Question and Answer With Ashton Mitchell
More than 400,000 students athletes compete at institutions at all levels in the NCAA.
The majority of them will go on to other endeavors other than sports after their collegiate careers are over.
Ashton Mitchell is one of the few who go on to play professional sports.
Mitchell competed for Sam Houston State men basketball team from 2006-10.
During that time, he led them to both a Southland Conference regular-season title and a post-season title.
He went on to play for Liepaja in Latvia, where they won their
first championship cup in 11 years and
was a bronze medal winner in the Latvian Basketball League Playoffs.
After the season, he played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers,
an affiliate of the Houston Rockets during the 2011-12 season
Now, he is a certified sports for the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA)
and run One Dreams Sports, LLC, an international sports agency based in Houston, Texas.
We recently caught up with Ashton to find out more about the agency
and got his perspective on collegiate athletics.
You can check out their website at www.OneDreamSports.com.
Vallano Media: What was it like playing in Latvia?
Ashton Mitchell: Playing in Latvia was a learning experience.
I got a chance to really learn the business and get a clearer understanding about
the basketball side of things on an international level.
My experience as a player was great.
I was in a position to lead my team to a Bronze medal, their first in 11 years.
I was also able to receive huge accolades to put myself in
a great position for the following season.
As long as your winning though things are great.
Like anything it had its ups and downs.
The biggest adjustment I’ll say was adapting to their lifestyle.
Being from the U.S., we really don’t know how well we have it
until we can actually experience it.
I must say, I’ve lived it and I’m thankful for the
many things that I have.
I am happy to have had an experience like Latvia that I can share with others.
V. M.: How did you come up with the idea of forming your own company?
A.M.: I’ve dealt with 3-4 different agents in 2 years of playing professional sports
and wasn’t satisfied with the service that I received.
So, I decided to take some time to learn about the sports agency industry.
It’s always been an interest of mine because of the love of sports.
I just never really took it too seriously.
I began to do some research on how to become
an international sports agency and started the process.
V. M.: What was the process that you took in order to get the company off the ground?
A. M.: The process started with getting my certification out the way.
From there, I tried to build my network and contact as many players, coaches,
friends and teams that I could think of and let them know about the new direction I’ll be taking.
I was focused on laying the foundation of my company
by picking up a few clients that would be
manageable within the first couple of years in business.
Now, I have 4 clients that includes my former roommate and teammate, Corey Allmond.
V. M.: Do you believe that this will be a stepping stone to help future
college athletes to be prepared for academic life along with sports?
A. M.: I think this will be a stepping stone.
I’ve always been one to inform others when I knew of something that may be of help.
As college athletes, its important to really learn and understand
the industry in which your career lies.
It’s something that you can’t just take peoples’ word for all the time.
You have to acquire it on your own.
Many of us learn from personal experience and
I am in a position to give aspiring players the knowledge on
what to expect for them to be successful at a particular career.
It is huge blessing to be a part of.
V. M.: As a Bearkat alum, what was your initial thoughts when you saw
the Bearkat football team’s run at the National Championship?
A. M.: As an Alum, I was excited for them.
It’s always great to get exposure nationally
coming from a smaller division like we did.
I could remember in my senior year the change in football coaches.
I even had Coach Fritz as one of my instructors.
To see the football program’s run was something special.
V. M.: How important was it for you to get your college degree while playing for SHSU?
A. M.: With me graduating in 3 years shows how important a college degree is to me.
It was definitely my first priority and that never changed during my time at Sam.
I was honored to be apart of one of the best Criminal Justice programs in the country.
Although, I haven’t started putting my degree to work, it holds much value to me.
V. M.: For those who are contemplating to start their own business,what is your advice?
A. M.: The only way is to DO IT.
You have to show your passion behind your work
so that others may take it seriously.
Keep expanding your knowledge and learn
as much as you can and take action.