USA Elite Select’s vision has been to utilize our platform as a national sanctioning body to provide the elite game with tools to empower and equip our athletes on and off the field. At this year’s World Fastpitch Championship, we’re excited to offer educational seminars focused on providing elite athletes and their parents resources to achieve that goal.
On Monday and Tuesday, we will offer a series of educational seminars focused on equipping the complete student-athlete. Each day will have two sessions of seminars to accommodate teams’ game schedules. These sessions will each be 3 hours long and offered to athletes, parents, coaches, and community members for $20/session.
The first seminar we will spotlight is Monday’s Stay in the Game Seminar. This seminar will run Monday morning 9-10:45 and evening 4:30-6:00. It will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Kansas City in Overland Park [10100 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210].
Monday, Stay in the Game Seminar:
The Stay in the Game seminar was inspired by an event I did with the US Women’s Soccer Team where we gathered female administrators, coaches, and business leaders together to answer the question, “How do we get our female athletes to consider a career in the sport industry?” The foundation of this seminar is to encourage our female athletes to utilize their platforms to become leaders and decision makers in the sport industry. We need more female leaders in sport and female athletes are equipped with the character traits that make great leaders!
We have invited several women who played softball at the highest level, competed for championships, and have ultimately used their sport platform and athlete mentality to propel their professional careers off the field—in the softball industry. With the rise of college softball on television and the growing youth sport participation numbers, numerous jobs present themselves for our female athletes in sport and particularly the game of softball.
Here is a look at our Stay in the Game Panel of Amanda Scarborough, Francesca Enea, Jami Lobpries, Juliana Forero Becerra, Megan Willis, and Sam Ricketts.
Amanda Scarborough, ESPN Color Analyst, Package Deal, Blogger
Amanda Scarborough has used an entrepreneurial approach to working in softball. The Texas A&M Hall of Famer and two-time All American finished her playing career in 2008 where she won numerous awards including Big 12 Player and Pitcher of the Year while winning 2 Big 12 Championships and playing in 2 WCWS.
Amanda started calling NCAA regional games on ESPN in 2009 and soon worked her way to become a lead broadcaster on the SEC Network and analyst for the WCWS. Amanda is one of four members of Packaged Deal, an interactive clinic experience who travels the country working with and inspiring young players. Additionally, Amanda has made a name for herself in the softball world as a blogger writing about important topics for athletes and parents on and off the field.
Francesca Enea, Marketing Manager, Easton Fastpitch
Francesca Enea graduated from the University of Florida as the SEC’s all-time homerun leader. The 3-time NFCA All American set 7 records while at Florida including career and single season records in homeruns and RBIs. Tim Walton’s first Florida recruit from the softball hotbed of Southern Cal and the OC Batbusters organization helped the Gators reach the WCWS and the WCWS Final for the first time in school history.
After four seasons in the NPF with the USSSA Pride, Enea took a position with Easton as the Marketing Manager for Fastpitch. She is the rep for Easton’s elite college sponsorships, general sports marketing sponsorships, and grass root initiatives. Enea travels the country working closely with colleges such as Florida and UCLA and working major youth tournaments such as the WFC.
Jami Lobpries, Vice President USA Elite Select
Jami Lobpries was a member of two Big 12 Championships and two Women’s College World Series at Texas A&M, including a National Runner-up finish in 2008. Following her college career, she played 4 seasons in the NPF.
Following her playing career, Jami earned her Ph.D in Sport Management and taught at the University of Tampa before moving full-time to USSSA. Today, Jami oversees the USA Elite Select program and their two major events—World Fastpitch Championship and Select 30 All American Camp. She has helped with marketing the USSSA Pride and helped develop and brand the Dallas Charge of the NPF.
Juliana Forero Becerra, Vice President PWH
Juliana Forero Becerra grew up in Bogota, Columbia as an avid youth basketball player. Once she switched to softball at the age of 18 she made the Columbian National Team and began traveling internationally representing her country throughout South America, North America, and Africa.
While playing for Columbia in 2010, she became the translator/team coordinator for the USA Jr. National Team, who eventually asked her to join the team in South Africa the following summer. This is where she met PWH founder and long-time Firecrackers coach Tony Rico and made a bond through the slogan “Play With Honor.”
Juliana eventually partnered with Rico to create Play With Honor apparel and accessories. PWH sends the message of thankfulness to all those who allow us to do the things that we love. Today, the PWH message can be heard in over 12 countries, with an ambition to reach the rest of the world.
Megan Willis, Longhorn Network & ESPN Analyst, Asst. Coach USSSA Pride
Megan Willis retired from the NPF this past year as one of the greatest defensive catchers of all-time. She was a two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and caught numerous no-hitters and perfect games from her battery mate Cat Osterman.
Willis played eight seasons in the NPF where she won three NPF Championships and played three seasons in the Japan Softball League. She has endorsements with Diamond Sports and Boombah. Megan has worked the past three years as a color analyst for Longhorn Network calling Texas home and post season games and has worked in studio for ESPN during post season play. Megan was recently named assistant coach for the USSSA Pride making her the first former Pride player to coach the Pride.
Sam Ricketts, Asst. Softball Coach Mississippi State & USSSA Pride
Sam Ricketts graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2009 as the program’s and Big 12’s all-time RBI and homerun leader. The two-time All American was a USA Softball Player of the Year top three finalist in 2007. She was drafted 9th overall in the NPF and played two seasons for the Akron Racers.
Following her playing career, Ricketts began her coaching career on the Oklahoma softball staff as a graduate assistant coach, in 2010 and 2011. She then spent three seasons at Wichita State before taking a position at Mississippi State in 2015. Sam is in her first season as an assistant coach on the USSSA Pride joining Megan Willis as the first former NPF players to coach for the Pride.
All information and tickets for the seminars can be found on our website at http://www.usaeliteselectwfc.com/. Tickets for the Stay in the Game seminar will be $20 and limited in capacity. All seminars will be held at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Kansas City in Overland Park [10100 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210]