Author: Harold Bentley III

Graduate UConn student Kraig Page experiences the annual (2015) Career in Sports Forum hosted by the NCAA National Office

Student Feature

Kraig Page (Graduate Student in UConn Sport Management Program)

While attending Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), I dedicated myself to getting the most out of my student experience through my participation in athletics and several leadership roles from various departments within the university. In doing so, I had fun and positioned myself to be a strong candidate for the annual career in sports forum hosted by the NCAA.

In my final year at MCLA I applied for and was awarded the opportunity to attend the career and sports forum at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. There were speakers, presentations and workshops at the forum dedicated to helping students to understand how behavioral styles are able to impact individual effectiveness, gain an accurate view of the role of the intercollegiate coach and athletic administrator, network and consider how personal values intersect with career opportunities.

Speakers shared their pathways to their current roles in sport, provided us with tips and advice on how to become more desirable to organizations and answered any questions that we had for them. Participating in t workshops provided me with an opportunity to brainstorm through scenarios within small groups, ask questions and reflect on my values and myself as I was making the transition from student athlete to member of the sport industry.

The experience overall was educational, motivating and rewarding. I left with a deeper understanding of the sport industry and the opportunities within it. The forum motivated me to take the next step in positioning myself for a career in the sports field, while also allowing me to make new friends, exchange information and develop contacts.

Graduate Student Isaiah Jacobs experiences with the AmeriCorps Public Ally service in partnership with UConn Husky Sport

Student Feature

 Isaiah Jacobs – Program Leader (Public Ally AmeriCorps), Current Graduate Student in UConn Sport Management Program

 “Throughout our nation’s history, lasting social change has always resulted from the courageous acts of many, not just the inspiration of the few. “

From 2014 to 2016, I spent my time as a public ally with the AmeriCorps Public Ally service organization in partnership with UConn Husky Sport. Public Allies is a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone has the ability to be a leader. The organization prides itself in believing that everyone truly has the power to make a difference, and works to inspire individuals to believe in themselves, step up and act. We provided service under the mission to create an equitable society and to foster the diverse leadership necessary to sustain it. We work to change the face and practice of leadership in communities across the country by demonstrating our conviction that everyone can and should lead, and that lasting social change results when citizens of all backgrounds step up, take responsibility and come together.

A vital aspect of working as a Public Ally was the process of constructing and implementing a team service project held to benefit the community that we were stationed in. Luckily, I was stationed right in my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. It was a pleasure giving back to the community that I grew up in and held so close to my heart.

To help fund this project, we decided as a group to host a 3-on-3-basketball tournament. Though the event was focused around it, basketball was simply acting as the driving force to get people in the door – this event was bigger than sports. It was an opportunity to bring local organizations together and partner with one another to host teams and enjoy the company of the community. I began to realize how successful our event was when people started asking when the next one was – people who were not concerned with the sport itself, but what that sport is able to produce. In holding this event, we exhibited the power that sport has to unite people and bring happiness to all of those immersed in its culture.

Jackie Kelly Interns with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN

 

Student Feature

Jackie Kelly – Student Focus (Current Graduate Student in Sport Management/Graduate Assistant for Husky Sport)

After graduating from the University of Hartford, I was able to accept a position with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN.  The NCAA offers a postgraduate cohort based internship program that works with various departments throughout the national office. I worked as an intern for the Leadership Development department, which was responsible primarily for creating professional development programming for student-athletes, coaches, interns, graduate assistants and administrators across the NCAA membership.

Many of my daily tasks were focused on preparing for our programs. While working on site, I facilitated activities, panels and group discussions. I really enjoyed traveling to each of the programs, my favorite of which was the Pathway Program. This specific program is a yearlong professional development series held for senior level administrators aspiring to become athletic directors. I spent the majority of my time working on logistics, but was able to sit in on mock interviews and media training sessions as well. We were also able to take site visits to Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory and Clayton State University. During our time at these universities, the participants met with presidents, athletics directors and other current staffers. I was able to sit in on some of these conversations and presentations, which was extremely informative and allowed me to gain some valuable experience.

Over the course of that year I was able to create memories and relationships that I know will last a lifetime. My fellow interns in my cohort were and will always be like my family. Having been granted the opportunity to understand the NCAA from a national, internal perspective so soon after actually being a student athlete was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always treasure.

