Throwback Thursday: Kelly Kohn

Dec. 1, 2011

120111aaa_644_3318912.jpegKelly Kohn (Women’s Basketball) 2006-10
Kohn grew up just a short drive from the motor city, but made a name for herself in the unofficial basketball capital of the country. During her four years in the Phog, she saw the Jayhawks amass a total of 67 victories and make an appearance in the NIT Championship game. Kohn, currently works for the San Antonio Spurs as a season ticket representative, but still follows her ‘Hawks religiously on

Why did you choose to play at the University of Kansas?
“I chose KU for a number of different reasons. I took my official visit to Kansas during Late Night and if anyone has ever been to Late Night before, you obviously know exactly where I’m coming from. You just get to see the immense amount of tradition we have here. I had the opportunity to take my official visit with Sade (Morris) and Danielle (McCray) and a couple of other people that were going to be coming in at the same time as me. I really got a good idea of what my team and my family away from home was going to look like for the next four years. I absolutely fell in love with that group of people and the coaching staff. I really just loved Lawrence. It’s a smaller city that really supports its athletics and especially its basketball. What better place to play the sport than where it was invented?”

What was your favorite part about KU?120111aaa_644_7223412.jpeg
“My favorite part was definitely learning about the tradition and how it still is carried throughout the program. I took a number of different visits to different colleges when I was deciding where I wanted to play, but Kansas really stuck out to me. Walking through the Hall of Fame, even the years I was there, just gave me a sense of pride because it really gives honor to everyone who has contributed and went through this program. That was probably one of the things I am most proud of, to know I am now a part of such a rich tradition.”

What was your proudest achievement during your time in Lawrence?
“My biggest accomplishment was just being a student-athlete for four years and graduating in that same time frame. For any other student-athlete out there, they definitely understand the commitment, dedication and sacrifice that it takes to do that. In transitioning from being a student-athlete to entering the work force, one of my biggest selling points in any job interview, was the fact that I was a student-athlete. I learned so many lessons, one of which is about time management and what it really means to dedicate you to a common goal.”

You were on the Big 12 Academic First team for three seasons and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll all four years, how did you balance academics with sports?
“That was an emphasis instilled in me ever since I was a child. It stems from my family because my parents always put an incredible importance on school and education. In high school, there was time allotted to finish homework and study for tests. Both of my parents are teachers and are very involved in education back in Michigan. Growing up, that was something that was constantly ingrained in me as important and was something I definitely carried with me to college. At KU, I was interested in a lot of different classes so it was something that was not only important to me, but it was something that I enjoyed.”

Is there one memory that stands out about your time at Kansas more than the others?
“There are so many memories of just really creating a family with my teammates. If I had to pick one thing as far as basketball goes, it would definitely be the day we sold out Allen Fieldhouse and played in the NIT Championship game. In my four years there, I cannot tell you how many times I walked out of practice from Horejsi, or was coming out of the locker room, and you could just hear 120111aaa_644_2578251.jpegthe vibrations from the men’s games when they sold out every night. We always used to sit back and think how cool that would be if we could play in front of that crowd. When that happened for us, it truly was something very special to experience. I will never forget standing on that court during the national anthem and looking up and seeing every one of those seats filled. It was an incredible accomplishment that we were able to do that during my time there.”

Do you still keep in touch with your former teammates?
“I definitely do. I am thankful for Twitter and Facebook because I get the opportunity to talk with my teammates overseas. Danielle (McCray) and I constantly keep in contact with what she is doing. I actually had the opportunity to see her when she came to San Antonio and played against the Silver Stars, which was awesome. LeChelda (Jacobs) is in Dallas so she is not too far away and every opportunity that we get, she and I are constantly making road trips together. Also, one of my best friends in college, Katie Smith recently had her wedding this past summer, which I was able to participate in. It was very cool to see how those friendships that I made in college have continued on with me throughout my life. Now I get to be a major impact in some of their biggest moments in life, like weddings.”

What are your current responsibilities with the Spurs? Kohn with the Spurs' championship trophies
“My experience with the Spurs has been incredible. My job title is ‘Spurs season ticket representative’. I started out in sales, and it was definitely a grind but was something I really enjoyed. It gave me the opportunity to stay competitive, while remaining in the sports industry. I knew I had to start at the bottom and work my way up because I was in sales for about five or six months before I was promoted into the position that I am in now. Basically, I oversee about 300 different accounts that have season tickets with the Spurs. That ranges from sponsors or businesses that have tickets for their clients to fans who have season tickets. I am in charge of their account and basically entire experience with us.”

What is your favorite part about working for the Spurs?
“It definitely is a luxury and a privilege to stay in the sports industry. It is pretty much all I have known my entire life. Coming from a very sports oriented family and playing sports in college and then being able to work for a professional team is awesome. I am able to come to all the games and have access behind the scenes, which is very cool. The other great thing about the Spurs is that they are an incredible organization to work for and were recently voted the #1 sports business franchise by ESPN magazine. That recognition is really just a testament to the leadership that we have in San Antonio. It is really all about values here because they lead with the utmost integrity and treat their employees’ right. That is the one thing that I have really grown to love about working for them.”

Do you still follow the current women’s basketball team?
“Definitely, KU athletics is still on my dropdown of favorites at work at the AT&T Center and I am always looking up the team’s stats and schedule. I really enjoyed following them as they went to Italy and Europe this past summer. I remember when we went to Australia in (2007), so I was a little jealous.” 120111aaa_644_1943637.jpeg

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