Garnett Launches 4XL -- For Excellence in Leadership

Foundation prepares minority high school and college students for careers in business and entrepreneurship

Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett announced that he has launched "4XL--For Excellence in LeadershipSM", a program designed to expose minority high school and college students to business environments and help them develop the skills, experience, and relationships important to enter their desired careers. 4XLSM has three components:

  1. Business Immersion: Students visit companies in a variety of industries to gain insight into their operations, interact with executives, and participate in meetings in different functional areas.
  2. Leadership Development: With 4XL’sSM assistance, business immersion participants create and implement strategies to share what they have learned to influence broader populations of young people within their schools and local communities.
  3. Technology-Based Guidance: Later this year, 4XLSM will launch its Web site, which will provide career guidance for students at different levels of education, chronicle the experiences of participants, and enable students to apply for future 4XLSM immersions.

Garnett launched 4XLSM at the 2002 NBA All-Star Weekend in Philadelphia. Two Minneapolis-area students, who had been selected based on their school-related achievements and leadership potential, traveled to Philadelphia to learn about the business side of the NBA. Romone Penny, an 18-year-old senior at DeLaSalle High School, and Andrew Porter, a 20-year-old junior at Macalester College, completed a three-day immersion into many aspects of the NBA, including:

  • Sponsorship, merchandise licensing, television, and international marketing meetings with NBA league executives in addition to one-on-one question-and-answer sessions
  • Behind-the-scenes operations tour of the NBA’s Jam Session interactive fan showcase
  • Strategy session with Timberwolves executives and their marketing partners
  • Participation in the NBA’s All-Star Technology Summit, in which they learned how technology is shaping the future of the sports business
  • Meeting with Garnett, when they shared their immersion experience and listened to his perspective on the business side of the NBA
  • Attendance at the 2002 All-Star Game to watch Garnett start for the Western Conference

Penny, Porter, and Garnett will be featured in a special business edition of NBA Inside Stuff, which will air Saturday on NBC. 4XLSM will soon begin to select minority students from various US cities and expand its immersion programs to other industries--including advertising and public relations, banking and financial services, consulting, entertainment, manufacturing, marketing, non-profit, retail, and technology.

"So many young people hope for a bright future but need the roadmap to help them pursue their passions and realize their dreams," said Garnett. "One of my passions is apparel, and I am learning how to be a successful entrepreneur. 4XLSM provides opportunities for young people to gain exposure, guidance, and access to the business world, and I am excited to learn along with them."

"With the leadership position that Kevin is establishing in the NBA, in professional sports overall, and in the mainstream business community, Kevin can teach and achieve so much through his foundation's visionary work in minority communities," said Chris Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of the Minnesota Timberwolves. "Kevin has found yet another unique, high-impact path to give back to the communities in which he lives, works, and plays."

Garnett has launched 4XLSM in partnership with Management Leadership For Tomorrow (MLT), a New York-based non-profit organization. MLT works to increase the presence of minorities in graduate business schools in preparation for leadership positions in corporations, entrepreneurial ventures, and non-profit organizations. "Kevin has the unique ability to influence young people to pursue business careers as well as connect them with executives who can provide expert guidance and open doors to life-changing opportunities," said John Rice, 4XLSM Director and MLT Founder. "4XLSM, in conjunction with MLT, addresses the dramatic underrepresentation of minorities in business and community leadership roles."