NBA Executive Credits St. John’s for Professional Success
When Danny Meiseles ’88SVC was a sophomore at the University of Buffalo, he did some soul-searching to determine a career path that would allow him to pursue his true passions: sports and television.
The Merrick, NY, native decided to move back home and attend St. John’s University because of their unparalleled Communication Arts program and storied Men’s Basketball program. “They had just been to the Final Four, and it was a real golden age for the team,” he explained.
Today, Mr. Meiseles is President, Live Game and Entertainment Production for the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has spent more than 30 years with the organization in what he considers to be his dream job.
“My main responsibility is live entertainment and live game production, with some oversight of social and digital media,” he said. “My focus is really the live game experience.”
Immediately before enrolling at St. John’s, Mr. Meiseles started an internship at NBC Sports that continued throughout his junior and senior years. Upon graduation, he was hired by NBC Sports as an Associate Producer for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Upon returning from Seoul, Mr. Meiseles got a job with a program called InSport hosted by Ahmad Rashad. After six months, Mr. Rashad moved to the NBA, hosting a program known as Inside Stuff. Mr. Meiseles joined him—and has been at the NBA ever since. There, he began as an editor, eventually transitioning to producing and management.
Like every other industry, professional basketball was seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. All 22 teams were sequestered within a strict bubble, playing their games at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.
“The bubble was crazy, but it was exciting,” he explained. “Our mandate was to re-create the game experience for the players with no fans and give the fans a different perspective on the game to keep them engaged.” He added, “I think we gave our fans a great product.”
Mr. Meiseles has very fond memories of his time at St. John’s. “Once I decided on my direction, St. John’s was the perfect University for me. It gave me everything I wanted. It gave me that college sports experience. It gave me that focus on TV production. I really don’t think my career would be where it is without St. John’s.”
Mr. Meiseles spoke highly of the University’s state-of-the-art Television, Film, and Radio Center, a facility that has always kept pace with trends in the field, offering its students training with the latest equipment. “I received practical, hands-on experience in television production, which is what I wanted.”
A self-professed “basketball junkie,” Mr. Meiseles could not get enough of Men’s Basketball at St. John’s. “I really missed Division I sports in my life, and I really wanted to be a part of it. I definitely got that at St. John’s. I remember my first game at Alumni Hall (now Carnesecca Arena) and my first game at Madison Square Garden. Those were some of the experiences that made me feel I had made the best decision.”
As a current manager of many people upon whom he must depend in stressful situations, Mr. Meiseles credits St. John’s with helping him develop compassionate leadership skills. “The notions of trust, caring, and being there for people is something I learned at St. John’s, and it’s what I try to bring to the table managing people. I try to make it a family atmosphere. This is my dream job—and I consider myself a lifer.”