Peer Learning Network Presents Sam Presti

Peer Learning Network (PLN) at Southern Nazarene University is proud to announce Sam Presti, Oklahoma Thunder Executive Vice President & General Manager as the February session speaker for PLN on Thursday, February 4th, 2016. This luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame located at 4040 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105.


Sam Presti recently began his ninth season with the Oklahoma City Thunder and his 15thas an NBA executive. After being named Thunder General Manager on June 7, 2007, Presti was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager one year into his tenure with the team by Professional Basketball Club Chairman, Clayton Bennett.

During his eight seasons with the Thunder, Presti has worked diligently to assemble the building blocks for long-term success both on and off the court. Dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season, Presti and his staff have watched the Thunder amass the second best record in the NBA (.664; 316-160) during this span (behind only San Antonio).

With Presti at the helm, the Thunder captured four straight Northwest Division Championship before the 2014-15 season and after finishing the 2013-14 campaign with a record of 59-23, the Thunder became one of just two teams to register a winning percentage of .610 (equivalent to 50 wins) in each of the prior five seasons.

Presti’s consistent focus has been to utilize the NBA Draft to establish the foundation for sustained success on the floor and in the community. Commencing with the 2007 draft, Presti selected Kevin Durant, the University of Texas standout with the team’s No. 2 overall pick. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season, Durant was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player after leading the NBA in scoring for a fourth time in five seasons.

After moving to Oklahoma City in July of 2008, Presti has stressed the importance of community involvement for both Thunder players and staff. Under his leadership, Thunder players have made more than 1,700 community appearances in and around Oklahoma City. Presti has also made it policy for every new player and staff member to tour the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum soon after joining the organization.

Under Presti’s guidance, the Thunder advanced to postseason play for five straight years (2010-2014) and at the conclusion 2012-13 season, Oklahoma City became just the second team in NBA history (Boston Celtics; 1955-1960) to increase its winning percentage for five consecutive seasons (while maintaining a winning percentage of 700 or better in two of those seasons). Dating back to the 2011-12 season, the Thunder became Western Conference Champions on the heels of the 2010-11 season in which the Thunder became the youngest team in the prior quarter century to reach the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.

Presti earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000 in communications, politics, and law and a minor in psychology from Emerson College in Boston, where he was the first Rhodes Scholar nominee in school history. The Concord, Mass. native served as team captain of the Emerson College basketball team during both his junior and senior seasons. Also, Presti earned All-Academic honors two times and was twice selected to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference All-Tournament team. He was honored with the Emerson College Young Alumnus Award in 2005. Presti has also completed Harvard University’s Continuing Education program on leadership and decision making.

Presti was recognized as Oklahoma City University’s 2012-13 recipient of the Abe Lemons/Paul Hansen Award for Sports Excellence, and he also won the Oklahoma March of Dimes Sports Headliner Special Award for 2013.

This past year, Presti and his wife, Shannon welcomed the birth of their first child, Nicholas Rubin. Shannon continues to serve as the Director of Teen Leadership Initiatives for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.

Click on the following link to register for the luncheon. Register Now.

Established by Southern Nazarene University in 1995, the Peer Learning Network brings together the CEO and leadership teams of Oklahoma-based companies who have committed to be Major Partners in the Peer Learning Network. Partners utilize PLN for the purpose of professional development. Members pool resources and thereby hear world-class presenters, share management, leadership and planning ideas and network with a wide array of successful Oklahoma company representatives.

Southern Nazarene University’s mission is to make Christlike disciples through higher education in Christ-centered community.