NBA Exec Discusses Basketball and Politics

Coach Rock Battistoni & Greg Collucci

An executive with the National Basketball Association (NBA) led a discussion on campus about basketball and global politics on Wednesday, January 8, in the Norton Family Center for the Common Good.

“Basketball is playing a big role on the international stage right now,” said Greg Collucci, senior manager for global basketball development at the NBA. Mr. Collucci offered an overview of some of the NBA initiatives to “grow the game” through education and promotions around the world, including elite training academies in Africa, India, Latin America, and Australia and Junior NBA leagues for boys and girls ages 6–13 in hundreds of countries.

“Basketball is a uniting force,” he said. “Once the game starts, religion and politics … go out the window.”

After his presentation, Mr. Collucci fielded questions from the large group of students and faculty gathered for the discussion, who asked about plans for NBA global expansion, the recruiting process, cultural concerns, and how job travel affects Mr. Collucci’s family life.

Originally from West Palm Beach, Fla., Mr. Collucci was a teammate of Rock Battistoni, Loomis Chaffee varsity boys basketball coach, on the George Washington University basketball team. Mr. Collucci subsequently worked in the university’s basketball organization, including as a coach, and he is involved with recruiting players and promoting the game in his role with the NBA.

“Basketball & Global Politics” was the first of 10 community conversations organized through the Norton Center to address important topics this term. Connect to a schedule for more information.