CEO Derrick Godfrey Scores a Slam Dunk at iHoops

CEO leads joint venture between NBA and NCAA to improve youth basketball

(Image: ThinkStock)

Visual Diversity

Blacks are prominent within major sports—totaling 67% of players in the National Football League, 78% of the NBA, 69% of Women’s National Basketball Association, 8.8% of Major League Baseball, and approximately 61% of male student athletes and 51% of female student athletes at Division 1 universities. Despite this, blacks in leadership and chief executive positions within professional and college sports are limited to a handful when compared to their white counterparts.

Godfrey recognizes the visual diversity he adds to that number, but says irrespective of race, it’s important to possess leadership, and to be a visionary, a good executor, and a good listener, all things he’s learned from working with the likes of Earl G. Graves Sr. at BLACK ENTERPRISE, Richard Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers, and Bob Bowman of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, where Godfrey was most recently the vice president of business development. His background in the digital space comes in especially handy in his new role, as does the understanding of how it reaches some diverse demographics.

“In both the African American and the Hispanic community, mobile is very important,” he says. “I think part of it may be a cost factor. When you look at what it cost to put and Apple computer or a Dell computer on your desk … it becomes a stationary device and its usefulness is not as substantial as perhaps being able to pull out an iPhone, or an iPad, or an Android, and pretty much receive similar information. Those devices are so advanced and have such an important place now in the technology world. They are almost as good as sitting in front of a desktop in terms of their power and processing speed, and their abilities to provide and give kids and adults access to information they need on the fly. Those devices are hugely important.

He continues, “I think it’s very important to understand that iHoops is an essential part of the youth basketball community,” he continues. “We’re a very young organization … but I think we’re well on our way to being a huge force in youth basketball, and the way that that is even possibly, obviously, is our association with the NBA and NCAA.”

“We want to emphasize the fact that we are in cyberspace, on the ground, in parks, in stadiums, in boardrooms,” Godfrey says. “We are everywhere that we can affect change.”

Read more about Derrick Godfrey in “What it Takes to Recharge Your Career” in the August 2012 issue of Black Enterprise

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