The Next Step

New York Knicks Director of Player Personnel Mark Warkentien credits SMWW for helping his career.
by September 30, 2016

Success is a slippery word, defined differently by all those who use it. A high schooler could make the junior varsity basketball team and feel they have reached their pinnacle, while an astrophysicist could find a previously undiscovered planet and still believe true success is a few light years away.

By most measures, being named the NBA Executive of the Year would constitute success, reaching the apex of your profession, admired by peers and respected by the basketball world. But success to some means complacency, a feeling that they have already done all they can do, and for New York Knicks Director of Player Personnel Mark Warkentien being content wasn’t an option.

“I decided to go back and get my Master’s degree in Sports Leadership through a partnership with Sports Management Worldwide and Concordia University of Chicago,” explains Warkentien the 2008-09 NBA Executive of the Year. “Jim Dolan the Executive Chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company and my bosses, Knicks President Phil Jackson and General Manager Steve Mills, are huge advocates of education. The idea of getting more education was all about getting better.

“It’s hard to get 100 percent better at anything, but we can get one percent better at about a hundred things.”

The idea of improving by one percent at many things is one of the concepts Warkentien embraced as part of his Master’s program curriculum, which included a heavy influence on the principles of leadership as they pertain to the sports industry. This emphasis on leadership is something he was immediately able to apply to his job with the Knicks, and anyone can implement in their daily life.

“Like Navy SEALS, great teams and great organizations lead from the top, lead from the middle and lead from the bottom. Ten years ago, my prism was that leadership was driven top to bottom. My bad.“

The Masters in Sports Leadership degree program run in conjunction with Sports Management Worldwide and Concordia University of Chicago is 100 percent online, which makes it a perfect complement to those already in the workforce looking to take their sports career to the next level. At one-third the cost of other Master’s programs, it is also an affordable way to improve yourself.

“I enjoyed my Master’s program so much, that I am now going back to get my Doctorate through SMWW and Concordia University of Chicago. These classes have made me a better researcher. Information equals knowledge, and knowledge equals power!” says Warkentien.

When you register for your Master’s in Sports Leadership through SMWW you will be given a discounted rate, guaranteed through the end of your degree program – but only if you register through SMWW!

If the Director of Player Personnel for one of the greatest franchises in all of sports is still striving to improve, don’t you think you should follow his lead?

Higher Learning — SMWW offers a sports analytics course taught by Dean Oliver, the pioneer of basketball analytics

For more information on how to register for a Master’s degree in Sports Leadership, visit Concordia University of Chicago’s website.