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"My Calling" | The Draft Deeper Story
My path in scouting and covering the NBA Draft hasn't always been clear, but I feel it's my purpose in life to continue pursuing this dream because it's my way to help others.
Every person who’s made it through their high school years has heard the same questions about going to college to get a career.
I repeatedly was asked the same questions in terms of what I’m passionate about or what I want to actually do with the rest of my life.
Going back to my years in elementary and middle school, I always was a fan of sports. My first love was baseball as it was what I played every single year, and the New York Yankees repeatedly broke my heart and then later made it up to me with continued success during my later teenage years.
During middle school, I started to fall in love with college basketball and eventually grew to fully appreciate the NBA. The up-and-down nature of the game, teamwork, and emphasis on star power and show captivated me and reeled me in as the sport I wanted to pour hours into further studying.
After wanting to sit there on weeknights and Saturday afternoons for hours watching games and root for my favorite teams and players, it became clearer to me that basketball was one thing I would never be able to truly live my life without.
But I never pictured myself having the opportunity to “work in sports” while I was growing up. First off, I couldn’t cross “athlete” off my desired list of career paths quickly enough. I was never athletic in grade school and knew that wasn’t an option. Looking back, math and statistical analysis weren’t my “forte” either.
However, writing was and is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. From fantasy works to nailing papers for school, there’s just something about sitting down and letting my creative juices flow through words.
When I figured out that I could combine both of my loves into one career, I signed up for journalism class in my junior and senior years at Emmaus High School. In turn, I helped write for and edit the sports section of the school paper (covering NCAA Men’s Basketball and penning my thoughts on the draft prospects of Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette no less), and applied for enrollment at Temple University to continue my studies.
Thankfully I was accepted and got to spend time learning from some incredible professors in Philadelphia, most notably George Miller who I still consider a mentor to this day.
What I didn’t have the answer to though was if I actually wanted to WRITE about basketball for the rest of my life or if I wanted to pursue a career as a scout working in a front office.
Through studying the game up close and diving deep into what happens on the court thanks to my writing opportunities for HoopsHabit/FanSided, I longed for an opportunity to work with others in the game to further my knowledge and understanding. But not just any opportunity, I discovered I wanted to become a scout.
Not only could I continue to get better at what I loved, but being involved in scouting could also give me an opportunity to further achieve what I feel is “my calling” in life: to help others.
If you’ve listened to the Draft Deeper podcast, you’ve heard the origin story before about why I started the show in the first place and how I became aligned with No Ceilings. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and engage with various professionals in basketball, both in media and operations. Working with EV Hoops, a private scouting service that provided reports and analysis for NBA and international teams, I gained invaluable experience that I wanted to share with others.
That drive led me back into media because I wanted to share more of what I’ve learned while continuing to engage with a niche community and grow. But journalism didn’t satisfy the other part of me who wants to be directly involved in the lives of others.
The one aspect I love about the NBA Draft is watching the players walk across that stage after they’re drafted and look into their eyes as they shake the commissioner’s hand. Players’ lives change that night. Not even just theirs, but their families as well. To know that I helped scout a player who could help contribute to a team’s success while also realizing what it means for their talent to be recognized, hopefully leading to a life greater than what they previously knew…
THAT is purpose.
Helping to change the lives of others and empower them to take care of themselves and their loved ones is what life is all about. Basketball is my way of interacting with others and helping them get better at what they love doing while empowering others to chase their dreams.
Now I know I’m not directly involved with the day-to-day operations of an NBA team where I am now. But that’s OK. I’ve accepted my role in draft coverage and continue to see the best of both worlds I’m currently living in.
Any content I’m able to create and share with others that challenges them to think about different aspects of scouting and refine their own process is considered by me as a blessing. I’m honored to have that privilege here at No Ceilings.
But if my work can help ANYONE in positions of power take notice of the talents of others and further the decision-making that leads to changing lives even an INCH, that’s just as fulfilling.
Whether it’s helping those where I am to find opportunities to work in scouting and basketball, or making sure players find the best role to further their careers, that’s what I want to be remembered for.
And if I can get paid in time to continue doing this for a living, I will have achieved my calling.
That’s the story of why Draft Deeper exists.