I'm Brandon Johnson, and I'm a rising senior on Babson's men's basketball team. This summer, I was blessed to be able to intern at Tandem Sports & Entertainment - a full-service agency dealing in athlete management, talent representation, marketing, communications, and publicity services.
Tandem is located in Arlington, Va., just minutes from the National Mall in Washington, DC. Most of the agency's client base is NBA players, with a roster featuring notable names like Jeremy Lin and Michael Beasley, as well as future Hall-of-Famers Ray Allen and Tim Duncan.
I spent all of my time in the Basketball Operations department, working under the people who directly manage and represent NBA talent, and saying that it was an incredible (and eye-opening) experience to have a firsthand view of exactly what goes on behind the scenes of the NBA would be an understatement. My internship took place during one of the most hectic free-agent summers in NBA history, and being able to experience everything that occurred from a new, more involved perspective was the summer internship equivalent of a free upgrade from economy to first class. While the world waited for LeBron James to announce what city he would be taking his talents to this coming season, I got to listen in on calls between the agency and front office executives, news outlets, and the players themselves, in which the two sides discussed possible destinations and contracts for Tandem's free agent clients.
I also got to meet some of the clients in person: two memories that stand out were listening to Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young explain the intricacies of having a personal chef, and playing NBA 2K against Golden State Warriors guard Quinn Cook - take my advice, don't challenge him to a game of 2K… you will lose.
Aside from working my internship in Arlington, I spent a lot of my summer exploring Washington and the rest of the DMV area. I have family in D.C., I stayed with an aunt in Maryland, and though I spend time in both places with my family every summer, this was the first time I had ever experienced either of them alone, and with full access to both. Being from New York City, I'm used to large urban centers, but being able to learn and experience a new city on my own was something I enjoyed a lot.
Something else I enjoyed was immersing myself in the rich basketball culture of the DMV. It seems like everyone there is a hooper, and it was extremely easy to find places to play and work on my game. I also am grateful to have had a lot of help from my good friend and recent Babson basketball alum Bradley Jacks '18, who lives in the area, and did an amazing job serving as my trainer and coach for the summer (thanks, Brad).
Overall, I had an unforgettable summer working and playing somewhere I consider a second home, and what I've learned has given me a new outlook on a number of things, as well as experience in an industry I hope to one day be a part of. Though I'm somewhat sad the summer has come to a close, I'm extremely excited to get back up to Babson for my senior year, and to hopefully finish my collegiate career with a bang.