The 21-year-old pro basketball GMby Chris Munson
February 11, 2009 - Premier Basketball League (PBL)
Dantus is a mere 21 years of age and is the general manager of the Maryland Nighthawks and works closely with running the operations of the Premier Basketball League. With the Nighthawks taking the year off from league play, he's concentrating on league operations this season. Not only does he work with the team and the league, but to add to all of this, he is a senior at the University of Maryland and is set to graduate in May. Oh yeah, he is also the youngest general manager in all of professional sports.
Here is Adam's long resume:
At age 18, Adam was the on the Nighthawks sales and marketing staff, and was the radio play-by-play guy. At 19 he was the stats guy for the Nighthawks, sales and marketing director and was the team's communications director. This is when they had Sun Ming Ming and media from all over world was at Maryland games and they sold out on a nightly basis. At ages 20 and 21 he was/is the Nighthawks General Manager, and the PBL webmaster and stats manager. Dantus also designed the new website and is responsible for updating it daily and takes care of stats for league. At age 20 he founded Advancing Athletes, Inc., which represents 15 players playing in minor leagues in the US and overseas. At age 21 most of us were worried about chasing girls and drinking beer.
The love affair with minor league basketball started with a little pushing from Adam's mother. His mother found a job with the Nighthawks that was advertised in a local paper. Initially, Dantus wanted to just concentrate on school, but his mother pushed him along so he could start to fulfill his dream of working in professional basketball. Some say that if Dantus did not take the job, the PBL would not be where it is today.
Being in school, running the Nighthawks and being an instrumental part of the success of the league is a daunting task.
"To be honest with you, it's tough," said Dantus of his tight schedule. "Being a fulltime student, working 60 hours per week, plus having a girlfriend, it can be rough and not everyone is happy all of the time; It is very hectic but I love it.
"I usually wake up at 7AM and check my email...on game days I normally receive over 100 emails so that takes a lot of time just reading through them and getting back to everyone. I make an effort to get back to everyone. After I am done responding to my morning emails I make the necessary updates on the league website and then it's time to create the game files to send out to the score keepers. Then at around 11AM I'll go on OurSports Central and read the media articles and occasionally I'll read what the fans are saying on the message boards. Then I'm off to classes.
"When I get back around 2-3PM it's back to checking emails, voicemails, returning calls and making more updates on the website, sending out press releases, etc. When the games begin to be played I have to be by my computer in case anything goes wrong and once the stats, photos and recaps start to roll in, it's back to updating the website and getting the press releases out to the media."
The work for Adam, despite the long work weeks and trying to balance family and school, seems to be rewarding and a labor of love.
"I like to see everything that I put an effort in to be a success. If any little thing goes wrong, I won't be able to sleep," he said. "I am very unselfish and don't like to be in the spotlight. I'm a team player and I like to see the players and teams that I work with be successful. The best feeling I get is seeing my hard work and time pay off. I also like seeing players who I have built a professional relationship with be successful on and off the court and advance their careers. The best feeling I get is knowing I made a significant impact on the lives of these players."
When it comes to the future of the PBL and minor league basketball as a whole, despite the challenges the industry faces, he is optimistic.
"I have a feeling this league is going to be successful and around for a while," Dantus added. "If you look at all of the other minor basketball leagues, they have failed because of their business model. You have to go outside of the box, take a risk and differentiate yourself from the competition and that is exactly what this league is doing. No other minor league has a national TV deal and is doing the things the PBL is doing. The PBL is going to be in millions of households on the @Sports TV network and the exposure for the league and its players is going to be tremendous."
Dantus has quite a few fans, one of them is Battle Creek head coach Terry Sare.
"Adam is well beyond his years and that is what is important," said Sare. "When Adam is around people with knowledge, he is a great listener and absorbs everything. Adam works so hard and that is what sets him apart. Every time I talk to him, he is doing something and I often wonder if he ever goes home. It is the countless hours he puts in and that is what makes him what he is. Other young people figure they are owed something but Adam just doesn't think that way. I look in the future and I hope I get a chance to work with that young man. He has a great situation, but if I have the chance to work with him, I will."
Chris Munson is a freelance sportswriter based in Jacksonville, Florida. Chris has written for Our Sports Central, US Basket, the Vermont Times, Vermont Guardian and Varsity Magazine. Chris is also the former Sports Director for ESPN Radio Vermont.
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.