Ashley Cox: From Division 1 Volleyball to the NBA

Ashley Cox is on her way to becoming a sports business leader. Image via Ashley Cox

Ashley Cox is on her way to becoming a sports business leader. Image via Ashley Cox

From grassroots to NBA; if you enjoy basketball then you will love the latest female creative in sports I am featuring, Ashley Cox!

Cox is a former collegiate athlete and a current sports professional who hopes to someday work in the front office of an NBA team. 

Cox, a former Division I volleyball player, went to high school at renowned sports powerhouse Mater Dei in Southern California. Standing 5 feet 4 inches tall (small for the volleyball court), she shared a lot with me about how her resilience and personality led to her success.

“Since I was little, my dream was to play outside hitter for a Division I program. I’m 5 feet 4 inches tall so people would look at me going against taller opponents and think there was no way, but I worked extremely hard, proved people wrong and received a full-ride scholarship to The University of California-Riverside.”

Cox also mentioned about how her outgoing personality and ability to communicate well with others assisted her not only in life but in her sports career.

“If there were three words I could use to describe myself they would be: social butterfly, leader, and honest," she added. "I really pride myself in those. I love interacting with people and meeting new faces, so I think my people skills and ability to network have a lot to do with me being in the position I am now.”

Prior to her collegiate career, Cox went to powerhouse high school Mater Dei, which excels in a majority of athletic programs. Their football and basketball teams have had continued national success and volleyball was no different.

“Attending Mater Dei was the greatest decision my mom and I ever made. I am forever in debt to my mom for all the sacrifices she made so that I could go there. I take much pride in saying I am a Mater Dei Alum," she said. "People almost treat you like you’re part of an elite group, which is kind of cool. I remember, as a freshman, seeing Matt Barkley for the first time and I thought I saw a ghost, I was completely star struck. I felt so lame, but he was like a celebrity on campus. I was so motivated to be the best because I was at a school that produced so many great athletes.”

Cox is extending her experience to her path to the front office and I asked her some advice she has for young girls looking to make their mark in professional sports.

“I would tell young girls breaking into the industry to never give up and trust the process. It sounds cliché and meaningless, but I’m serious. There are so many people that want to be part of the sports industry, so you have to be willing to pay your dues," she added. "Rome wasn’t built in one night. People already in the industry understand that there is always beauty in the struggle. It is a male-dominated industry, but women are on the come up in great and powerful ways (so fellas watch out…just kidding…kinda). Stay grounded, professional and always true to your morals and sky is the limit.”

You can find Ashley on Twitter @_ashleyycox!

The Ride of a Lifetime: A Look at the Professional Journey of ESPN’s Ryan McGee