Iona University's Billi Chambers works to inspire future Black woman leaders as top NCAA coach

Crystal Cranmore Image
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Chambers inspires future Black women leaders as top NCAA coach
Billi Chambers in her tenth season as the head coach of the Iona University women's basketball team. Crystal Cranmore has the story.

NEW ROCHELLE, Westchester County (WABC) -- Billi Chambers is in her tenth season as the head coach of the Iona University women's basketball team.

"You're going to have challenges on the court. You're going to have challenges in life and it's all about how you show up every day," Chambers said.

This year, she was named a top 10 Black NCAA Division 1 coach and has led to the team to the top spot in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings.

"It's not lost on me that I'm one of not very many Black women head coaches in this profession and take that honor seriously," Chambers said.

Thursday was also equality day.

A nationwide campaign to promote diversity in sports

"We're really blessed here at Iona to have such a leader in Billi Chambers as our head coach of the women's basketball program. Who sets an example, not just for her team, but for women and leaders across campus," Iona University spokesperson Diana Costello said.

According to the NCAA in 2022,66 percent of head coaches in division 1 women's basketball were women while21 percent were Black women.

Chambers says she strives to be an example every day for her team.

In her first season with the Gaels, chambers led Iona to a program record 26 wins and a share of its first-ever MAAC regular season championship.

Those 26 wins are the most by a rookie head coach in conference history.

"Show up as your greatest self, don't let anybody tell you no, and continue to put your head down and work," Chambers said.


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