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Monumental Basketball hires Katherine Evans, the first woman to lead an NBA team’s analytics department

Evans comes to the Wizards and Mystics from the Toronto Raptors, where she was in charge of strategic research.

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Last Friday, Monumental Basketball, the shared services department of the Washington Mystics, Wizards, Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming, announced that Dr. Katherine Evans will be their Vice President of Research and Information Systems. According to a press release, she will be in charge of data science on basketball operations. She is the first woman to lead such a department for an NBA team.

Evans comes to Monumental Basketball from the Toronto Raptors where she was the Director of Strategic Research from 2019-21. That role included building data models on individual NBA players and draft prospects. Before joining the Raptors, Evans was a Data Scientist for Verily Life Sciences right after she graduated with a Ph.D. in Biostatistics at Harvard University.

She also had a sports analytics blog which is on hiatus due to her position with the Raptors, but there is a detailed post on Russell Westbrook’s first triple-double average season, most specifically his assisting when he played for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016-17 here.

The field of sports analytics is rapidly increasing and it goes beyond shooting and passing percentages and applying them to in-game situations and decisions. They are also intersecting with player health and much more.

It’s also a field that doesn’t have much female representation. Monumental Basketball has typically been an organization that’s forward-looking with data, technology, and diversity. I’m glad to see that Evans has joined the organization.

Welcome to D.C., Dr. Evans!