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Big East taps former WNBA president Val Ackerman as its first commissioner

Val Ackerman (left) is the newly appointed Big East Commissioner. (Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

Newly appointed Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman pictured here with former U.S. President George W. Bush at a preliminary basketball game between the United States and Czech Republic at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

The Big East announced on Wednesday that it has named former WNBA president Val Ackerman as its first commissioner, days before it officially becomes a new conference, according to a report from ESPN's Andy Katz.

The appointment was made known on Tuesday night to the schools in the newly aligned conference, which is now comprised of: Georgetown, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, St. John's, Marquette, DePaul, Creighton (Missouri Valley), Butler and Xavier.

Ackerman, 53, served as the first president of the WNBA, holding the position from 1996-2005. A former basketball player at Virginia, Ackerman holds a law degree from UCLA and once worked as a staff attorney for the NBA. She has also been involved in USA women's basketball, serving as the first female president of USA Basketball from 2005-08. She also serves on the board of USA Basketball and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

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She was in Switzlerland this week for FIBA conferences but is due back in the U.S. this weekend. Ackerman had been writing a report for the NCAA on how to increase the popularity of women's basketball, which could include changes to scoring and scheduling.