By Molly Chrisman
University of South Carolina (USC) alumnus, Freddy Ready, empowers student-athletes to achieve their dreams on and off the court.
Ready graduated from USC’s College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management (HRSM) with a bachelor’s degree in sport and entertainment management in 2002 and then returned to earn his master’s degree in sport and entertainment management in 2009.
Since graduating, Ready has returned to USC to use his expertise to inspire student-athletes as the Director of Player Development for the Gamecock women’s basketball team.
He was named Director of Player Development in 2010 by head coach Dawn Staley, just one year after earning his master’s degree. This position covers a wide range of responsibilities, but his main job is to oversee players in many aspects of their lives here at USC.
Ready uses his passion for the sport and the knowledge he gained as an HRSM student to help each of the women’s basketball players achieve their academic, athletic, personal, and professional goals. One way he does this is by assisting the team’s academic coaches. Ready helps the student-athletes balance school with basketball, reminding them that school always comes first. With his help, the team has earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll several years in a row, with an impressive GPA above 3.0.
In addition to assisting academically, Ready also plays a role in the players’ athletic development. He assists with the visual playbook, which includes the strategies that players study and practice to use in games. These plays helped the team win back-to-back SEC championships in 2013 and 2014 and make it to their first Final Four last season.
Ready said the girls worked extremely hard to get there and “it was an incredible experience for everyone involved. “
Ready’s degree in sport and entertainment management has played a huge role in preparing him for his professional success. His passion for sports has always been there, however he said the program at USC taught him “the business side,” such as networking, coordinating sponsorships, organizing events, and how to utilize resources.
Ready’s experience with HRSM is extremely beneficial to the players, since one-third of the players are now students in the College of HRSM. To name a couple, Khadija Sessions, senior Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism Management (HRTM) student balances playing basketball and school along with working in a “hands-on” management class at the McCutchen House abd Tiffany Mitchell, 2014-15 SEC Player of the Year, is a senior in the retailing program, and a huge role model and motivator for much of the team, according to Ready.
Ready mentioned that the HRSM programs allow many of the women on the team to show their creative side and showcase their talents. Some of the players even want to start their own businesses following graduation. HRSM is preparing these student-athletes for successful careers, just like Freddy Ready’s.