William L. Strickland '71

Overcoming injury to pursue a professional sports career.

William L. Strickland '71, Sports Agent

Even though William Strickland was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers straight out of high school, he still chose Loyola University, where he was all-conference on the baseball team. A knee injury made one route in professional athletics impossible — so he took another one. "Becoming a sports agent was a way for me to try to merge vocation with avocation. It was a natural thing to do, and here I am 28 years later, still involved."

Working closely with high-profile sports personalities such as Michael Jordan is routine for William, who says seeing how those stars appreciated and cultivated their considerable gifts inspires him to do the same. "The talents and blessings I have are something I should appreciate and work for — just as much as they appreciate their talents and have to work at it. It was not given."

William is ranked by Sports Illustrated as one of the top minorities of influence in sports. Over the course of his career, he has negotiated more than $1 billion in gross compensation for clients. Now he's chief operating officer at mgmt one LLC, an entertainment/sports management and branding company.

"In all the years I've represented professional athletes, I've never worked with a publicist. So to be recognized so extensively speaks to my idea that you let your work speak for itself. And that's gratifying to see."