Mwadi Mabika, a former Olympic basketball player and current forward for the Los Angeles Sparks, will speak on opportunities for women in sports, the role of sports in her own life, and her thoughts on women's professional basketball at a special appearance at the California Institute of Technology.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 6, at the Braun Athletic Center on the Caltech campus.
Before joining the Sparks in 1998, Mabika played for the Zaire Olympics team at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, and was also a member of the Congo national team. As a forward, she has led the Sparks in three-pointers and was voted Western Conference reserve in the 2000 WNBA All-Star game.
Before coming to the US, Mabika studied biology and chemistry at the Massamba School in Kinshasa, and hopes to study medicine.
Mabika's Caltech appearance is in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Established in 1986 by a congressional resolution, the day is a celebration of the achievements of girls and women in all kinds of sports, from archery to wind surfing and everything in between.
This year's celebration is especially meaningful because it is also the 30-year anniversary of Title IX, a federal statute that was created to prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs and which has had a major effect on college athletic programs for women. Title IX requires equitable opportunities for participation, availability of scholarships, and equal treatment of female and male student athletes in the provisions of benefits such as equipment, scheduling, or recruitment.
The event is cosponsored by the Caltech Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation, and the Caltech Women's Center. For more information, call the Caltech Women's Center at (626) 395-3221.