It was an eye-opener for La Sierra University MBA student Brandhon Thomas—an NBA dream career off the court can become a reality.
“I never really considered the NBA as a possibility [for marketing],” said Thomas, a shooting guard with La Sierra’s Golden Eagles basketball team and marketing graduate student. “I saw it as something so far away, but seeing somebody that came from the same school where I’m at kind of made it seem not so far away. It gave me a little bit of confidence and willingness to want to try.”
Thomas and his Golden Eagles teammates attended a Business Colloquium Series presentation on Jan. 24 by Brian Wright, general manager of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs and a 2004 La Sierra business graduate. The lecture took place at the Troesh Conference Center in the Zapara School of Business.
Wright gave an inspirational presentation that began with insights into his college career as a La Sierra pre-health pharmacy major turned business major. He also played for and led the Golden Eagles basketball team, earning recognition in the Riverside Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and 2004.
“It’s always good to come to a place that you call home,” Wright said. “There are a few of you in this room who probably remember me in year 2000 when I first stepped foot on campus. It’s pretty special.”
Wright, who is also an alumnus of Takoma Academy in Maryland, talked about the impact of his educational experiences on the development of networking skills and self-advocacy. He described the importance of mentors, networking, pursuing one’s passion, determining success on one’s own terms, and being willing to go the extra mile.
“When I was playing, success looked a lot different than it did when I was 25,” Wright said. “And when I was 30, and 35, and now 40. It's a constant evolution.”
As Wright concluded his presentation, business school dean John Thomas and associate dean Gary Chartier stepped on stage and presented Wright with the inaugural Hall of Fame Award.
“The Zapara School of Business is amazingly proud of the things that a number of our family [members] have accomplished,” said Chartier. “The Zapara team has decided this year to create the Zapara School of Business Hall of Fame [to honor] an array of people whose excellence will bring respect to the School of Business.”
By Darla Martin Tucker