VCG Sports Communications
Former Appalachian State University student-athlete, Alanmicheal Harkness shares his background as a former student-athlete and how he plans to make an impact in student-athlete development.
Share some insight on your background. Where are you originally from?
My name is Alanmicheal Harkness , born and raised in Stone Mountain, Ga. I graduated from Martin Luther King High School , located in Lithonia, Ga. From there, I received a full athletic scholarship to Appalachian State University under the leadership of Scott Satterfield and staff.
When did you start playing football? Was it something you saw yourself playing long-term?
My football career began at the age of 5 years old. I still tell people this story all the time, the real reason I began playing sports because my dad asked what's my favorite hobby and my response was “eating”. At that moment, he threw me into sports. My mother wanted me to be a writer, musician or anything non-sports related. I didn't see a future till my junior/senior year of high school.
How was your experience at Appalachian State as a student-athlete? Was it what you expected? Did you face any challenges?
My experience at Appalachian State helped me grow in a variety of different ways. I am in-debted to Appalachian State University for that. The growth helped me find my interest in student-athlete development. I had no expectations for college nor Appalachian State. I was told you have two jobs: winning and graduating. Furthermore,I faced a career ending-injury cracking my C-1 Verbate ( broken neck).
What is the biggest misconception people have of student-athletes?
That student-athletes are privileged and we get what want. I find “privileged” a very strong word when being referenced towards student-athletes. We work as hard or twice as hard to maintain the everyday life as a college student. They have rules they must abide by with the university with grades and conduct and we abide by similar rules with both the NCAA and university standards. We are no different!
What is your stance on sports being used as a platform to promote social reform and political relations? What role do athletes play in the political arena?
Athletes have had a history in the political realm. You think, Muhammah Ali draft Evasion: 1967 and Tommie Smith and John Carlos Black Salute:1968 , or Derrick Rose: I Can’t Breathe:2014. My personal favorites. Those stands showed that they’re serving a larger purpose to generate a greater purpose. So to answer the question. Its powerful.
With your background as a student-athlete, what is your niche to help prepare athletes for life after sports?
I wouldn't necessarily call it a niche but reminding them that simple lifestyle changes such as reading , holistic healing and investments can make a major impact in their life. I also encourage to reframe your social media following. For example: I wanted to learn more about investing , stocks and creating income. So I cleaned my following on social media, so anything that dealt with investing , stocks, rich habits etc. I followed it. Including hashtags.
How important is financial literacy for student-athletes? Especially those who play on the professional level?
Beyond important! Understanding how to budget , to save and invest is key. In addition, creating “ Rich Habits” are very important as well. Avoiding credit cards, spending like your poor,and re-investing in yourself. I remember wanting to learn more about investing and the number one thing I came across is reinvesting into things we buy. Such as nike, starbucks and many more to name. The dividends you received for investing in those stocks are awesome. Little things like that can change the financial status of many. On a professional level, just as important. Each level should be educated on financial literacy.
Alanmicheal Harkness: @MasterHark
About VCG Sports
VCG Sports focuses on providing high-quality career and business development services for athletes and coaches, as well as students interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry. We strive to highlight athletes achievements and involvement outside of their playing careers. We value the importance of personal interaction and take pride in building long-term relationships with the athletes we serve.