Blair Hardiek is Global Director for the NBA Academy. The NBA Academy is the NBA’s international elite development initiative that consists of a network of basketball training centers around the world to develop top international male and female prospects. The NBA Academy includes educational development for the prospects and mark the NBA’s most significant investment in elite player development. Since October 2016, the NBA Academy has launched academies in Canberra, Australia; Jinan, Urumqi and Zhuji, China; Mexico City, Mexico; Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), India; and Thies, Senegal. The Women's Program aims to bridge the gap between top international prospects and the NCAA by identifying optimal pathways for top prospects to become domestic student athletes.
Prior to her current role, Hardiek served as Associate Head Coach/International Recruiting Coordinator at the University of San Francisco from 2010-2016. She helped lead the Dons to the finals at the 2015 West Coast Conference tournament to earn a bid to the WNIT, USF's first postseason appearance since 2001-02. Hardiek led the Dons to the NCAA tournament in 2016 after the Dons took home the West Coast Conference Championship title. This was the first WCC Conference Championship in two decades. Her duties included offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, game scheduling, camp director, opponent scouting, guard position coach, practice planning, and social media coordinator.
In addition to recruiting top domestic talent, Hardiek spearheaded international recruiting at USF attracting national team-level players from around the world. The USF roster was dotted with players from several different countries: Australia, Slovakia, Demark, Canada, Sweden and Finland. Hardiek moved to the Hilltop following a season as the top women's basketball assistant at San Francisco State where she was in charge of recruiting, opponent scouting, and guard development. Hardiek began her coaching journey under Hall of Fame coach, Tara VanDerveer at Stanford University. While working with VanDerveer, the Cardinal posted an overall record of 35-4 while earning a 2008 NCAA Final Four appearance. She also coached, for two years, at the Tara VanDerveer Summer Camps.
Hardiek enjoyed a successful playing career at The University of Missouri. She led the team from the point guard position and was a four year team captain. Also, Hardiek was the team's Pre-Season Total Point Leader, three time Team Hustle Award, along with the Tiger Free Throw Award.
In the classroom, Hardiek was a Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll honoree, graduating with a degree in communications and a minor in business. Hardiek also earned her MBA from Golden Gate University in 2009. A native of Effingham, Illinois, Hardiek was a standout for Effingham High School, where she is a member of the Hall of Fame.