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Business of Basketball Leads to NAIA Internship

Dade Baker in front of Mabee Learning Center
Student & Alumni Stories

Dade Baker loves the game of basketball. After all, he’s been on the business end of the game since he was manager of his Olathe North High School men’s team. Growing up in Olathe, he attended many MNU men’s basketball games, building a rapport with championship Head Coach Rocky Lamar. With his experience as a team manager, his passion for the sport and becoming familiar with the MNU community, it wasn’t long before he decided to become a Pioneer himself.

When Coach Lamar offered Dade a job as the manager of the Pioneers, he gladly accepted.  He couldn’t imagine at the time the doors that would open for him as he continued his studies in business administration and leadership.

His hard work, along with MNU’s partnership with several athletic organizations in the Kansas City area, gave him an opportunity for an internship at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a governing body for small colleges and universities, dedicated to character-driven intercollegiate athletics, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

Looking from the outside in, Dade was impressed with the successful operation of the organization. The NAIA is responsible for managing 25 national championship tournaments, for more than 250 college and universities and 21 conferences. Using the business tools he acquired at MNU, he spent his summer internship working on a process improvement project that researched ways to grow sponsorships and increase sales.

Reflecting on the experience, Dade says one of the advantages he had was how his professors prepared him for the internship interview.

“I gained networking opportunities and learned how to deal with different personalities,” Dade says. “My professors were successful in the fields they taught, they weren’t just teaching about something they hadn’t already experienced.”

Dade sports his two final four rings for Pioneer men's basketball and hopes for the championship this year.

With a spring 2017 graduation coming closer, Dade is hopeful about his future.

I feel confident,” he says. “I’ve been trained well by my professors and through internships, I’ve built work relationships that will be very important in my future.”


Accent Summer 2020
This Issue

Summer 2021

Momentum builds with new construction, the return to in-person Commencement and athletic success despite the pandemic! Enjoy this issue of Accent Summer 2021.

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