Miami Heat President Inspires More than 200 Graduating School of Business Students at Fall Commencement
December 18, 2013
|Pat Riley, team president of the Miami Heat, spoke to nearly 900 graduating students during the commencement ceremony.|
Pat Riley, the iconic and stylish team president of the Miami Heat who has won nine NBA championships as a player, coach, and executive, will brought his inspirational message to the University of Miami Dec. 19, addressing graduating students at fall commencement.
More than 200 undergraduate and graduate business students were among the 900 UM students accepting degrees during the ceremony. Those graduating from the School’s business programs represented more than a dozen countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, India, Italy, Kuwait, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Russia and Venezuela.
“This is probably a last in a lifetime experience for you, because everything coming at you from here is going to be a first,” Riley told the graduating students. “You’re going to be hit with more firsts than ever, and it’s going to be a very challenging time, but challenge is what it’s all about. Make sure you never, ever, ever give up.”
Riley has captured three NBA championships for the Miami Heat. The first came in 2006, when Riley, then general manager of the Heat, took over the head-coaching reins early in the season and led the team to victory over the Dallas Mavericks for the franchise’s first NBA crown. In so doing, he became the only NBA coach to take three different teams to the NBA Finals. He took the New York Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994.
“During 46 years in the NBA, there wasn’t a day where I didn’t dream or think about winning. There’s nothing wrong in separating yourself from the pack. There’s nothing wrong with leaving footprints, with being great. You need that vision of where you want to go.”
Immediately following the commencement ceremony, the graduates joined family, friends, faculty and staff for a reception outside the School of Business.