I found my internship with The Hoop Group thanks to helping from my teammate and my assistant coach of the UMW men’s basketball team. My teammate, Riley, did this internship last year and has mentioned how beneficial it was for him to be at events and begin networking for his desire to start a career in coaching. That immediately piqued my interest in a potential sports management internship to complete the last part of my sports management minor.
Meanwhile, Coach Sansone knew one of the staff that worked in operations, and I was able to connect with her and secure the internship for the summer of 2022 by signing up for events. The biggest draw, for me, to this position, was that I would be able to learn the behind-the-scenes of event management and business operations in a basketball setting. I am more interested in the business of sports than the business of coaching basketball, and through working directly with the Director of Operations, I get to experience and learn the logistics of event concept, coordination, control, culmination, and closeout.
So far, I have tried to surround myself with The Hoop Group executives and the main operations directors to understand and experience what their daily work is like while I have some down time between responsibilities. Some of my main duties included player check-in using a recruiting service, college coach check-in using the same service, and selling weekend and day passes. College coach check-in was one of the most beneficial pieces of my responsibilities because it allowed me to directly interact with each college coach that entered, while introducing myself and chatting with them.
One of my personal goals was to be more extroverted as this is a career and internship that revolves around interacting with people. I am a reserved person by nature, so going out of my comfort zone to introduce myself and make small talk with these coaches to develop a network is important for myself and a goal I have achieved. I have been given more and more responsibilities since I began at my first event, such as being asked to drive the company van to pick up extra supplies, being put in charge of a specific court and reporting the scores and helping to direct a tournament site of five courts. I have seen my responsibilities increase and it is encouraging that my supervisors are noticing and hopefully will be a sign for my future within the broader basketball business world.