Timberwolves’ Ronny Turiaf is a summer intern at an ad agency (Video)

Feb 12, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Ronny Turiaf walks into his internship like this everyday. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwovles reserve center, Ronny Turiaf, is well known in NBA circles for his energetic play on the court and his frenzied but entertaining bench celebrations. This summer Turiaf is bringing his trademarked tenacity to his internship at the Olson Advertising Agency in Minneapolis. From the Star Tribune:

Turiaf this time is focused learning not the ways of the NBA but rather video-production skills, social-media intricacies and other marketing expertise that he will apply to his Heart to Heart foundation and his IVC Global management company that he intends will endure long after his playing days are done.

“It definitely feels like when I was just coming into the NBA,” Turiaf said. “Just like back then, they’re throwing me into the fire.”

A chance meeting with Olson executives at an event they coordinated with comedian Dave Chappelle last winter led Turiaf to an internship with Olson Engage, the company’s public relations and social media department.

He is one of 14 interns hired for the summer at $13 an hour, a sum he is donating to the agency’s BrandLab that seeks to broaden the advertising world’s ethnic and cultural diversity through a high-school mentoring program.

At age 31, he clearly is this year’s oldest intern, and at 6-9 he is the tallest, too. “Yeah, I think they’re all definitely shorter,” Turiaf said.

The article touches on how Turiaf is working his internship around his other commitments like NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program but that hasn’t stopped Turiaf from fulfilling his internship duties. As part of his internship, Turiaf had to work at the Chicago Boat Show where he teamed up with Discovery Boating. From the National Marine Manufacturers Association:

During the show, we spent the day on the water with him learning the basics of captaining a boat and filming a fun video about the different types of boats featured at the show. Ronny is interested in purchasing a boat, so the video will document his experience learning at the Boat Show while he interviews different manufacturers.

Here’s Turiaf’s internship video from the Chicago Boat Show:

Turiaf also wrote a blog post about his experience where he talked more about his internship and what he learned at the Chicago Boat Show:

Now, I’ve grown up, traveled, smiled, evolved and surely accomplished feats that I would have never imagined possible. I’m currently playing basketball for the Minnesota Timberwolves, I’m the co-founder of a management company called IVC Global Sports and Entertainment and the President of the Heart to Heart Foundation. This summer I started working as an O-tern (or “eau-tern” as I like to call myself) at Olson Agency in Minneapolis and have gone boating in some pretty cool places. Surviving open-heart surgery 10 years ago is what reinforced my desire to experience every opportunity presented to me. That’s why when I was asked to attend the Chicago In-Water Boat Show as part of my internship, I knew it was a perfect fit because of my love for boating and desire to keep learning.

…here’s a list of what I learned:

• How to drive a boat from the professionals. Aced it my first time parking. You don’t believe me? Just watch the video!
• Everything I needed to know about boat safety.
• There are a variety of boats available for every type of activity. I even learned that there is an unsinkable boat.
• I heard many inspiring stories of why other people also love boating.

Turif’s intern duties at the Chicago Boat Show didn’t end with a video and a blog post. He took over the Twitter account for Discovery Boating and answered boating questions like what music would he listen to while boating:


Keep up the hard work Ronny, soon you will have that corner office with your name on the door.

Ananth Pandian

Ananth Pandian is "A Free Born Man of the USA". Follow him on Twitter: @Ananth_Pandian