NJIT's Kelly Guarino Participates in NCAA Career in Sports Forum

NJIT's Kelly Guarino Participates in NCAA Career in Sports Forum

NEWARK, NJ--Rising women's basketball senior Kelly Guarino was one of 200 student-athletes to be selected and participate in the NCAA Career in Sports Forum at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, Ind. from May 31-June 3.

The Career in Sports Forum provided college athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on college athletics.

The forum provided student-athletes interactive experiences with successful individuals in the sports business and a peek into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities.

"It was a great experience that really made a difference for me," Guarino said.  "The people you surround yourself with will determine your future.  It's important to find work, life and balance.  One quote that Coach Jason Burton at Texas A&M at Commerce spoke about, is that you should have someone to look up to, someone to look forward to and someone to chase.  Even though you are focusing on the present, it's important to have a goal which you want to reach for."

"My biggest takeaway from attending the forum was to live in the moment and take advantage of every opportunity that is in front of you," Guarino added.  "Use your mentors, peers and the relationship you form to your benefit because you never know how they might help you in the future.  There was a speaker Penny Semaia and he talked about building a brand.  I personally benefited from that because that is something I would like to get into with my brand called #StaySmilin'.  The four P's he spoke about to better build your brand is passion, purpose, plan and pursue.  He also spoke about your brand is all about you and it is important to be authentic with expanding it."

Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports, and who were viewed as leaders on their campus, were invited to apply to attend the forum after a nomination by athletics administrators at their respective schools. Many current and past attendees are members of their Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the student-athlete voice within the NCAA governance structure. The selection committee is comprised of administrators and coaches within the NCAA, many former forum participants themselves.

Guarino was joined at the forum by one other ASUN Conference student-athlete: Kennedy Holton from USC Upstate.

This past season, Guarino was named to the ASUN All-Academic Team as a Business major with concentration in Marketing and minor in Communications while earning Dean's List seven-out-of-eight semesters.

She ended the season as the team leader in points at 12.5ppg, leading the Highlanders in the last four contests and tying her career-best mark at North Florida on February 17 with a 24-point performance.

Her 61 three-point field goals made, tops the Highlanders, ranking first in the ASUN in three-pointers made per game (2.9) and second in three-point field goal percentage (39.1).