Alumni Profiles is an ongoing series highlighting successful graduates who, with a SUNY education, achieved interesting and influential careers.
Gail Hunter is a leader and lawyer, credited for helping put holes in the glass ceiling. Hunter is best known for her work with the NBA as Senior Vice President of Events and Attractions. Hunter started far from sports—she earned B.A. in theater arts and moved on to law school soon after. Some 25 years later, following association with the NCAA and MLB, she is a proud WISE Women of the Year Award Recipient (2012) and is adjusting to her most recent move as Vice President of Public Affairs and Event Management for the Golden State Warriors.
1. You became an established athlete while at SUNY Fredonia and went to law school shortly after that. Was it difficult to maintain excellent academics while being an athlete?
It was somewhat difficult but not at all impossible. What kept me focused was a supportive athletic department that allowed us time to study, to attend classes, and to participate in academic activities.
2. How did your college education help prepare you for life and your career?
College prepared me to work hard, be patient, and get along with people from all different backgrounds. Fredonia served as petri dish of the world. We were exposed to great culture, academicians, and an opportunity to group up.
“…If you take the time to experience all Fredonia has to offer, it will prepare you for your next phase of life.”
3. What is a typical day like for you with the NBA?
A typical day includes managing a staff of individuals who execute over 800 events a year both domestically and internationally. We are in communication with a variety of NBA teams, vendors, venues, etc. as we plan and execute events year-round.
4. You have been called “one of the most influential women in all of sports”. How does this make you feel?
Humbled to say the least and very grateful to the tremendous support system that has surrounded and supported me — family, friends, Fredonia and UNC Chapel Hill communities and business colleagues.
5. And continuing that point, did you see yourself in such a position as you grew up and went to college? If so, what maintained your drive to get here?
I did not see myself in such a position growing up but as I progressed in my career, I’ve always wanted to do more and to do it better. I am fortunate that I am in a business that I love and working for a company that strives for excellence and encourages its employees to succeed.
6. What advice do you have to share with SUNY students?
First of all, enjoy Fredonia and all that it offers. It is an amazing community that, if you take the time to experience all it has to offer, will prepare you for your next phase of life.
Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.