Pierre Wooten '02, '05


Name: Pierre Wooten '02, '05
Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration
Occupation: Business Development Manager, Lord & Company, Inc and Founder, Premier Christian Events, Inc.

Pierre Wooten '02, ‘05 hardly ever takes the easy route to his goals.

Instead, the unsurmountable faith he has in God has taken him on a journey through many experiences. From Ohio, he landed in South Carolina playing basketball at Winthrop, then he played professional basketball overseas in different countries and eventually came back to the states to launch his own non-profit.

Even when he wasn't sure of his next move after playing professional basketball for eight years, he knew God was putting him in the right place at the right time. 

“My greatest accomplishment is my availability for allowing God to use me, for however he wants to use me, whenever he wants to do it,” Wooten said. “Faith is who I am. Anybody that knows me knows that I am of faith and around faith.”

His religious ties were the result of his upbringing and have followed him every step of his way. In the early 2000s, Winthrop recruited him to play basketball and he learned some of his biggest lessons as a student-athlete. Wooten was able to play in a series of NCAA championships, and he said Keith Benson, former associate professor of management, was instrumental during his undergraduate and graduate years as a business student.

“He really pushed my thought process in terms of not just thinking outside the box but literally removing the box,” he said. “It really cultivated a spirit of entrepreneurship in me but it really cultivated a spirit of anything is possible. A lot of people have these boxes around them that dictate what they should be, how they should talk, and how they should walk, but it's really about the fact that you are your own person and nobody can be better at being you than you.”

He harnessed this mindset – to do what you are supposed to be doing – with his athletic mentality – failure is not an option – and used them both as motivators. 

“I'm motivated by doing things that nobody has ever done before. When an opportunity presents itself, I think to myself: ‘how do I knock that out of the box and how do I become the first to ever do it.'”

And that, he did. He became one of the first picks selected from a group of nearly 400 to participate in the Denver Nuggets Rookie/Free Agent Camp in 2003. Wooten went on to join the Nuggets in the NBA summer league that same year. He would later play for two additional NBA summer league teams, including the Charlotte Bobcats and the New Orleans Hornets.

After his ride with the NBA and overseas professional teams began to slow down, Wooten transitioned to his post-athletic career. Things were going great but he knew that greater was in store for him.

“I think the challenge was making sure that you're in the right place, doing the things you're supposed to be doing … something you truly love. The challenge was finding out what I really wanted to do,” Wooten explained. “A lot of times you can have this grace over your life and you can still be doing great but you should be somewhere else doing even greater.”

While working for Lord & Company Inc. as a business development manager, Wooten was inspired for greater when he launched his own non-profit, Premier Christian Events. He merged his passion for sportsmanship and ministry together to create an organization that promotes the Bible via competitive events and community service.

“What I do is really centered and geared towards serving other people because what I've seen is that when you serve other people there's a favor upon your life,” Wooten said. “There's a gratitude that you have because you realize that I'm only where I'm at now because of the grace of God but also because of the people that have done countless acts and things for me.”

Wooten envisions Premier Christian Events one day collaborating with the NBA to continue bridging the gap between faith-based and ultra-competitive people and offering a platform for them to utilize their talents.

Find out more at premierchristianevents.org