Since retiring in 1999 from an illustrious playing career in the NBA, Dominique Wilkins has remained active in the sport of basketball within the Atlanta Hawks organization. In 2005, he was named the Hawks’ Vice President of Basketball, after previously holding roles including special assistant to the executive vice president and player development assistant. As Vice President of Basketball, Wilkins is responsible for advising the senior management team on basketball-related issues.
Wilkins is regarded as one of the most exciting players in NBA history, leading to his nickname, “The Human Highlight Film.” After starring for three years at the University of Georgia, he was drafted third overall in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz and later traded to the Hawks. He spent twelve years with the Hawks, eventually becoming the team’s all-time leader in scoring and steals.
Numerous individual awards and accolades, as well as significant team success, highlighted Wilkins’ professional career. Wilkins made nine consecutive appearances in the NBA All-Star game and won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest twice in a five-year span. In 1986, he was crowned the NBA scoring champion after averaging 30.3 points per game. Wilkins finished his NBA career among an elite group of twelve players who scored over 25,000 career points and is ranked seventh on the all-time scoring list, with 26,534 points. Additionally, his Hawks teams recorded 50-win seasons in four straight seasons from 1985-86 to 1988-89, reached the post-season in eight of his 12 seasons, and narrowly missed reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 1988 after a heartbreaking loss to Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics. For his impressive achievements in the game of basketball, Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2007.
Off the court, Wilkins is active in the community, taking an active role with a number of charitable organizations. Over the years, he has worked with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Special Olympics, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Lung Association. As a diabetic himself, Wilkins takes particular interest in raising awareness and funds for the disease. He works very closely with the Center for Health Transformation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to help those affected by diabetes.
Additionally, Wilkins makes appearances and speeches at corporate outings and charity events throughout the country. Wilkins’ journey from childhood to NBA stardom to successful businessman has provided him with a lifetime of experiences to share with corporate and charity audiences. The leadership skills and internal motivation he has shown in becoming an NBA legend and controlling his diabetes are an inspiration to all. He addresses a wide range of topics including effective communication, motivation, management, recruiting, and leadership.
Most recently, Wilkins released the first of his private label wines under the Wilkins Private Reserve label. The wines, which are featured in select restaurants in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast, have received excellent reviews from wine critics. Wilkins took an interest in fine wines while playing professionally in Italy at the end of his career and lists owning a private label as one of his long time goals.
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