Elon University / Today in Elon / Elon Law Student Among New NBA Player Agents

Hannah Valente L’22 is now one of the youngest people in the United States certified by the National Basketball Players Association to represent its members.

If you want to get a head start in a career representing professional athletes, there’s perhaps no better role model to copy than Elon’s law student Hannah Valente L’22.

Valente, 23, has been aiming to earn a law degree and mentor basketball players since a high school back injury redirected his interests from competing on the court to the business of the game itself. same.

Since this month, the president of Elon Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society has moved closer to that goal.

Valente has recently joined the ranks of players’ agents certified by the National Association of Basketball Playersmaking the New Jersey native one of the youngest people in the country allowed to represent athletes in NBA contract negotiations.

“Once I learned about the role of a sports agent and what a ‘day in the life’ looked like, I was hooked,” said Valente, a graduate of Providence College in the Big East Conference where she was manager of the Division 1 men’s basketball team.

Obtaining his player agent certification was not a done deal. In recent years, the National Basketball Players Association has required potential agents to pass an exam that measures their knowledge of a complex collective bargaining agreement between the union and the league.

Valente spent her winter break studying for the January 2022 exam. She also consulted with former Elon Law student Jordan Thompson L’Dec.’17, an agent for Element Sport Package in Atlanta, who encouraged her to get certified before graduation.

Had she waited, her desire to get certified would have conflicted with her plan to study for the bar exam. This is no longer a concern.

“There’s a whole other side to the basketball business that I didn’t know existed,” Valente said of his experience. “This process is a big financial investment, especially for someone just starting out.”

Although the NBPA does not release demographic information about its agents, a spokeswoman confirmed that approximately 750 people are certified to represent players and that Valente is among the youngest in the country.

Its success comes as no surprise to Frederick Agnostakis. The sports director of The Loyola school in New Yorkwhere Valente attended high school and got his first taste of basketball management, praised his former student’s attention to detail and conscientious approach to the game.

“Hannah had an instinctive insight into analyzing basketball and took meticulous statistics,” he said. “She made it easier for me to coach in terms of who should play and how the team should adapt at half-time. … She had the full respect of the team and the coaching staff.

Outside of her studies, Valente also contributes as an editor to Conduct Detrimental, a sports news website and podcast.

Mindy Cyr, director of student success programs for Elon Law at the Office of Student Success, praises Valente for her focus on a career goal and her willingness to mentor her classmates as a college teaching scholar.

“She’s one of those students who is focused on what she wants to do, and her steps and choices to get there have been methodical,” Cyr said. “Hannah has that sparkle in her eye that shows her passion for this area of ​​law, she excels at time management, and now she’s helping her peers navigate their own early years. He’s just such a delightful person.

Valente said she attributes her success to many people in her life: her parents and two younger sisters, men’s basketball coach Agnostakis and Providence Ed Cooley, her teachers, and the many women who broke relationships. gender barriers in sport.

The next step ? Valente will complete her Elon Law practice residency this spring working full-time in High Point University’s Athletics Compliance Office, where she will help the university “educate, develop policies and procedures, monitor and enforce the rules and regulations of High Point University, the Big South Conference and the NCAA.

Then she’ll look to graduating in December, taking the bar exam next February and getting her first job in the legal profession — ideally, Valente said, with a sports agency where she’ll start to build a clientele of star NBA players.

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