinguished leadership roles within two of the most prominent men’s professional sports leagues in the world. 

The lecture, co-sponsored by the Department for African American Studies and Department of Athletics at Princeton University, will be hosted in McCosh Hall, Room 50 starting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, February 12th. It is open to all members of the Princeton community.


Learn more about the featured speakers:

Swin Cash was named the Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development for the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019. In her role, she assists with team scouting in addition to player development both on and off the court. A former UCONN Huskie, she helped her team to NCAA Championship Titles in both 2000 and 2002. Cash was later selected by the Detroit Shock with the second overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. During her 15 year WNBA career she won three WNBA Championships, was named to five WNBA All-Star teams and earned two WNBA All-Star MVP awards. On the global stage she won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA in addition to one FIBA World Cup title. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022. Cash has also founded Cash for Kids, a charity program focused on motivating, educating and elevating kids through physical fitness, nutrition, education, cultural trips, and sports camps.

Allison Feaster is the Vice President of Team Operations & Organizational Growth for the Boston Celtics. During her decorated college basketball career, Feaster was the first player in any sport to be honored as Ivy League Player of the Year three times, and in 1998 she helped the Harvard Crimson to their first-ever NCAA Division-I Tournament upset over No. 1 seed Stanford. She was the fifth overall WNBA draft pick in 1998 and went on to a 17-year professional playing career in the US, Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal. After she retired as an athlete, Feaster joined the NBA’s Basketball Operations Management Development Program and served as the lead of Player Personnel & Coach Relations for the NBA G-League. Beyond the court, Feaster serves as a co-lead for Boston Celtics United, the Celtics’ social justice initiative. She also maintains her role as a public speaker, champion of the advancement of women and girls, and a global advocate for sport.

Dr. Nyaka Niilampti ’97 serves as the National Football League’s Vice President of Wellness and Clinical Services. A four-year track and field letterwinner, Niilampti graduated from Princeton with a bachelor’s degree in psychology before earning her master’s in sport psychology and exercise sport science at UNC and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Temple University. She taught psychology courses as an assistant professor at Queens University of Charlotte until 2016 before transitioning to a career as the Director of Player Wellness with the NFL Players Association. During her time with the NFLPA she helped educate professional football players on different aspects of their wellness, with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse. In her current role Dr. Nillampti heads the NFL’s Total Wellness and Mental Health platforms. She is a critical player in advancing the NFL’s Player Engagement mission of making a positive impact inside and outside of the NFL family.

Department of Athletics
Event Type
In Conversation
Featured Event
Event Category
AAS Event


PLEASE NOTE: Photographs and recordings taken at Department of African American Studies events by anyone authorized by Princeton University may be used in publications, both electronic and print, at the discretion of the University and the Department of African American Studies.

Any individual, including visitors to campus, who requires accommodation should contact Dionne Worthy ([email protected]) at least one week in advance of the event.