Being Coached by Former Duke Basketball Players

I am a huge basketball fan, so I found the MMS Basketball Experience (part of team changeover) incredibly worthwhile largely because I recognized some of our “coaches.”

The MMS class went to the Emily Krzyzewski Center early on the morning of October 26. Before we did that, several members of the Duke Athletic Department addressed us.

Kenny King is the Men’s Basketball Student Life & Campus Relations Coordinator. He graduated from Duke in 2000 and went on to work at Morgan Stanley as a CDO salesperson in their fixed income group. I instantly found Kenny’s path back to Duke very interesting, for he had the job that I really want now. Unfortunately, fixed income sales isn’t hiring much this year, so I at least got some pleasure in knowing someone who did work in the profession.

While a Duke student, Kenny was manager of the Duke Basketball team, so despite his work at Morgan Stanley, he knew he wanted to come back to Duke and work for the athletic department, which I found very interesting. (Read more about his journey in this profile story.)

Kenny started the day by giving us a wonderful and uplifting speech about Coach K’s “FIST” principle. He said Coach K has five basic principles of success, and he instills it in the players he coaches and staff he works with.

Coach K is one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball, so getting an insider like Kenny to talk about his ingredients for success is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

We were shown a video on Duke’s 2010 NCAA Championship, and then we got our shoes wet and played some ball! Sport information director Matt Plizga, Ricky Price (’98), Sean Dockery (‘06), and Chris Carrawell (‘00) led the team-building drills: passing, shooting, rebounding, dribbling, defensive stance.

Overall, the experience was unforgettable. Meeting the former players was the best part of the day. I remember watching Carrawell and Dockery do big things during their heydays. It’s one thing to watch players on television; it’s another to be coached by them. I texted my brother and some of my friends, telling them I was playing ball with former Duke players, and they envied me.