Aaron Smith is highly regarded and recognized in professional athletics. He has extensive experience dealing with professional athletes and their careers. In addition, Aaron has a great understanding of the expectations of a NBA athlete from both the personal and business perspective. His duties involve compiling all recruiting materials, researching player contracts, creating and maintaining client profiles and marketing materials, correspondence with coaches and team personnel, client services, marketing and media opportunities for clients, business development and creating and analyzing information for distribution to key NBA personnel , international clubs and strategic partners. Aaron is also responsible for many of our clients off the court business ventures and personal affairs. Aarons career began in professional sports when he interned with Pacers Sports and Entertainment. A native of Indianapolis, Aaron attended Indiana University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Marketing and Management. Upon graduating from Indiana University, Aaron was the Business/Personal Manager for a 2002 NBA Lottery Pick. In this capacity, Aaron assisted with Draft preparations and workouts, the transition to a new NBA city, appearances, marketing, basketball camps and all other personal affairs. Aaron first joined the Exclusive Sports Group while completing his Masters degree in Athletic Administration and Sports Management. He is the agent for Ajene Moye of the Deutsche Bank Skyliners and spoke to German Hoops about the condition of the Skyliner.
Bio of Aaron Smith courtesy of Exclusive Sports Group
How did you hear about the stroke of your client AJ Moye?
It was a scary moment for me. I checked the box score of his game Tuesday against Maccabi Haifa and didn´t see him on the stat sheet and was surprised. I then got a call from someone who told me what had happened. I was shocked and had a sickening feeling. Aj is a good friend of mine.
How strong is your relationship to AJ Moye?
I know AJ since he walked on to the campus of Indiana. We were roomates in college and he stayed with my family a lot. Anytime you hear something like this happens to a close friend, it is very difficult. The first 3-4 days afte rhis stroke were very difficult since no one really knew what was happening.
Have you ever suffered an experience like this before with another athlete?
Yes once before with a client called Carl Landry. Two years ago, he was involved in a bad incident where he left his house at 12 am to get some food and was the victim of some violence as he got shot by an attempted robber. Landry had a full recovery and could play two weeks later. This experience with AJ brought back memories. I remember talking to AJ on Monday and he was so excited to play against Marco Killingsworth. AJ then got sick and I got that call in the night. It is just a real bad feeling when you are 10 hours away and can´t do anything. You feel so helpless.
Have you spoken to AJ?
I spoke once with AJ and also through his mom and family. AJ is in very good spirits and is doing a lot better. His development has been outstanding and that is a credit to how strong he really is. It is still early, but there are positive signs. He has no paralysis or speech problems. AJ is a strong person, resilient, kind heart and good personality. The level support that he has gotten in Germany and the States has been huge. His stroke was national news here. I have received so many calls about AJ.
AJ is a very strong person, but still this much be so difficult for him because he loves the game of basketball so much.
This has been very difficult for AJ. The fans know the level of intensity that he brings to the floor. When you are an athlete, you can control certain things on the court, but now he can´t control what has happened to him. Now that he is unable to play in games, it really bothers him. He wants to be there for his teammates and just play basketball. Sometimes life is bigger than basketball and now the number one concern is that AJ will get healthy again.
Do you believe in your heart that AJ Moye will play basketball again?
That is a tough question and a bit to early to know. It is too early to know if AJ can compete at the same level again. But if there is one thing that I have learned over the years with AJ is that you should never rule anything out with AJ. I have seen AJ do things where I was just wow. AJ is a special person and if he ets his heart and mind to something then he will do it.
I spoke with the stepdad and mom of AJ at the Ludwigsburg game. They seemed in good spirits, but how tough has all of this been for them?
It is a difficult situation for the family of AJ. The family is exactly how you saw them. They are very concerned, but very calm. When they heard about the news, they were on the first plane to Germany. They are very tough people and that is where AJ gets that quality from.
AJ was a legend at Indiana(NCAA). Did he already have that will to win in college?
AJ had very tough competition in those days from talented players liked Jared Jeffries, Kurt Hastings and Bracie Wright who went on to play in the NBA. AJ always wanted to be the best. He worked harder than anyone else. If the team had two practices in a day then he would return at night and workout some more. Who could forget his block on Carlos Boozer in his home town Atlanta bringing Indiana to the NCAA Final 4. He also always is trying to mentor the young kids and try to install his qualities in them what made him successful on the court.
What is the strongest quality of AJ?
He is a good person and has a strong heart. He is like an artist. He is always thinking of ways to make himself better or express himself with his inner self. His best quality he shows through words and his play on the court. He is a very talented writer and drawer.
What was your nicest basketball moment with AJ on the court?
I would have to say that his best basketball moment was the block on Boozer. But what was always amazing was seeing what he did at the end of the season when we played pick up games. He would try more risky things which he wouldn´t have tried on the court. His play would have left you in awe seeing just how athletic he was. I think AJ is the kind of person that you can never forget, because he always stuck out in people´s minds. He also was the man for the great lines. I remember before a game against Duke where he had one of those lines.
What is your best AJ moment off the basketball court?
There are so many. I think the best moments are just seeing how he interacts with people. I think the times when he was around my family at Thanksgiving are the special moments that will always stick with me.
What would you like to tell the German basketball fans?
I want to thank each one for their support for AJ. His family has been very impressed by the support in Germany. They really appreciate everything that has been done for AJ. We hope that the support will continue and that he will have a speedy recovery.
Thanks Aaron for the chat.