INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Fever hired former White House adviser Allison Barber as president and chief operating officer and promoted former star Tamika Catchings to vice president of basketball operations.
Barber will replace Kelly Krauskopf, who became assistant general manager of the NBA's Indiana Pacers in December. Barber has been serving as chancellor of Western Governors University Indiana and will be only the second team president in franchise history.
She also was deputy assistant secretary of defense and special detail to the Office of Global Communications in the White House during part of the George W. Bush administration.
''I am energized by this new opportunity to serve our team, our city and state as the new president of the Indiana Fever,'' Barber said in a statement released by the team on Monday. ''The team and I will work to earn the support of our fans through our commitment, our competitive spirit and our contribution. I am optimistic about our future.''
Barber begins her new job on March 18.
Another big move is the promotion of Catchings, a longtime WNBA star with the Fever.
She led Indiana to the 2012 WNBA title and was named Finals MVP that season. The league's career steals leader was a 10-time All-Star, winning four Olympic gold medals and the 1998 NCAA title with Tennessee. She's been a pillar in the Indianapolis community for nearly two decades.
''Opportunities like this don't happen often and I look forward to working with Allison and (coach and general manager) Pokey (Chatman) to help lead our franchise,'' Catchings said. ''On the court, we have such a great young core and we will continue to build our players and embrace the opportunity to grow our fan base in the community.''
Catchings previously served as director of player programs and franchise development. She currently serves as co-chair of the local organizing committee board for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis
Chatman likes the moves, too.
`'Bringing Allison to our franchise and watching Tamika step into a larger role has leadership written all over it,'' Chatman said.