Barry McNamara  |  Published December 01, 2019

Learning from the NBA

Scots get lesson in sports management from NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
Coach Todd Skrivseth, left, and his men's basketball team are pictured at Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, after attending the ...
Coach Todd Skrivseth, left, and his men’s basketball team are pictured at Fiserv Forum, home of the Milwaukee Bucks, after attending the NBA organization’s Sports Management Student Event.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – In between posting a pair of victories in Wisconsin to get the Fighting Scots off to the program’s best start in 45 years, the Monmouth College men’s basketball team received a rare behind-the-scenes look at how the NBA works.

On Nov. 23, coach Todd Skrivseth and his team attended the Sports Management Student Event staged by the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks bill the annual event as “the perfect opportunity for students to make connections in the industry and learn more about the business side of sports.”

Monmouth’s players attended a two-hour informational panel and broke into smaller groups for networking. Students also had the opportunity to interview for summer internships and full-time positions.

“The panel included interviewing tips and what they look for in employees,” said senior guard Jake Reuter of Columbia, Ill. “They had people there from HR and from marketing, as well as sales executives. It was very informational.”

The 24-player Monmouth contingent comprised roughly one-third of the overall participants.

“It was a great opportunity to see the inner workings of an NBA franchise,” said Skrivseth. “The panel discussions and breakout sessions provided useful information on networking and how to present yourself to potential employees. I was impressed by the quality of questions our guys asked. They were very attentive and engaged.”

The players also toured the Bucks’ headquarters and their home stadium, Fiserv Forum.

“It was interesting to see the behind-the-scenes aspects that you don’t think about when you’re just watching a game on TV,” said Reuter. “I never realized how much thought went into the building, like how it was structured so that all the fans walk down to the seats, which makes them feel closer to the action. It was also built for Milwaukee’s market. The Bucks are a mid-market team, so the stadium is not as big. It seats a little over 17,000.”

Reuter plans to become a college basketball coach, and he hopes that career path begins as a grad assistant after graduating from Monmouth in May. The accounting major said he appreciated the opportunity to learn from NBA personnel.

“I got very motivated listening to them,” said Reuter, “and I know that a lot of the other guys really enjoyed it, too.”

On-court action

After leaving the stadium to grab dinner, Skrivseth and his team returned to Fiserv Forum, where the Bucks defeated Detroit 104-90 behind 28 points from their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Derrick Rose had 20 points off the bench for the Pistons.

“Just watching on TV, you don’t realize how athletic, how big, how explosive those guys are,” said Reuter.

While in Wisconsin there was also on-court action for the Scots to celebrate. The team sandwiched weekend victories over UW-Whitewater and the Milwaukee School of Engineering around the Bucks’ Saturday event.

Reuter made both of his three-point attempts and scored seven points in Monmouth’s 71-66 victory over UW-Whitewater. In addition to being the Scots’ first victory over the Warhawks in six tries, dating back to the 1987-88 season, the win also came against the school where Skrivseth served as an assistant coach for 10 years.

“We knew the game was a pretty big game for him,” said Reuter. “It was a fun atmosphere to play, and he was extremely happy with the win.”

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