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Former WNBA player Tamara James is now mayor of her hometown

The 32-year-old plans to lead and give back to a city that has supported her

Former Washington Mystics guard Tamara James just secured one of the biggest wins in her life after being elected the mayor of Dania Beach, the oldest city in Florida’s Broward County.

James, a native of Dania Beach, served as a member of Dania Beach’s Marine Advisory Board, Charter Review Board and Parks & Recreation and Community Affairs Advisory Board. Early in the campaign, she made it clear to Dania Beach residents that she wanted to maintain the quality of life in the city, but also provide a vision and protect the city’s future, according to her website. Her goals were largely focused on the development of programs for youths and the elderly, creating recreational spaces to keep residents active and keeping the city safe for residents and tourists.

Before James’ political career blossomed, the 32-year-old was best known as a star guard/forward for the University of Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team, where James’ 2,406 career points made her the school’s all-time leading scorer — men or women. From there, James was drafted eighth overall by the Washington Mystics in the 2006 WNBA draft. She also spent most of her professional career overseas, playing in Spain, Turkey and Israel, where she won three championships.

James hopes to continue breaking records, making positive changes as a leader and giving back to the Dania Beach community that gave so much to her.

“I cannot express my heartfelt appreciation for you all,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “You have chosen me to serve the oldest city in Dania Beach … The sacrifice we all took to make this campaign successful was unmatched. I met more than 75 percent of our residents. My support team has pushed me, motivated me, kept me, and taught me things about myself I didn’t know. I truly appreciate you all.”

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.