As students across the country buckle down for their fall semesters of college, several professional athletes are also getting their studies underway in Cambridge.
On Monday, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving was at Harvard University for the kick-off of “Crossover Into Business,” a semester-long program at Harvard Business School taught by HBS professor Anita Elberse. According to its description, the program is designed to help pro athletes better prepare themselves for “business activities during and after their active sports careers.” Irving and the other participants will each be matched with a pair of HBS’s MBA student mentors who will “develop their business acumen and empower them to make better business decisions.”
In an interview with Boston.com in June, Irving expressed interest in potentially pursuing other passions and noted he was aware of the opportunities at Harvard.
“When I am playing basketball or perfecting my craft, which comes with a lot of sacrifice, then the time that I’ve got outside of it, I’ll use to develop a lot of interests and passions that I have, to make up for that,” Irving said. “I feel like if I had the same amount of time that I was afforded [for basketball] to learn about business and investments, I think I’d probably be in a pretty different place.”
In addition to Irving, the list of pro athletes enrolled in Elberse’s program features former Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie, Detroit Pistons center Zaza Pachulia, and Denver Nuggets forward Paul Millsap. Others who have completed the program in the past include former Miami Heat center Chris Bosh, retired NBA forward Caron Butler, and Arlington native Pat Connaughton of the Portland Trail Blazers. Elberse also teaches a multi-day course called “The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports,” which is another popular option among athletes and celebrities.