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Past, Present, and Future of Women’s Basketball in Cleveland

Join the City Club to talk about the evolution of women’s basketball in Cleveland.

In recent years, Cleveland has welcomed several major sporting events, from the 2021 NFL draft to last year’s NBA All-Star game. In 2022 alone, the city hosted 10 national sporting events, which brought in $155.1 million to the local economy. Next year the top collegiate women’s basketball teams will come to Cleveland to compete in the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Cleveland previously hosted the Women’s Final Four in 2007 when the University of Tennessee won its seventh championship. The year was a momentous one for women in sports as it marked the 35th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in any education program that receives federal funding. More than 25,000 people visited Cleveland during the 2007 Women’s Final Four, bringing $10.7 million to the region. The city, led by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, is preparing for next year’s tournament, which is sure to make an even greater impact.

Join the City Club for a forum highlighting the evolution of women’s basketball in Cleveland. The panel will examine the past, celebrate the present, and look toward the future of women's basketball, all while focusing on gender equity and the need for continued representation within the sport.


  • Jessica Davis
    Senior Manager of Youth Basketball Operations, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Monica Gustin
    Vice President of Business Development, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission; and Executive Director, 2024 NCAA Women’s Final Four
  • Dan Hughes
    Decorated Collegiate and WNBA Coach, Former Head Coach, Cleveland Rockers
  • Chris Kielsmeier
    Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Cleveland State University


  • Kelsey Russo
    Staff Writer, The Athletic