Wizards' New Front Office Will Make Community Efforts In DC
The Wizards have set out to "become more about basketball" with their recent front office restructuring, but they also want to "extend their influence beyond the professional basketball ranks and into the local DC community," according to Chase Hughes of NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com. Wizards players, along with alumni and coaches, will have a "stronger connection to the DC, Maryland and Virginia area." Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis said that Monumental Basketball VP/Player Development & Engagement John Thompson III and VP/Community Relations Sashia Jones will help lead a "grassroots basketball program" that will include "building playgrounds and courts around DC." All of the teams under Monumental Basketball will "connect with youth programs to provide coaches and mentors, including former Wizards and Bullets alumni." Leonsis "wants to create a college-like program for his players, one that teaches them life skills and gives them the resources to grow as people off the court." Thompson and Jones will work together to "help create an environment for the players off the court that Leonsis sees as a potential selling point to those considering to join the organization." It is "more than just the right thing to do, in Leonsis' eyes; it could help the Wizards win." Leonsis said, "It should get our players happier and more developed" (NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com, 7/30).