Several years down the road, Susan O'Malley would prefer to be remembered as the first, not the only, woman to be named president of an NBA franchise.
After being named president of the Washington Bullets on Thursday, O'Malley said one of her goals was to set an example that other women could follow. To a lesser degree, it's the same sort of pressure that Jackie Robinson endured several decades ago."Being the first woman, it's important that I don't mess it up for others," O'Malley said. "I just plan to work hard and do the right thing. I am both honored and challenged by this promotion."
O'Malley, 29, has been the team's executive vice president since 1988. During that time, the Bullets increased their earnings dramatically, showing a 36 percent jump in attendance in 1989-90 and a 10 percent increase last year.
O'Malley has built a reputation for being a hard worker, and she doesn't intend to ease up. "I'm used to working seven days a week, so this won't be any different," she said. "I think the bottom line of the press release (announcing her promotion) should have read, `She's still single.'
"That's OK, because I really enjoy what I'm doing," O'Malley said. "Anyway, I have a good circle of friends."
As president, O'Malley said she will be in charge of "everything that happens off the court." That includes marketing, sales, finances, public relations, broadcasting deals and ticket sales.