A correlation between the two can help pave the way for plenty of success
If you conducted an unofficial poll of college athletes and asked them about their hopes and dreams for the future, a reply of “fame and fortune” would likely be the answer.
Unfortunately, fewer than 2% of NCAA student-athletes become professionals. So, it’s onto plan B.
For most student-athletes, utilizing their college degree is the most common path following graduation, and such was the case on March 23, when five of them converged on the Roberta Steinbacher Atrium at CSU to reflect on their athletic experiences and how participation in sports has impacted their public lives and careers.
The conversation was in partnership with Northeast Ohio Women’s Sports Alliance (NOWSA), which expands awareness for community-based sports in Ohio while offering supportive services for individual female athletes and women’s sports teams, their coaches, and staff.
The panelists included:
D’Aundray Brown, a member of the CSU Men’s Basketball team from 2007-2012 who is now the Founder and CEO of Dre Day32 Foundation,
Kiersten Green, a member of the CSU Women’s Basketball team from 2011-2015 and current group sales lead for the Cleveland Cavaliers,
Lena Harris, a former Division 1 college athlete, and successful high school athlete who is now a professional counselor specializing in athlete mental health and wellness, sports performance, and a transition NOWSA Professional Community Volunteer,
Shelbie Seeberg, a former CSU Fencer, was named Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs Spring 2022 Valedictorian and,
Greg Vlosic, a CSU Men’s Basketball member from 2003-2007 and Co-Founder and Co-Owner of GV Art and Design.
Co-Founder and Executive Director for NOWSA, Barb Anthony, moderated the event.
Each was there to discuss their own personal experiences of transitioning from a daily routine of early practices and strict schedules to life without sports being a prominent piece. But, most notably, the skills learned as a sports team member translate to invaluable experiences that can prepare someone for the workforce, whether they realize it or not.
“Being an athlete, you learn so much that will carry over into life after sports,” said Vlosic. “[For example], when we are hiring for our stores and someone has athlete on their resume, you know they are going to be able to grow with others, take criticism and be teachable, and that is something we look for, and so are other businesses; there are so many characteristics [that translate into the real world from sports] like getting up early and being held accountable.”
For Green, her experiences of being in a leadership role with the Cavaliers give her a different perspective, especially as a hiring manager in charge of finding the best for the organization who can contribute positively.
“I do a lot of interviewing for our inside sales, and athletes are the first ones that come to the top of the list in terms of who we think are going to excel in this role,” said Green. “I will say [when you are in school], build those relationships, and even though you might not have time to do a large-scale internship, you can still network with people and introduce yourself to people.”
CSU President Dr. Laura Bloomberg was also on-hand and offered her own perspective.
“Everything I know about leadership resonates with the topics here today, most notably [being], you don’t go it alone,” said President Bloomberg. “We build interdisciplinary teams with diverse backgrounds and skill sets, and we do it together, and when I think of that, I can’t think of many more activities or pursuits that prepare us better for that than sports.”
A recording of the event can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL34HaW4GGc.
Photo: D'Aundray Brown, Barb Anthony, Kiersten Green, Shelbie Seeberg, President Bloomberg, Lena Harris, Greg Vlosic, CSU Athletic Director Scott Garrett (l to r). Photo by Elise Bagley and NOWSA