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From the W. P. Carey MBA to the NBA

When Amin Elhassan writes his columns for ESPN, the technical knowledge he conveys about salary caps and statistical analysis is rooted in his time spent at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Before writing for the “worldwide leader in sports,” he parlayed his MBA into a nearly six-year stint with the Phoenix Suns, including three years as the team’s assistant director of basketball operations.

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“What I write about is based on my experience with the Suns, and my experience with the Suns came about because of my time here — because of the connections, but also because of the coursework,” says Amin.

Having earned undergraduate degrees at W. P. Carey, Amin had a good sense of the quality of the program when he decided to earn his MBA. At the time, then-faculty member Ray Artigue helped him connect with the Phoenix Suns, which transformed his career.

His MBA classes also came in handy when the Suns were transitioning from a legacy information system to a modern one.

“One of the information systems classes that I took here as an MBA was [about] exactly that,” Amin adds. He also did regressions to determine the “most important components, as a team, that we should be looking for,” noting his W.P. Carey courses enabled him to make those contributions.

He’s gotten a chance to work with some of basketball’s biggest names, including Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash, and Grant Hill. “You get to meet all types of people from different eras and talk to them about their experiences,” he says. “And that’s the great part of it, because you all share a bond — the love of the game.”

At the end of the 2012 season, Amin left the Suns without a concrete next step. But his acumen was well-known throughout the league and the media, which led him to starting a relationship with ESPN, taking his career in a whole new direction, a career path that began with his W. P. Carey MBA.