MILWAUKEE — Basketball is in Kareeda Chones-Aguam's DNA. She played for Marquette in the late 90's, but she's just one of six division one basketball players in her family.
Her sister was an All-American at NC State, two of her brothers played at Colgate and another played at Brown. Her dad also played for Marquette and spent several years playing in the NBA.
"I've always loved what the NBA has brought us personally, and also what it brings to the community," Chones-Aguam said about her love for the game and the league.
Shortly after graduating from Marquette, she took a job with the Bucks in ticket sales. Eventually she worked her way up to her current position, Senior Vice President of Partner Strategy and Management.
But she had blaze her own career path without many female role models in the Bucks organization or the NBA at the time to look up to.
"I feel as though I really had to outsource. I used my mom as someone I looked up to and some of my network," she said.
Although there are more women working for the NBA today, the league still has room to improve. According to a report from the Institute for Diversity and Ethic in Sport, women make up just about 28% of team vice president roles and less than 9% of team presidents or CEOs.
"I'm in this role because I gotta reach out behind me and ensure that the next young lady has the same opportunities that I have, and if that's a trailblazer then that's the word I want to be to make sure the next person maybe has an easier route to get where I am at this point," Chones-Aguam said.
She also pointed the role men already in the business have in making sure there are diverse voices represented in each organization.
"I think that men that are open-minded realize that it takes a village to make things successful, and you don't always have to bring in everyone that looks like you. You've got to have that diversity of thought, that diversity in the culture," she said.
Ultimately, she hopes both her daughter and her son will see what she does and realize they too can be whatever they want to be.
"To see that mommy goes to work everyday and mommy works really hard and I can strive to be just as good," she said.