Tori Miller Continues Evolution of Women Leaders In Men’s Pro Sports With G League GM Gig

Women continue to make advancements in the world of men’s professional athletics and the latest barrier has been broken as Tori Miller has been named the first woman to hold the title of general manager in NBA G League history. 

As the Black community, along with their allies in activism, cry out for an end to systemic racism, racial and gender inequality and League stars like Natasha Cloud and Renee Montgomery decide to opt out of the Bubble experience and focus on social advocacy instead, the Atlanta Hawks have decided to lead the way by giving Miller the reigns of the College Park City Skyhawks

Miller has been an assistant general manager of the Skyhawks for almost a year, launching her rise when she proved to be an efficient manager of Basketball Operations three seasons ago while with the Erie BayHawks.

She also has NBA experience, having honed her hoops administration skills as a Basketball Operations intern for the Phoenix Suns prior to her time in the G League.

Last year, she explained to what kept her going in her rising career. “It’s pretty simple. My motivation is that I believe in making the impossible possible. I think that mindset creates opportunities. That’s what I always revert back to and keep fighting. I know I want to be a game-changer,” she said. “You have to believe in making the impossible possible.”

The Rise of Women Executives In Men’s Pro Sports

The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida released its annual National Basketball Association Racial and Gender Report Card in 2019. 

The NBA league office continues to increase its racial and gender diversity with more than 37 percent people of color and more than 39 percent women. The latter was second only to Major League Soccer’s 40.9 percent. According to Richard Lapchick, who leads the report, the NBA and MLS have separated themselves from the other men’s professional leagues in this category.

Miller joins Swin Cash, Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development for the New Orleans Pelicans, as another high-ranking pro basketball executive.

In 2018, former N.C. State Lady Wolfpack star Chasity Melvin — who recently secured an assistant coaching job with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury — was named one of the assistant coaches for Michael Jordan’s G-League team, Greensboro Swarm, making her one of just five women serving as an assistant coach in the NBA and G-League.

It was a big deal at the time and another checkmark for gender equity in professional hoops.

That same year, Kelly Krauskopf became the first woman in NBA history to secure an assistant general manager position, with the Indiana Pacers.

Krauskopf is accompanied by a rising number of other executive women in the NBA, including Orlando Magic’s Director of Player Development and Quality Control Becky Bonner, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Senior Director of Information Management and Team Counsel Amanda Green and Toronto Raptors Vice President of Basketball Operations Teresa Resch.

Miller Joins Pipeline to First NBA Woman GM 

One COVID pandemic and series of mass social justice protests later, and Miller becomes the first woman GM in G-League history. She’s going to run the show and if the University of Miami graduate and Decatur, Ga. native displays an acumen for team building, this job could elevate her to the next level.

We were currently witnessing the evolution of women in coaching and the front office in live time. Women are earning leadership positions in male pro sports, but there is still a long way to go. The WNBA has just three woman general managers and the NBA has never had one.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.