Returning to GoCrimson.com for a fifth season, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" explores life away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrative. For a full list of blog entries, click here.
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May 1, 2019
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.” I had always been an avid follower of professional sports, especially basketball, but never seriously thought about sports in the context of a post-college occupation until last year. During my senior year of high school, I took a class called Christian Vocations, which focused on figuring out what one’s vocation is in life and how to manage work and happiness. From this class I realized that working in basketball would be the perfect way for me to make a living along with doing what I love. But knowing that thousands of other people my age are saying the exact same thing, how do I go about setting myself apart?
Shortly after arriving at Harvard last August, I joined the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, or HSAC for short. I quickly realized that even though I had never taken extensive Statistics or Computer Science courses like most of the other members, HSAC was where I needed to be every Tuesday night. For the first time in my life, I was able to engage with my peers in conversations about topics such as the financial constraints of team-building in a salary-cap driven league. I quickly realized the other members of the club were people I needed to be around and learn from as I embarked on this journey to work in professional sports one day.
After a few months at Harvard, a lot of students grow accustomed to the world-renowned academics giving lectures and the prestige and history of the university. My level of awareness of being at Harvard was deepened a few weeks ago. After finishing the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis, which chronicles the Oakland Athletics’ attempt to remain competitive in the cutthroat marketplace of professional baseball, I attended the weekly HSAC meeting. Sitting in the back of the Quincy Bullitt Room was the former chair of the Harvard Statistics department, Carl Morris, who was cited in Moneyball as one of the first statisticians that sparked the creation of modern baseball analytics. Students at other schools simply do not get those kinds of opportunities to interact with such knowledgeable faculty members. Harvard continues to amaze me in so many different ways, and I am extremely excited for my next three years here, both on and off the volleyball court.
I will be attending a program called Sports Business Classroom this summer in Las Vegas, a week-long program designed for people who aspire to work in basketball someday. It is taught by current NBA executives in concurrence with the NBA Summer League and will be an amazing way to learn more about the NBA and make the connections necessary to succeed in the industry. Obviously, life is unpredictable, but I intend to take every opportunity to make my dreams of working in the NBA into a reality.