Forbes has released its list of the 50 Greatest World Leaders and unsurprisingly, people like Tim Cook, Pope Francis and LeBron James are on it. But coming it at No. 43 is Princeton’s women’s basketball coach Courtney Banghart, who might be an unfamiliar name to some.
This honor comes on the heels of Banghart having to coach her team in a second-round NCAA tournament game against Maryland while protecting one of her players from an outside threat. Last Saturday before the game, an 8-minute voicemail was received at the University of Maryland police department, detailing a threat against President Barack Obama’s niece Leslie Robinson, who is a freshman forward for Princeton. Security was increased.
After the game, Banghart was asked about the situation.
“Leslie’s safe, she’s in my locker room, no one loves her like I do, ” Banghart said. “And she’s an important part of our team so keep the freaks out of the gym.”
Forbes honors her as one of their greatest leaders.
Taking charge of a mediocre team that had never made it to the NCAA tournament, Banghart coached the Tigers to five Ivy League championships. This season the Tigers went 31–0 before losing to No. 4–seeded Maryland in the NCAA tourney. But Banghart, who has a master’s degree in leadership development, expects more of her players than great play: They must adhere to Princeton’s tough academic standards too.