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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Yan

The Women in Sports Honored in Forbes 30 Under 30

The 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 lists have been revealed and this year, the sports category features 16 different women honorees. Introduced in 2015, four years after the honors began, the sports category has recognized many notable athletes and women working in sports including Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Nneka Ogwumike, Elena Delle Donne, Sydney Leroux, Chloe Kim, and Hillary Knight.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 North America lists are published annually and highlight 30 notable people across 20 categories totaling 600 honorees each year. Initial nominations are received from mostly Forbes editors and reporters, but also include alumni, senators, and friends and family members. Forbes’ own editors, within their respective fields, then narrow down the lists to 60 to 80 finalists before the official judging begins. Judges are selected from within their fields to finalize the list of 30 honorees.

The Judges

The judges for this year’s sports category are Chiney Ogwumike, Tyler Tumminia, Ted Leonsis, and Malcolm Jenkins. Each judge has vast experience in the world of sports and played a key role in finalizing this year’s list.

Ogwumike was honored in the class of 2021 and currently plays on the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA. She has become a regular on ESPN’s “NBA Today” and “NBA Countdown” and will start calling NBA games in the near future with her recent contract extension.

Tumminia is the former commissioner of the Premier Hockey Federation, as she opted not to renew her contract after the 2021-2022 season. As the second commissioner of the league, she oversaw its rebranding from the National Women’s Hockey League to Premier Hockey Federation and secured the historical women’s hockey streaming agreement with ESPN.

Leonsis is a serial American entrepreneur who has founded LIST Magazine, Redgate Communications (acquired by AOL), SnagFilms, and Monumental Sports & Entertainment. His latest endeavor, Monumental Sports, owns the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Capital City Go-Go (NBA G-League), Washington Mystics (WNBA), and the Capital One Arena in Washington DC.

Jenkins is the CEO of Malcolm, Inc., NFLPA Executive Committee Board member, and a former NFL player who won two Super Bowl Championships across his 13 seasons with the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles. Malcolm, Inc. is a holding company for Jenkins’ other companies: Listen Up Media, Broad Street Ventures, Disrupt Foods, and Damari.

Midge Purce celebrates her assist on a goal at the Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns game on October 1, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Photo by Nala Burton for WSX.
Midge Purce celebrates her assist on a goal at the Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns game on October 1, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Photo by Nala Burton for WSX.

The Women in Sports Honorees

This year’s honorees feature 11 women of color and eight active professional athletes including one of Forbes’ youngest nominees across all categories, Anna Leigh Waters (15), and the 2022 ESPY Winner of the Best College Athlete in Women’s Sports, Jocelyn Alo.

2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 Women in Sports Honorees:

  • Midge Purce Founder of the Black Women’s Players Collective Professional soccer player with NJ/NY Gotham FC (NWSL) and USWNT

  • Jocelyn Alo Softball Player with the Oklahoma City Spark Collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma

  • Maya Azouri Co-Founder of Catchcorner by Sports Illustrated Honored with cofounder, Jonathan Azouri

  • Kenzi Inman Manager for Event Strategy and Development at the NBA

  • Sabrina Ionescu Professional basketball player with the New York Liberty (WNBA) and U.S. National Basketball Team

  • Sarah Nurse Professional hockey player with Canada’s National Hockey Team

  • Chelsey Antony Corporate Counsel for Business and Legal Affairs at the NFL Players Association

  • Kat Marquez Strategic Partnerships Manager for Sports at TikTok

  • Syndey McLaughlin Hurdler with the U.S. National Track & Field Team

  • Ashley Nicole Moss Host at Sports Illustrated

  • Jessica Murfree Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University

  • Arike Ogunbowale Professional basketball player with the Dallas Wings (WNBA)

  • Lauren Porter Senior creative strategist at the Bleacher Report

  • Ashley Ward Director at ESPN

  • Haleigh Washington Professional volleyball player in Italy’s Serie A1 and the U.S. National Volleyball Team

  • Anna Leigh Waters Professional pickleball player with the PPA Tour

This year’s sports list offers an insightful look at the future of women in sports, the next generation making a difference. Seeing players like Midge Purce shown the recognition they deserve for the work they do off the field will forever be meaningful to the players themselves and the community of family, friends, and fans rallying behind them. Women in sports are here to stay and change the game for the better.


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