PM360 recently spoke to Davidek Herron, MBA, Head of Field Experience, Specialty Medicines at Teva, about playing in the Netherlands Basketball League.
PM360: After taking a position with Teva in Amsterdam, you also joined the pro basketball team there. How did that happen?
Davidek Herron: When I started my expat assignment in Amsterdam, outside of getting the family acclimated, my next priority was to figure out where I was going to play basketball. Coming from the U.S., I was still very active doing CrossFit and playing basketball at a high level. Previously playing overseas, I called up some old contacts and asked if they knew anyone in the Netherlands Basketball League. Luckily, I got in contact with the Amsterdam pro team, BC Apollo, and was invited to a practice.
How was the transition to playing professionally again?
Honestly, it was a challenge. I still remember the first practice. It was the middle of their season so they were clicking on all cylinders, and here comes a guy from corporate that hasn’t played pro ball in years. Let’s just say I might have gotten sick a couple of times, but powered through. And at the end of practice, surprisingly, they invited me back.
How are you able to play while still working for Teva?
I learned time management in college the hard way by playing basketball, football, and studying biochemistry. Practice starts late, so once I get my boys down for bed, I rush to the gym. Work is still a priority so when I work late or travel I will miss practice, but they understand and appreciate it when I can show up.
How is the team?
The team is quite good and made the playoffs this year. My main goal is to work with the youth talent, so hopefully it will make both them and the team better for years to come.
Before joining pharma, you mentioned playing pro ball overseas. What made you join the industry?
Coming from a household with both parents working in healthcare, I learned at a young age that I was interested in the field. My goal was to become an orthopedic surgeon. I went to college, graduated with a degree in biochemistry, and finished my pre-med requirements. After college, I planned to go to Albany Medical College, but I was drafted to play basketball professionally in Germany. It was a hard decision, but my mentors encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunity to travel the world.
I am happy I took their advice because it allowed me to travel and live in Germany, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, and Denmark. After four years, I came back and figured the best way to know if I wanted to be a doctor was to work with them. I started in a specialty sales position in NYC and that is where I learned that if I truly wanted to get the right medicines to patients, then I would have to work my way up in pharma. Now, best of all, I get to travel the world again, but with my family this time!