2 Hawks players balancing full NBA schedule, business classes at Harvard

ATLANTA — More than 1,000 miles away from their training facility, two Atlanta Hawks players are studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Hawks forwards Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari started a business program at Harvard. For the next three months, not only will they balance a full NBA schedule, but homework as well.

“Back to college, I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for both of us we always talk about business,” Bogdanovic said.

However due to the ongoing pandemic, the guys haven’t stepped foot on campus. All of their learning is done virtually.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this program, and of course, to do it at Harvard is amazing,” Gallinari said.

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The semester-long program is called “Crossover into Business” and started in 2017. The program works with athletes in the NBA, WNBA, MLS, NFL and other leagues.

The Hawks players told Mastrangelo it won’t be too hard balancing their professional careers with social work.

“Right after practice, jump into the homework, is going to be interesting. It’s going to be fun. We already have a lot of free time after basketball so going to be a good time investment,” Bogdanovic said.

“I think we are going to do a lot of the lessons and Zoom calls, we are going to do it together if we can. And that’s the beauty of doing this course together,” Gallinari said.

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The Harvard courses pairs the athletes up with a MBA student mentor. The students help the guys learn how to make better business decisions during and after their careers in the NBA.

“I have a lot of investments going on, so I know a little bit of everything, in terms of everything from real estate to finance to all this basic stuff. But a course like this gives a chance to study more into it and an understand a little deeper business of everything a little,” Gallinari said.

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The Hawks players actually had no idea both of them signed up for the course until after they got accepted to it.

But they told Mastrangelo that their competitive spirit on the court will translate into the classroom, especially when it comes to grade.

“We’ll see it’s going to be a tough competition,” Bogdanovic said. “I’ll bet on myself.”

“Very competitive, we gonna fight for sure,” Gallinari said. “But I will definitely keep you guys posted, especially if I win.”

Classes started the first week of February and will run through April.

Both Bogdanovic and Gallinari said they don’t know exactly what they want to do once they stop playing basketball. They look forward to the possibilities the Harvard program could open up for them.

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