DIRECTV/ WNBA #WatchMeWork Tour Experience with UConn Alumna Xaimara Coss

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DIRECTV/ WNBA #WatchMeWork Tour Experience with UConn Alumni Xaimara Coss

Written By Harold Bentley III, Class of 2017

Recently DIRECTV and the WNBA concluded with its #WatchMeWork tour in Santiago, Chile as the tour’s final destination. To create an intimate environment, the #WatchMeWork tour had 30 young at each panel that ultimately reached 120 women in total, across Bogota, Guayaquil, Buenos Aires and Santiago. These diverse, high school aged women came the DIRECTV Escuela+ schools, local basketball clubs and the Special Olympics.

UConn Sport ManagemenSMt Alumna, Xaimara Coss took part in the DIRECTV/WNBA #WatchMeWork tour, in Buenos Aires and Santiago, as a panelist representative for the NBA.   Others that contributed to the DIRECTV/WNBA #WatchMeWork tour included Brooklynettes dancer, Melissa Ramos and WNBA legend, Allison Feaster who attended all of the panels throughout the tour. In addition, Stephanie Vieira represented the NBA on the panels in Bogota and Guayaquil. The DIRECTV panelists included a local reporter in Ecuador and representatives from numerous departments across DIRECTV in the other markets. Combined, the panelists offered an impressive perspective on diverse career paths throughout the sports/entertainment industry and served to inspire young women to advance their own professional pursuits.

Xaimara described her experience as being extremely grateful for the opportSMunity and thankful to have participated in the DIRECTV/WNBA #WatchMeWork tour.  Xaimara was tasked with sharing her journey in sports with these young women, ages 13-18, in the hopes that she could inspire and encourage them.  In response, she noted that in actuality, it was her that was inspired by these young women.

In addition, based on Xaimara’s opinion, the DIRECTV/WNBA #WatchMeWork tour defines the organization’s vision for Corporate and Social Responsibility. Xaimara mentioned this experience was more than just a simple idea which led to creating a panel and organizing clinics, it was a huge achievement for the WNBA and a great way to celebrate 20 years of accomplishments.  The collaboration with DIRECTV proved to be a successful one and their team did an extraordinary job in every city.

A big congratulations to Xaimara for being a proud UConn Alumna and terrific NBA ambassador!

UCONN’s Men’s Basketball Head Manager Experience

UCONN’s Men’s Basketball Head Manager Experience

Written By Konnor Bachman, Class of 2017

Throughout my time at UConn, whether it be undergrad or grad school, I have had the opportunity to travel to some very cool places and see some very exciting things through working with the basketball team. One such experience was going down to North Texas to witness a National Championship. There are very few events that I have had the opportunity to witness that were bigger than the Final Four. As a pure basketball fan, it was an opportunity to see our team go up against some of the best competition in the country. We ended up beating Florida (the number one overall seed on a 20+ game winning streak) in the national semifinal, and Kentucky (nearly an entire roster of players who would leave for the NBA Draft that year or the following year) in the final.

As a young professional aspiring to work in basketball, though, it was even more special for me. I got to see how much work goes into such an event, and how structured and specific everything has to be. Everywhere we went, there was a set schedule with a very specific time limit as to when we were allowed to do things. For example, each team was allotted a 90-minute practice – anything above that would result in a technical foul. There were very precise amounts of time in which the media was allowed into our locker room to interview our student athletes and coaches. Everywhere we went, the NCAA typically had some type of regulation as to what we were supposed to be doing and when we were supposed to be doing it.

To all those who enjoy watching and experiencing college basketball, I would recommend getting to a Final Four at some point in your life. It is so much more than just the ending of a basketball tournament – it’s a life experience. There are concerts, games, and tons of activities on top of watching some extremely competitive and fun basketball games. Hopefully we get back to the Final Four next year!

UNH Cat Crew

UNH Cat Crew

Written By Matt Garrison, Class of 2017

The marketing internship I took part in during my junior year at the University of New Hampshire was called the “’Cat Crew” and it consisted of about 12 students. Each ticketed sport (Men’s & Women’s Hockey, Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Football, and Gymnastics) was allocated 2 students who would be in charge of marketing that particular sport with the supervisor overseeing all of the students.

I was a Director of Marketing for Women’s Basketball and along with my co-director Taylor, we handled all of the marketing for our sport (planning promotions, creating flyers, organizing staff, managing and executing on game day, etc.). I learned a lot about working within a collegiate athletics department and how important communication is for not only marketing but all the departments in order to work together.

