On Friday February 30th, 2015 NFLPE and Why Not Sports teamed up to host the Super Bowl XLIX Sports Career Expo at Arizona State University. Nine high schools from the Phoenix Union Public School District participated in the 4th annual event exposing participants to a variety of careers in sport beyond the playing field and teaching essential life skills.
As students settled in their seats at ASU’s Memorial Union Student center, they were immediately prompted with an interactive “Get Crunk” battle between two sides of the room facilitated by Master of Ceremony & inspirational rap artist, Saul Paul. After the energy got flowing, participants were welcomed by NFLPE Vice President, Charles Way and ASU Athletic Director, Ray Anderson. Ray and Charles, both former athletes with extensive NFL tenure, shared stories from their personal journey and explained how they utilized key lessons from the game to get where they are today. Discipline, accountability, work ethic, and perseverance were some of the many characteristics they stressed to students that helped contributed to their personal development and overall success.
Next the students heard from two current NFL stars and Pro Bowlers, Mike Adams (Colts) and Lorenzo Alexander (Cardinals). Lorenzo and Mike have extremely unique stories in that they were both undrafted free agents and have earned their way to 8 and 11 year careers in the NFL. They were very candid in their responses explaining the obstacles they overcame in to achieve success in the NFL and also explaining how they have continuously prepared themselves to be successful outside the game of football. During the 45 min Q & A Adams stressed, “The thing that has kept me in the game the longest is developing my mind”. “Everyone in the league is athletically gifted, but you set yourself apart by studying and knowing every aspect of the game so you are mentally sharper than your competition”.
Other sessions featured during the day included:
Experiences & Advice from a Sports Professionals Perspective
Moderator: Marcus Castro-Walker, Manager Player Development-ASU
Dr. Zachary Munoz, Athletic Director Phoenix Union School District
Jason Trimiew, VP Community Relations Super Bowl 50 Host Committee
Brandon Stabler, Manager Player Engagement-Kansas City Chiefs
Joshua Beaumont, Assist. Athletic Trainer-Sun Devil Athletics
Vanessa Siverls, Program Manager NFL Football Development & Operations
NCAA Initial Eligibility Workshop & Discussion
Moderator: Doug Healey, Assoc. Director of Academic Review-NCAA
Denzel Burrell, Academic Coach-ASU Sun Devils ASU Student Athletes
Arizona State Swimming Student Athlete
Arizona State Women’s Soccer Player Student Athlete
Players Beware: Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships
Facilitator: Heather Chavis, Volunteer and Training Coordinator Sexual Assault Resource Center-Safe Alliance
You Make the Call: NFL Football Development & Operations
Facilitators: Terell Canton, Vanessa Sirverls, and Landon Trusty