Behind the Bench, The National Basketball Wives Association (BTB) formerly known as Women of the NBA was established in 1993, as a national non-profit organization by founder Deborah A. Williams, Ph.D. Its membership is composed of current and retired NBA players’ wives and life partners. As the first national player-wives organization, Behind the Bench’s agenda addresses the challenges that face our families, especially women and children.
Behind the Bench raises money and devotes time to charities on a local, national and global level. Through heightened public and social awareness, members are able to reach into their respective communities seeking to profoundly enrich the lives of families and youth.
In June of 1995, the organization’s Charitable Trust was established and is the cornerstone of Behind the Bench. Members volunteer to administer the Charitable Trust, thereby allowing a percentage of all charitable funds to directly benefit targeted charities. Beneficiaries of Charitable Trust funds have included: The Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Children’s Assessment Center Houston, Ralph Lauren Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Circle of Promise and The Academy of Autism Orlando.
To date, Behind the Bench has donated nearly two million dollars to both national and local non-profit organizations.
Our Corporate Sponsors include the NBA, NBA Players Association, Wells Fargo, UBS & Nike, to name a few. We have a host of annual community sponsors that partner with us as well.
Each year we host our Annual Conference during the month of September, as well as host our “Touching a Life Luncheon” during NBA All-Star Weekend.
Our annual “Touching a Life Luncheon” recognizes local individuals or organizations that provide a positive impact in their communities. Our past “Touching a Life” honorees include Muhammad Ali, Hank Aaron, Patti LaBelIe, Janet Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cookie Johnson, Dr. Dorothy Height, Elaine Wynn, Angela Bassett, Penny Marshall, Kelly Rowland, Tonya Lewis-Lee and Spike Lee, Cathy Hughes and Derek Fisher, Michelle Ebanks and Angela Burt-Murray of Essence Magazine, and Crystal King of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to name a few.
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