Michael Winger Appoints Trio of Experienced Leaders to Steer Monumental Basketball
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monumental Basketball President Michael Winger announced his updated executive leadership team for Monumental Basketball today, naming Will Dawkins as Wizards general manager and Travis Schlenk as Wizards senior vice president of player personnel and promoting John Thompson III to senior vice president of Monumental Basketball.
“We are very encouraged with the progress we’ve made in a short period of time in re-imagining our front office structure, putting together an experienced group of deep-thinking leaders who understand how to build a high-performing organization,” said Winger. “Will, Travis and John all have radically different life and professional experiences, which will help us grow and change as we continue to add talent to our team.”
Dawkins will be charged with immersing himself in the day-to-day operations of the Wizards, managing basketball operations and overseeing the Capital City Go-Go. Schlenk will oversee all Wizards player personnel evaluation, including managing the scouting staff. Thompson’s elevated role will be focused on exploring and implementing best practices for the Wizards, Mystics and Go-Go while ensuring accountability for excellence across the organization.
Dawkins joins the Wizards after spending the last 15 seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder where he held a variety of positions throughout the organization. He elevated all the way from front office intern, video coordinator and scouting coordinator to director of college player personnel, vice president of identification and intelligence, and his most recent position of vice president of basketball operations that he has held for the last three seasons. During his time with the Thunder, Dawkins had influence on all facets of the operation, assisting with roster and staff development while also developing long and short-term strategic planning for the organization that included player evaluations and acquisitions. The Emerson College alum was part of a Thunder front office that helped assemble teams that contributed to the second-best winning percentages in the NBA from 2010 to 2020, with a Finals appearance in 2012 and four appearances in the Western Conference Finals.
“Over the course of my career I’ve committed myself to doing everything I could, step-by-step, to help build a successful NBA organization, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to now help lead a proud franchise like the Washington Wizards,” said Dawkins. “I want to thank Mr. Leonsis and Michael for the opportunity to be part of a group that shares the same core values for developing a team that I believe in, values that fans in an incredible basketball city like D.C. can rally behind.”
Schlenk brings 25 seasons of NBA experience to the Wizards, including the last six seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. He began his time in Atlanta as the team’s general manager and head of basketball operations in 2017 before being promoted to president of basketball operations prior to the 2019-20 season. The following year, the Hawks reached the Eastern Conference Finals with a roster comprised of draft picks made during his tenure complemented by veteran players he acquired via trade and free agency. Prior to his time at the Hawks, Schlenk spent 13 seasons with the Golden State Warriors, including the final six as assistant general manager where he assisted in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations activities and helped guide the Warriors to three consecutive NBA Finals and two NBA championships (2015 and 2017). He joined the Warriors after working as a video coordinator with the Miami Heat and director of basketball operations at the University of Georgia and began his career with the Orlando Magic.
“I’ve enjoyed doing business with Michael throughout our different stops in the NBA, and having the opportunity to now work alongside him to restore a winning environment with the Wizards is a special opportunity,” said Schlenk. “We are all ready to collaborate on the best ways to begin and sustain that process, and we’re excited to have a great starting point ahead of us with the upcoming draft.”
Thompson has spent the last four seasons as Monumental Basketball’s vice president of player development and engagement. He has a vast array of basketball experience, most notably his 13 years (2004-2017) as head coach at iconic Georgetown University. Thompson achieved several coaching milestones at the helm of the Hoyas, including an NCAA Final Four appearance, two NCAA Sweet-16 appearances, three Big East regular season championships and one Big East tournament championship. In his four years as head coach at Princeton, Thompson won three Ivy League championships. Overall, he owns a stellar 346-193 (.641) all-time record and was named Big East Coach of the Year (2013), NABC Coach of the Year (2007) and was a two-time recipient of the Black Coaches Association (BCA) Male Coach of the Year. Following his tenure at Georgetown, he served as an assistant coach for the USA Men’s National Team where he supported Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy as the team qualified for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
“I have had the benefit of spending the last four seasons working with all three teams under Monumental Basketball and I’m looking forward to being able to share that experience as we constantly improve and expand our operations,” said Thompson. “There is much potential for growth across the board in our organization and we collectively are taking great pride and responsibility in putting us on the right track to achieve our goals.”
Dawkins will join Leonsis and Winger for an introductory press conference today at 12 p.m. at District E. Schlenk, Thompson and Wizards Head Coach Wes Unseld Jr. (along with Leonsis, Winger and Dawkins) will be available to media following the on-stage portion of the press conference.
The press conference will be aired live in its entirety by NBC Sports Washington, will be streamed live on the Wizards digital channels (YouTube, Twitter and Facebook) and air live on The Team 980 and 106.7 The Fan on the Audacy network.