One of the most innovative and influential owners in NBA history, Jerry Colangelo has spent most of his life involved with the game of basketball. A graduate of the University of Illinois where he earned All-Conference honors as a player, Colangelo began his NBA career in 1966 with the Chicago Bulls' front office. In 1968, he became the youngest general manager in professional sports with the expansion Phoenix Suns. In only his second season with the new club, Colangelo turned the Suns into a legitimate playoff threat. In 1976, Colangelo received his first Sporting News NBA Executive of the Year award for taking the Suns to the NBA Finals. A respected member of the NBA Board of Governors, Colangelo played an integral role in the formation of the WNBA in 1997. He has also served on the NBA's the Long Range Planning Committee, the Expansion Committee and the Competition and Rules Committee.