I recently had an unbelievable week at work.
Here’s how it broke down:
3 days in Senegal
2 days in Montgomery, Alabama
2 days in Orlando, Florida
It was such an unbelievable week that, on the last leg of my journey home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much I appreciate my job with the NBA and all the amazing opportunities it offers. It also got me thinking about the opportunities that all of our jobs can hold for us, if we become aware of them, or take the initiative to create them.
But first, a few more details about my week…
It started by traveling to Senegal to attend one of our Basketball Without Borders camps, where the top young players from around Africa—both boys and girls—come together to improve their skills, compete against each other, and attend daily life skills seminars.
The NBA puts on these camps all over the world, as an act of community service. We dedicate a basketball court to the local community and provide potential opportunities for the kids to come to the U.S. for school or stay abroad and attend academies. And while all of the camps are exceptional, the ones in Africa are particularly special. The conditions are different there; the need a little more acute. The work we’re doing feels especially meaningful.
It was such a great experience, watching the kids play basketball and interact with each other. I felt such a raw sense of appreciation for being able to witness it, be a part of it, and know that the purpose of the camp was to give kids opportunities to improve their lives.
That trip alone would’ve been a great week, but I wasn’t done yet.
I next flew to Montgomery, Alabama to tour the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). I joined a group of colleagues in exploring their Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, learning about EJI’s commitment to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., as well as challenge racial and economic injustice and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in our society.
Again, this was an emotional and inspiring experience for me. I learned so much about the historical, generational, and systemic injustices that have followed groups of people. And I was so appreciative that I was able to join colleagues and learn and grow because of it.
My last stop was in Orlando, Florida, where I was part of the opening ceremony of the Junior NBA Global Championship. This event brings together some of the best young basketball players from over 40 different countries around the world, not only giving them the chance to play basketball but teaching them about respect, resilience, teamwork, and community.
Hearing all of the different languages and watching the kids get to know each other was amazing. It reinforced my passion about the power of sports to bring people together and create spaces for learning and growth. I felt so lucky and honored to be a part of it.
As I sat on my flight back home to New Jersey, I was struck by how much I’m able to do and experience through my job—and the impact that can have on others.
And I realized that those opportunities are available to all of us in some way. Maybe you’re not traveling to Africa for a basketball camp, but we all have the chance to connect with others in a meaningful way because of our work.
No matter who you are or what you do, your job can be so much more than transactional—it can truly be transformative. You can have an impact and a presence beyond just your office.
All you need to do is keep your eyes open for the opportunities your job holds to reach out, connect, and grow. It might be through volunteer partnerships your work offers or simply taking the time to get to know your coworkers on a deeper level.
Whatever it is, take the time to find (or create!) these opportunities and engage with them. The rewards are endless, but the biggest one includes realizing that your work has meaning and that there are opportunities all around you to continually increase its impact.