For our final game of the year we implemented a new theme promotion in an attempt to create a new tradition and bring fans to the event. We hosted a “Silent Night” game (modeled after Taylor University) for Senior Night and it was a great success. The department still utilizes the theme and we set new student attendance records for Women’s Basketball as well as set a season high for overall attendance.

This internship program at UNH is such a great opportunity and I would recommend that more universities adopt it to offer their students greater opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field as well as network within the profession. This was just one of the many opportunities I was able to take advantage of at the University of New Hampshire, but this experience really helped influence my decision to work towards a career in sports.

Shoni Schimmel: UConn Community Screening of “Off the Rez” & Meet and Greet

Shoni Schimmel: UConn Community Screening of “Off the Rez” & Meet and Greet

 

UConn’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program as well with the Sport Management Program in the Department of Educational Leadership are pleased to announced that ex-Louisville women’s basketball star Shoni Schimmel will be visiting our campus Monday and Tuesday November 9th-10th for the Screening of “Off the Rez” and a Meet and Greet event with our UConn community. Both events are open up to the public, free of charge, and we encourage all to come out and show support to Shoni Schimmel, and both organizations who are responsible for bringing this event to our UConn community.

The first event, Screening of “Off the Rez” will take place Monday November 9th from 6:00-8:00pm in Laurel Hall room 101. This film documents Shoni Schimmel’s journey from her upbringing in Oregon to playing collegiate basketball for the University of Louisville. The next event, Lecture with Shoni Schimmel will take place on Tuesday November 10th from 7:00-8:00pm in the Student Union Theater. The Lecture with Shoni Schimmel event will include a question and answer format style that will allow people in attendance to ask Shoni Schimmel questions about her life journey. In addition, prior to the question and answer part of the event, there will be a Meet and Greet with both Shoni and Jude Schimmel in the North Lobby of the Student Union from 8:00-9:00pm.

 

Classroom Focus: Application of Sport Law

Classroom Focus: Application of Sport Law

On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, students in Legal Aspects of Sport were engaged in a Moot Court oral argument assignment.

For this assignment, students were divided into four groups with three students in each group. Each group was assigned to represent the plaintiff or defendant in a hypothetical sport-related litigation scenario where they were asked to use legal concepts, theories, statistics, personal experiences, and creative/independent thinking to successfully research and develop their affirmative advocacy position in a written legal brief. On October 21, the groups orally presented and argued the positions expressed in their written submissions.IMG_2123

Denise Zamore, who has practiced law for 15 years and currently serves as a Senior Associate General Counsel at United Healthcare, presided over the oral arguments as the judge. Her active questioning and challenging of the students’ positions created a context and atmosphere that provided students with the opportunity to think on their feet and apply legal concepts and public policy considerations through a real-world advocacy exercise.

IMG_2129The Moot Court exercise was a success, and students were able to apply the theoretical knowledge they acquired thus far from the course to real life experiences (practical) and situations. Overall, students did an excellent job presenting their arguments. After the conclusion of the Moot Court exercise, Ms. Zamore provided students with useful feedback to consider in their future endeavors, involving sports law.

 

 

Industry Expert: Jemele Hill @ UConn

Industry Expert: Jemele Hill @ UConn

At an event hosted by the UConn Sport Business Association on September 22, 2015, students and faculty from the UConn Sport Management community were treated to a visit from the highly rated African-American columnist and broadcasting personality from ESPN, Jamele Hill, co-host of ESPN2’s His & Hers show.If you are a past, present, or prospective student, this was a great opportunity for students majoring in Sport Management, Business or Journalism to learn about Jemele’s background and experiences as she ascended through the ranks in pursuit of a career in sport journalism.

Jemele began by discussing her background, and how she managed to work herself up to journalistic heights she had never imagined reaching. A Detroit native, Jamele made the most of her time as a Journalism major at Michigan State, often juggling multiple internships with the athletic department in order to give her exposure to as many sports and media opportunities as possible. Her broad knowledge of sports was key in obtaining her first professional role as a sports writer at the Raleigh News & Observer. Jemele built upon this experience and went on to work for the Detroit Free Press, where she would cover both basketball and football for her alma mater. Her last stop before being employed by ESPN network was as a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. Since joining ESPN in 2006, she has made appearances on many shows across their network, including Sport Center, First Take, Outside the Lines and the Sport Reporters.

One of the key take-a-ways from this event was Jemele’s perseverance in achieving success as a sports journalist, as African-American women have tended to have a difficult time succeeding in the industry. All in all, this was a great event that was informative to past, present, and prospective UConn students who have future endeavors in Sport Management, Business or Journalism.