Today we’d like to introduce you to Deshaun Harris.
Deshaun, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My love for the Game of Basketball and goal to make an impact in the industry stems from family. My father is a former marine who transitioned into the corporate world, established a non-profit helping the community and athletes (Erudition Leadership Academy), former AAU Director, NAIA college coach and now an athletic director at Westcliff University (located in Irvine). Additionally, My brother Dominick Harris is a top 50 recruit 2020 recruit committed to Basketball powerhouse Gonzaga. My family empowering me to assist them in navigating this space has only reaffirmed my desire and strength in helping others. I started out working basketball tournaments throughout SoCal. Doing so, I developed relationships with players, coaches, and basketball directors. I have been fortunate enough to grow up building personal relationships with some of the brightest talents currently playing at the professional, collegiate, and grassroots level throughout the United States. Along the way, I have also gained experience in literary and talent management — expanding my horizon from the aspect of branding, marketing, and entertainment.
It is fitting that our most significant growing points typically happen in adverse situations. Thinking back on my educational and professional journey; where I am today, is a direct result of perseverance. I graduated high school in the spring of 2015. Every student remembers high school acceptance season. The underlying excitement you felt knowing that you had it all figured out and that you were going to experience a brand new journey. Unfortunately, I was not afforded the luxury, and to my surprise, I did not get into any school I applied to. I decided to do two years of college in one totaling 60 units of community college. I was fortunate enough to attend the University of California San Diego (UCSD), where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2018. After graduating in three years from UCSD; I decided to dedicate the rest of the year to build valuable relationships within the business, studying for my agents’ exam, and pursue my Masters in Communication Studies. After months of diligence and studying, this January, I became the youngest current NBPA Certified Agent at the age of 22 years old. In August, I graduated with my Master of Arts in Communications from Cal Baptist University this August.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As human beings, we genuinely have a lot to be thankful for. While there will always be challenges and obstacles, I always try to have perspective on the rarity in which the opportunity to wholeheartedly pursue your passion is given. The biggest struggle is patience. As an ambitious individual, I continuously strive for instantaneous achievement or success, remaining patience in the process is sometimes of great difficulty. However, knowing that God has a plan and that with diligence and persistence, anything is achievable, makes the process more enjoyable.
Tell us more about your work.
Although I am at the beginning of my journey, I am incredibly humbled to be in this position. I understand that there is no handbook to being a successful NBA agent, but strategizing is critical. Having qualities of transparency, alleviation on and off the court is of the utmost importance. Understanding that having wealth in relationships, planning in life and for life after basketball, thinking beyond contracts but rather holistic brand development is paramount. Being more than what an “Agent encompasses,” while pushing boundaries beyond conventional conceivability at the forefront of the game of basketball is an ideology that I keep at the forefront of my practice.
My unique selling proposition is that due to my young age, I have a unique relation to Gen Z, while being able to articulate and meet the needs/desires players and their families contemplate. Going through the highs and lows together and remaining unflappable, while keeping that notion that all sides can win in business is my ethos. Family is everything to me; I believe an agent should encompass family. There’s no limit to how attentive and hardworking I am for my clients. I know my age, emphasis on caring, business-savvy mindset, interpersonal communication skills, and work ethic is of tremendous value, and that ultimately sets me apart from the others.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My “success” and “achievements” are a direct impact of God, my family, and friends strengthing and believing in me. I have always felt an obligation to uphold the standards of those who have come before me and those who come after me. We are all fortunate to have ancestors who have afforded us the opportunity to become who we are today. With that being said, my life mission is to help others and positively impact lives. My purpose on this Earth is to help others in a myriad of ways. Having this approach as the core of everything I do is the most important element of the purpose God has given me. Ultimately, my true success is the impact I leave on others.
- Instagram: @deshaunharris_
- Twitter: @deshaunharris22