WNBA honors former US Treasurer Rosie Rios

NEW YORK (AP) Rosie Rios had quite a run as U.S. Treasurer. Tuesday was pretty cool, too.

Rios was honored by the WNBA at its 10th annual Inspiring Women Luncheon. She was instrumental in getting Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill set to be unveiled in 2020, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment extending voting rights to women.

''I can't think of any other organization that provides role models like these,'' Rios said of the WNBA. ''The WNBA is the only pipeline opportunity to see a woman on the court.''

Rios, who stepped down from her post in July, has a teenage daughter who plays basketball and was thrilled to have a chance to meet some of the league's players at the luncheon. The feeling was mutual among the current and former players who attended the event.

''I'm glad we can acknowledge the women who are behind these changes because that's what it's about,'' Indiana Fever guard Briann January said. ''This is where equality begins and we are doing our part to push forward.''

All the players took photos with Rios standing behind a giant mock-up of the new $20 bill. Sitting in the lower left-hand corner, like every other bill in the U.S., was Rios' signature as treasurer.

''I never thought to look there but it's really cool now that I know,'' January said. ''I've known her name for a while, but it was so great to finally meet her.''

Past honorees include former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice, Robin Roberts, and U.S. National Security Advisor and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice.

''It's our time. I said it before and I will reiterate it again. Women are more than half the population in the United States. I think you could take that across the globe,'' WNBA President Lisa Borders said. ''We are talking asset value here. Intellectual capital. Athletic capital. … This luncheon brings to life all of that energy and all of those results to date and sets a really nice departure point for where we go in the future.''