When the Grand Rapids Drive take the court for their first home game in November, only a few people in the arena will understand the countless hours that went into bringing this team to West Michigan.
Derrell Haygood, a senior majoring in liberal studies, will be among those in the know.
Haygood is an intern for the Drive, the minor league team affiliated with the Detroit Pistons. He started working for the Drive in May after meeting several team executives at a networking event in March.
The team announced its name June 17 by asking local leaders, like President Thomas J. Haas, to wear Drive t-shirts for a social media campaign.
Haygood has worked to create team awareness on campus and in West Michigan, helped with sales and marketing and other tasks.
Haygood, who graduated from Southfield Lathrup, played offensive guard for the Lakers for two years, but left the team and the university for personal reasons. He considers himself lucky to have found a position with the team.
“I left Grand Valley then came back and now I’m so blessed to be a part of this,” he said. When the season begins, Haygood hopes to be part of game-day operations for the Drive.
The Grand Rapids Drive will play a 48-game schedule from November to April with 24 home games at the DeltaPlex Arena.