Cornell hoops, Wall Street's semipros

Just the other day, The New York Times wrote about Mark Coury, who left his starting spot at Kentucky to go to Cornell, where he could play basketball and pursue a degree in finance. This struck me as a particularly wise decision. If you're not going to go pro, and you're smart enough to hang in the Ivy League, why wouldn't you get Ivy League business degree?

Turns out, Coury's decision paid off. From Bloomberg News:

Mark Coury, a backup forward who averages 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds for the Big Red, landed an internship in sales and trading at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. this summer, and may try to score a full-time job there after he completes his finance degree in 2011.

Coury won’t be the first Cornell basketball player to spend his summer in New York at Goldman Sachs. Current teammate Louis Dale and former teammates Khaliq Gant and Jason Battle also held internships at the investment bank. Battle now is a securities analyst at Goldman Sachs.

In other words, if Cornell loses Friday, don't feel too bad. The Big Red aren't your average good-in-college-but-not-good-enough-for-the-NBA tournament team. At most schools, former college basketball players go overseas, or try to get into broadcasting, or use their connections to start the long, thankless slog of an assistant coaching career. Some sell used cars. Mark Coury will be supporting his superiors in the buying and selling of companies for the most successful bank on Wall Street. By the time he turns 25, wherever he lands, he'll probably have enough money to buy, oh, I don't know, a Range Rover, if that's his thing. This is not your normal underdog story.

Still, though, didn't I say this was a good strategy? I should have been a guidance counselor.

(Hat tip: SB Nation)