26 | MAY | 2019
Meet the first Latin American woman to lead West Coast Conference
Nevarez understood that the West Coast Conference would not be the same without Gonzaga and put all her effort and experience into keeping the Bulldogs - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Meet the first Latin American woman to lead West Coast Conference

05/03/2019
15:29
Ariel Velázquez / Enviado
Mexico City
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Gloria grew up in a half-Mexican family in Santa Clara, Californa, where she started playing sports

At the beginning of last year, only a few hours after being named commissioner of the NCAA’s West Coast Conference, Gloria Nevarez visited Spokane, Washington, to save her relationship with the Gonzaga University.

The final four would soon begin and the sports program of the Bulldogs, a powerful force in the U.S. college basketball scene, was contemplating a league change.

Nevarez understood that the West Coast Conference would not be the same without Gonzaga and put all her effort and experience into keeping the Bulldogs. With her experience and determination, Gloria overcame the first great challenge of her career.

Gloria learned about persistence and tenacity in Santa Clara, California, growing up with a family that was half-Mexican. At first, however, her family did not approve of her playing sports because of her skin color.

“My grandmother didn’t want me to play in the yard with my friends because she said my skin would grow dark,” told Nevarez in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL.
That was the first time Gloria came across racial stigmatization.

In the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Mexican was “classified” as African-American.

“There weren’t many Latin Americans in Massachusetts and I am proud of my heritage. But I was shocked to see how they would separate us according to race.”

Gloria went to law school and always wanted to work on something related to sports to fight for equality.

A year ago, she became the first Latin American woman to become a Division I conference commissioner at the NCAA.

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