Black History Month Spotlight: Vice President of Kings Academy & Professional Development, Galen Duncan
In honor of Black History Month, the Kings organization is highlighting members of the team who have made an impact in their field while also representing their African American heritage.
This week, we spoke with Vice President of Kings Academy & Professional Development, Galen Duncan.
How would you describe your role with the Sacramento Kings?
My role is one that is ever changing. No two days are ever alike but primarily I look to bring a level of peace and continuity to players’ lives. I hope to put them in situations that help them grow and mature. I hope to help them with the process of becoming men.
Who have been your biggest role models?
I have been so blessed with many role models. My father was an All-American basketball player, high school coach for 35 years and just an overall great man. My mother is a retired public school teacher who stills plays competitive basketball at the ripe age of 83. My uncle mentored me in the art of mental health. I still keep in touch with my coaches from college and high school. I also have ongoing mentorship relationships with Dr. Herb Martin and the infamous Dr. Harry Edwards.
In what ways do you celebrate your African American heritage?
I celebrate being black daily. I try to help players and mentees alike understand the opportunity and responsibility we have to be viewed as more than just athletes and entertainers. I try to introduce others to great inventors and creators of our past. I try to read books by black authors. I believe that African American History is American History so we should pay it as much attention as we do all other historical events.
What advice would you give to fellow African Americans who are striving to succeed in the sports and entertainment industry?
It’s probably the same thing I would share with any minority in this business. Remember you will be judged on a different scale. Unfortunately, you will have to work harder than most. You may be denied opportunities. You may find it very unfair when you see others with less experience and less work ethic elevated by favor. However, you can never allow yourself to be shaken or not be ready for an opportunity when it presents itself.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The wins. I am not just talking about on the court (although I love those too). I love to see growth in young people. I love to see them work hard and progress into better people with better opportunities. I love to see the evolution of a player from just an athlete to a productive, conscious citizen in our community. It is a unique standpoint that not many get to witness.
Why is it important to continue to encourage diversity in the workplace?
Diversity in the workplace gives hope to children of all colors, races, genders and creeds. It allows people to dream. Seeing someone who looks like you in an environment gives an individual hope. I also think that it cultivates a better environment. It allows a broad range of idea expression and viewpoints. It also creates growth and learning amongst all. Hopefully, we can continue to break down these barriers and continue growing into a special environment of love and inclusion. Go Kings!