When the final buzzer rang at the 2023 HBS Hoops Invitational last month, MIT Sloan had defeated Harvard Business School 43-39 in the championship game.
“Winning this year’s invitational was an amazing feeling! A lot of hard work and dedication went into our training and preparation, so winning the championship against a talented HBS team was a highlight of my time at MIT,” says Clyde-Blaise Niba, MIT Sloan Basketball Club co-president and MBA candidate.
The annual invitational, which returned to Harvard’s Shad Hall after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, featured club basketball teams comprised of students and alumni from HBS, MIT Sloan, Wharton, Stern, Tepper, Darden, Kellogg, Fuqua, Booth, and McDonough. HBS, Darden, Wharton, and MIT Sloan advanced to the semifinals before the championship game.
It was an especially hard-won victory, according to the MIT Sloan team members and fans who were present. The HBS team was favored to win the tournament, not least of all because its roster included a former NBA player.
“I could not help bursting with pride at the accomplishments of this team,” says basketball aficionado and team fan Bill Aulet, SF ’94 (Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice; Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship). “In the end, they were the best team and richly earned the 6-foot-high trophy. There was justice on the hardcourt!”
Principled, innovative ballers
In addition to participating in tournaments like the HBS Hoops Invitational, the MIT Sloan Basketball Club also invites its members and their significant others to play pick-up games between and after classes, watch the Celtics at TD Garden, and enjoy a growing network of students and alumni who all share a love of the game.
After all, as the club’s website declares, they are “committed to developing principled ballers to compete against the world’s top MBA talent.”
“Basketball is a true passion of mine and being part of the MIT Sloan Basketball Club is a great way to connect with others who love the sport,” says Adam Jurko, SB ’19, club co-president and MBA candidate.
As an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering, Jurko played for the MIT Men’s Basketball team for four years. He returned to the team to serve as a volunteer assistant coach after enrolling in the MIT Sloan MBA Program.
“Playing basketball together has been such a great way to meet some new faces and let out our competitiveness in a fun way,” says Jurko. “Within the club and at the invitational, I’ve been able to meet a ton of new friends whom I may have never met if it weren’t for the sport.”
On and off the court
Bruce Crawford, club co-president and MBA candidate, credits the club with helping him to calmly navigate the academic, entrepreneurial, and personal aspects of his life.
“It’s a highlight of my week to get to compete and have fun playing basketball on a regular basis. The comradery built between members of our team is really rewarding, and far beyond what could be formed in a classroom,” he says.
Following the tournament, Niba, Jurko, and Crawford met with Dean David Schmittlein to present him with the 6-foot-tall trophy and an MIT Sloan Basketball Club team shirt.
“Congratulations to the members of the MIT Sloan Basketball Club on their victory at this year’s HBS Hoops Invitational. They competed against teams from the top schools of business and management from around the country and brought the trophy home to MIT,” Dean Schmittlein said in a statement.
“We are incredibly proud of them and look forward to their continued success—both on and off the court.”
The MIT Sloan Basketball Club would like to thank HBS Club Basketball and the HBS Hoops Invitational crew for organizing and hosting the tournament.