Journalist, freelance writer Smith-McDonald receives 2019 WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award

ATLANTA (Feb. 12, 2019) — Michelle Smith-McDonald, who has covered women’s basketball at the collegiate and professional levels for nearly 25 years for some of the nation’s largest media outlets, is the recipient of the 2019 WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced today.

Smith-McDonald, currently the director of communications and public affairs at Alameda County (California) Office of Education, began covering women’s basketball in 1994 for the Oakland Tribune and has never stopped. Along with her position with Alameda County, she continues to work as a freelance writer for espnW, The Athletic, the Pac-12 Conference and the WNBA. She was named to the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015 and received CoSIDA’s Jake Wade Media Award in 2017. She is married to fellow sportswriter Jerry McDonald, longtime NFL writer at the San Jose Mercury News, and has two young adult children, Annie and Matt.

Named after Mel Greenberg, the Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter who founded the Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll, the award is presented annually to a member of the media or sports communications professional who has best displayed a commitment to women’s basketball and to advancing the role of the media in the women’s game. Selected by past recipients of the award, the candidate must have made a positive impact on the growth and public exposure — regional or national — of the sport, been involved in the media exposure of women’s basketball for a minimum of five years and should be a media ambassador for the women’s game. Greenberg, the preeminent name in women’s basketball coverage, received the inaugural award in 1991.

"I am pleased to announce Michelle Smith-McDonald as this year's recipient of the WBCA Mel Greenberg Media Award," said Danielle Donehew, executive director of the WBCA. "Michelle’s efforts to preserve, promote and protect the priceless stories that make up our game’s historical narrative have strengthened the sport. The WBCA salutes Michelle for her contribution of time and talent to advance women’s basketball."

Visit to see a list of past recipients.

About the WBCA
Founded in 1981, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association is the professional association for coaches of women's and girls' basketball at all levels of competition. The WBCA offers educational resources that coaches need to help make themselves better leaders, teachers and mentors to their players; provides opportunities for coaches to connect with peers in the profession; serves as the unifying voice of a diverse community of coaches to the organizations that control the game; and celebrates those coaches, players and other individuals who excel each year and contribute to the advancement of the sport. Visit for more details about the Association.