Friday, September 21, 2012

Alumni Perspective - Bart Taylor '10

It was great to catch up with Trinity Basketball alum Bart Taylor '10 recently before he takes off for his new job in Utah. When asked his whereabouts the past couple of years, it's apparent that he's been staying true to the advice of "follow your passion." Bart is still as crazy about basketball today as he was when he was a Tiger fan favorite donning the 70's "stache." This passion has lead him to the life in the NBA. While he's not lacing up his sneakers on game nights anymore, he is gaining tremendous exposure to the inner-workings of NBA organizations and we fully expect Bart to continue to excel in the world of professional basketball. We asked Bart to tell us what his experience has been like since graduating from Trinity...

I graduated from Trinity with a degree in Mathematics, however, I always knew that I was interested in pursuing a job in the sports world after graduation. After my senior season of Trinity basketball, I found a volunteer opportunity for the San Antonio Spurs through a family friend, and although my work with them was limited, it was great to have a small glimpse into how an NBA team is run. This led me to applying for an internship with them, however, I was too inexperienced for the NBA, but they offered me a way to get more experience by taking an internship with their NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Austin Toros. I was thrilled and I could not believe I landed an opportunity to work with a professional basketball team, so I packed my stuff and moved to Austin.

As an intern with the Toros, my duties were not limited to only basketball activities. While some of my responsibilities involved breaking down film for scouting, assisting in player development work outs and helping the coaching staff during games and practices, I was also asked to do the laundry, and help with any of the player's errands. These errands included, taking players to the dentist, driving across town to jump a player's car, among countless other tasks which were conveniently left out of the job description. It was a lot of work and long hours, but being a part of a professional basketball team made it all worth it, and through this experience I was able to get my foot in the door to an opportunity working in the NBA.

The summer after working with the Toros, I returned to San Antonio, and once again, I was able to volunteer in the summer with the Spurs. Thanks to my experience with the Toros, I spent more time working on the court and was able to expand my level of involvement as a volunteer. I assisted with player development workouts and refereed open gym games. Through this experience, not only did I learn I am an awful referee--still probably better than Marshall and the crew that comes to Trinity-- but also, that it takes an amazing amount of commitment, hard work and long hours to earn a spot in the NBA. I was very lucky to be offered a front office internship with the Spurs after all the time I spent volunteering in the summer, and again I readily accepted the position.

As an front office intern, my main responsibilities were to take notes during meetings, develop documents in preparation for the season and file all the scouting reports throughout the year. The position came with long hours and low pay, but the amount of exposure it gave me to the field was priceless. Even as an intern, the staff treats you as a part of the team by keeping you involved in all the meetings and discussions. One of my favorite aspects of my internship was being able to witness how RC Buford, Dennis Lindsey and Danny Ferry build a team. I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to be in the same room as some of the most knowledgeable minds in the field. Although it was not one of my main responsibilities, I was able to be on the court before and after practice, rebounding for player development workouts and learning directly from the coaches. During practice, I also ran the clock, and I learned something new everyday while being on the court observing how Coach Pop runs practice and coaches. The entire year proved to be an incredible experience for me.

I am now on my way to the Salt Lake City to be an intern for the Utah Jazz's front office. It will be a similar role to the one I had this past season for the Spurs, but with a year of experience in the NBA, I have gained some knowledge on how to expand my abilities and grow my role within a front office. I am looking forward to the challenge of being with a new team and helping them build towards an NBA title. I may only have a one year deal with the Jazz, and it may not pay much, but to stay in the NBA and be able to move to a new city and expand my horizons is something I could not pass up. I will still be watching as many Trinity games online as I can, and will try to make as many basketball alumni games as possible because the Trinity basketball family will always be something I care about. My experience at Trinity with the basketball team was the best experience of my life, and I will always value those games and moments I had with those guys. Because of this my teammates and coaches are still my friends, and without them, I don't think I would have been able get to where I am now.

- Bart Taylor '10