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CPASS alumnus celebrates fourth year in international player recruitment role

The love of sports is often a motivator for many focusing on careers in the sports management industry. Autry Parker Brantley – Detroit, Michigan native – considered a decision between striving to be a college student-athlete or helping them reach their goals.

Brantley received his bachelor’s degree in sport management in 2005 from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. After years of entrepreneurship efforts in Florida and Nevada, coaching college basketball in Ohio, and teaching to coach high school basketball in Michigan, he decided to join the Mountaineer family. He earned his master’s degree in sport management in 2012. 

West Virginia University attracted Brantley for many reasons. He appreciated the mountain landscape, energy from the Coliseum on game night and the attractive College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences sport management master’s degree program.

“Pursuant to becoming an adjunct lecturer, CPASS offered the best cost-benefit analysis. In addition, it has produced many NCAA athletic directors. As an aspiring NBA general manager, WVU Men’s Basketball players Jerry West and Rod Thorn have always been my role models. Coach Huggins’ return to WVU to advance the Men’s Basketball program was also a compelling motivation,” said Brantley.

“As a former basketball student-athlete and current coach, the press has been one of my favorite defensive tools. Huggins’ teams have often been a national leader in some defensive category. His defensive strategy has even led West Virginia to be known as “Press Virginia.” So as an alum and fan, it gives me another reason to stay connected to WVU,” he added.

Considering his time at CPASS, Brantley credits Sport Management Associate Professor Floyd Jones’ charismatic personality and dedication to his students as an inspiration to succeed. “I learned a lot from Dr. Jones. His ability to engage people is a vital tool,” Brantley said.

He began in professional sports as the MLB Detroit Tigers finance and accounting intern in 2001… However, his unrelenting passion for basketball led him to become a strategic communications and brand management intern during 2003-2004 NBA Detroit Pistons championship run, and later earned a player development role in Basketball Operations with the Orlando Magic the following season.

He is approaching his fifth year in the National Basketball League of Canada (NBLC), now serving as the director of International and College Scouting for Windsor Express – the 2014 and 2015 NBL of Canada Champions – which plays its games in many Canadian cities between Windsor, Ontario and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. 

“In my position, my daily routine differs depending on the time of year. During the season, I travel the Americas, scouring to recruit free agents and draft-eligible players. During the off-season, I assess player personnel and instruct assessment drills during our team and NBLC combines,” said Brantley

When discussing his biggest career accomplishment, Brantley says he is proud to watch student-athletes capitalize on the advice he has given them.

“The sight of them achieving success in their own careers is very rewarding,” he explained. He also reflects on helping his mother during her recovery from breast cancer.

 “I think in the competitive world of sports we sometimes lose touch with the people who are most important in our life,” said Brantley.

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