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High School for Sports Management shines in Brooklyn

STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 11/3/2011, 4:54 p.m.

Pitts trains her students to know how to organize and do some of the grunt work, because doing what other people aren't willing to do will make them successful. "I'd rather have the producer and marketer of Roc-A-Fella Records [speak to our kids] before Jay-Z," said Pitts.

Starting in ninth grade, students take an "Intro to Sports Management Theory Class" where they talk about marketing, event planning, finance and utilizing Microsoft Office. In 10th grade, the focus turns to communications, resume writing, business, media and presentation. The goal is to become advanced in event planning and virtual enterprise by 12th grade and also engage in the stock market game to become acquainted with the world of finance.

So what do some of the kids think about HSSM?

"It teaches you about the stuff that's behind the scenes," said Josias Moulterie, a 12th grader at HSSM. "Everybody wants to be an athlete, but the chances are little to none, so this school shows you all the stuff you can do and still be in the business of the sports that you love, like promotional ads, marketing and stuff like that." Moulterie wants to get involved in marketing as a career path.

"It's opened up doors and opportunities for me," said Conner Quinn, a graduate of HSSM who is now a sophomore studying sports management at St. John's University. "When I was here, I worked with the Brooklyn Cyclones and it gave me a bit of a head start on the college curriculum. Some of the things that I did [at college] were things that I already did [at HSSM]. It got me a head start on the competition."

"Recognize that even the games we play change the lives we live," said Paterson at the end of his talk. HSSM students look to be well on their way.