Co-Student of the Week for 1/29 – Paralympian turned MBA Ahkeel Whitehead (SMBA ’19)

By Ahkeel Whitehead (SMBA ’19)

Student of the Week Blog – January 29, 2017

After we tirelessly put on a successful Aztec Adaptive Sports Showcase, our classmates recognized Ryan Lieu (SMBA ’19) and me as the co-students of the week for week two of our Sports MBA program. I was extremely honored to share this award with Ryan, but more importantly it gave our classmates a sense of what we were capable of and what level of work is to be expected by our program. The only way we will reach number one in the world, as a program, is if we strive to be the very best each day.  I believe we exhibited this attitude with our Showcase event. Although the event itself went well, there were so many lessons we learned and items that can improved upon. With our skills improving each day and weight of our Sports MBA classmates behind us, we believe we can reach our goal of starting the first collegiate adapted athletics program in California.

Hometown: San Diego, California

Favourite Sports Teams: Boston Celtics, San Diego State Aztecs

Favourite Sport(s) to Play: Track & Field, basketball, sitting volleyball

Favourite Sporting Event Attended: 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  I admit I am extremely biased with this choice, as I was an athlete representing the United States in track and field at the 2016 Paralympic Games. When I walked into the opening ceremonies stadium and heard the crowd chanting “U.S.A….U.S.A.” I was filled with a sense of pride I had never felt before. It was honor representing my country and a privilege to be competing amongst the best Paralympians in the world.

Favourite Sports Movie: Remember the Titans

Favourite Sports Quote: One sports quote that sticks out the most to me is “Sports do not build character, they reveal it” by Heywood Broun.

What made you choose SDSU SMBA? The reason why I chose this Sports MBA program is because I really wanted to expand my knowledge base about the business aspects behind the sports we love. I am attempting to create a collegiate adapted athletics program at San Diego State University and I want to develop a foundation of business skills to help me achieve this goal. I realized for this program to go from a dream to reality I was going to need to more than passion.

What do you hope to achieve while you’re a student in this program? I hope to acquire the skills and connections necessary to build a collegiate adapted athletics program. This means connecting with as many adapted sports organizations at the community level and at colleges across the nation.  I will also be talking to as many coaches, players, managers, advocates and supporters of this community to understand their needs, what resources SDSU has to offer, and then focus on building the program. While acquiring that knowledge I also plan on utilizing as many concepts and skills in my classes then directing applying them to my project. With the help of the connections the Sports MBA program has, I believe I can learn something from everyone and create the best collegiate adapted athletics program in the nation.

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