This past weekend, the Big East Conference presented its seventh annual Transition Game Program, an interactive two-day event that aims to assist current women’s basketball student-athletes in envisioning and planning their transition from student-athlete to the next phase of their lives both on and off the court. Among this year’s participants was DaShena Stevens, who set the court ablaze during her four standout years with the St. John’s Red Storm.
Now deputy athletic director at University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, Texas, Stevens spoke on the panel Careers in the Game. The panelists spoke about their current careers. “I talked about my current experience at Incarnate Word and what the deputy athletic director position looks like,” said Stevens. “I also talked about my journey to get there. A theme throughout was having an understanding that the transition into life after sports was different for a lot of people.”
Stevens’ journey wasn’t a straight path. Originally from Connecticut, following graduation from St. John’s in 2012, she played basketball professionally in Europe and then began a business career. Desiring a return to basketball, she served as an assistant coach at St. John’s from 2015-18. From there, she accepted a business position at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, while she earned a master’s degree at North Carolina Central. That led her to sports administration at UIW, where she was promoted to deputy AD in January 2021.
“I talked about being patient with yourself,” said Stevens. “You may not jump into the career you love automatically. It may take some time. Do a really good job with what you’re doing and then keep yourself open to opportunities. I didn’t know when I graduated what this would look like for me 10 or 12 years later. I talked to them about networking, which was really important…and taking chances. I’ve always tried to use the experiences I’ve had to shape what I want to do next.”
It provided Stevens a return visit to New York and a chance for her daughter to see the city and spend time with her grandparents. “It was great to be back in New York and reconnecting with the Big East was awesome,” said Stevens. “I played for one of the best conferences. … It definitely brought back memories.”