June 20, 2013
Jon Cooper, Sting Daily –
Assisting people comes naturally to Kaleigh Colson.
It’s been her job the last two seasons as Georgia Tech Volleyball’s setter and has been a job she’s handled quite well. During those two seasons Colson’s recorded 2011 of her 2012 career assists in her career has dished out 10.11 assists per match, seventh all-time in school history. During the 2012 season, the Austin, Texas, native, who is on course to graduate in the spring, finished second in the ACC with 10.53 assists per set, recording 1,221 helpers and led in assists per set in conference play, with the same 10.53 apg, on 800 assists.
For the summer of 2013, she’s found a job where she is showing she has a knack of assisting on a different court, the basketball court, assisting the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.
“I really like it,” said Colson. “I knew I wanted to get an internship,” she said. “I was keeping sports management as an option open to what I really wanted to do this summer. [Associate Director of Athletics – Senior Woman Administrator Theresa Wenzel] said, ‘You should get in contact with the Dream.’ They ended up having applications on line so I applied on line and had a couple of interviews and they selected me.”
The job has her working for the team’s Manager of Corporate Partnerships Kristin Ritchie.
“I get to help with managing all the accounts with all the sponsors for the Dream, like Piedmont Health Care, Coca Cola, the Georgia Lottery, all those guys,” she said. “I help run promotions for them. So I spend weekdays in the office doing random things and I work all the home games. Those are day-long events, pretty much. I have to get there pretty early, do a lot of set-up. Those have been really fun. I really enjoy that.”
A typical game day starts well before the 7:00 p.m. tip-off.
“I get there probably around 2:00 or 3:00,” Colson said. “I have to go take all the boxes of roster cards and the giveaway for the game to all the entries of Philips Arena and have them all out there. Then I do random set-up activities for the court.”
Her job is far from over once everything is in place. There’s still work to do after the opening tap. That’s when she gets to concentrate on the really fun part of her job, interacting with Dream fans. Colson admitted she never played the game of basketball herself but is a fan, as she enjoyed watching the NBA growing up with her dad, who did play some. In her capacity with the Dream she’s enjoying helping others get the most out of watching the action.
“During the game I help with the seat upgrades for certain sponsors, like Coca Cola,” she said. “I get to move people to the front row, which is really fun because it makes their experience like 20,000 times better. I just kind of manage people.”
Among the people she got to manage at last Sunday’s game against the Chicago Sky, was Georgia Tech Head Volleyball Coach Tonya Johnson and Head Trainer Carla Gilson.
“I got to see them and get them on the [jumbotron], which was really fun,” she said. “It was kind of cool that they were there.”
Colson expects a real big showing of Georgia Tech coaches, students and alumni this coming Tuesday, when the WNBA champion Indiana Fever come into town, featuring former Yellow Jacket center Sasha Goodlett. (Tip-off for the special matinee at Philips Arena is set for noon).
“I’m hoping I’ll get to see [Goodlett] and say hi,” she said. “I know a lot of Tech coaches like Scott McDonald, I’m sure Tonya and the basketball coaches are going to come and watch the game, too. They’re pretty excited.”
While Colson admits she spends most of her summer with the internship, she’s still able to take part in workouts and is enjoying getting to work as well as still have time to train.
“My summer has been good,” she said. “I have the internship so that’s where I spend most of my time, but it’s been pretty relaxing. Everyone’s here either doing summer school or an internship, so it’s nice to be able to see everyone really any time of the day and I get to hang out with everyone all the time so that’s fun.”