Around the World
PROVO, Utah – Feb 06, 2018 – Former basketball pro Walter Roese sees himself as a “facilitator.” But half-court plays and alley-oops aren’t the only ways he makes an impact; the MBA alum and business consultant has assisted companies across the Western Hemisphere, including Adidas and the Utah Jazz.
Hailing from Porto Alegre, Brazil, Roese’s family raises athletes—including six Olympians—so Roese’s time on Brazil’s national basketball team followed familial tradition. In 1989, he committed to play for the University of Houston and, after a few intercollegiate transfers, received his bachelor’s degree in international business from BYU-Hawaii. Despite not speaking a word of English upon moving to the United States, Roese graduated summa cum laude and proudly dons his ESL proficiency.
“Some close friends make fun of my accent, and I tell them the accent is the charm!” he says, laughing.
Shortly after receiving his MBA in 2003, Roese worked as the director of operations for the BYU basketball team and eventually as assistant coach. His coaching career took him to the University of San Diego, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Hawaii, finally returning to Provo with his family in 2011.
“I’m an ADD kind of a guy,” he says. “I like the freedom to do lots of stuff.”
Lots of stuff includes coaching youth at a camp in Italy every summer; running the Latin America operation for Action Target, one of the largest shooting range companies in the world, for over five years; doing international consulting for the Utah Jazz since 2014; and running Adidas Brazil’s basketball operations. His work takes him almost monthly to Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil, or Panama.
“So I’m involved in little things,” he jokes. “I like entrepreneurship, I like sales, and I like companies to grow overseas, so I spend a lot of time in Latin America—I’m all over the place.”
In his work for the Utah Jazz, Roese gathers intel on potential players so that when the time of the draft arrives, decision-makers have all the information they need to pick athletes well-suited for the team and its values.
Beyond Utah’s professional basketball team, Roese enjoys adding value wherever he sees potential for it. He attributes much of his business savvy to skills he learned through the MBA program.
“It was one of the best things I’ve ever done,” he reflects of his time at BYU Marriott. “It prepares you unbelievably well for the real world. The classes are well taught, well organized, and well prepared. I could not have made a better choice.”
The alum also appreciates the culture BYU Marriott has created and its loyalty to its alumni base.
“Even though you leave, you still feel a part of the Tanner Building,” Roese says. “You still feel a part of this family.”
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Afton Izu