History was made this week when the Phoenix Suns hired Morgan Cato as assistant general manager and vice president of basketball operations. With this personnel move, Cato became the first Black woman to hold an assistant GM position for an NBA franchise.
“We’re excited to welcome Morgan to the Valley and to the Suns organization” said General Manager James Jones. “With the league office Morgan played a pivotal role on countless initiatives to grow the game and strategically develop for it to be played at its best. The addition of her background and knowledge will allow us to elevate our basketball operations in several areas.”
Cato, who is a Brooklyn, New York native will report to Jones as she will also work with Monty Williams, who is the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. She is tasked to lead the strategy for the team and business processes for basketball growth and performance. She will focus on coaching development, player engagement, and front office personnel operations.
She spent the last decade with the NBA league office, most recently as Associate Vice President of Business Operations for NBA League Operations. Working directly under the President of League Operations, Byron Spruell, she had the role of a key member of the management team that was focused on strategic basketball initiatives for the growth of the game. In that position, that included the development of the coaching and officiating, basketball talent pipeline and related programs. She worked on the launch of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), advocated for women and people of color in basketball operations and actively liaised with NBA teams on overall operational and engagement needs. Her previous experiences focused on professional talent development in the consulting, investment banking and non-profit industries.
Cato graduated from Stony Brook University and Harvard Business School’s Executive track.