Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, 2010
Member of the Harlem Globetrotters and Television Personality
"I...never wanted anybody to label me as ‘just’ an athlete.”
If you know the name Special K Daley, then you know the impressive skills of this 6’5” basketball player and entertainer for the Harlem Globetrotters – you may have seen his 2002 Gatorade commercial with Michael Jordan; or perhaps you saw one of his appearances on television shows like “Hell’s Kitchen” or “The Bachelorette.” If you know the name Special K Daley, then you know that Kevin Daley has reached celebrity status.
But did you know he also spent the last year and a half engaging in discussion forums and writing papers as an Ashford University online student? Just like any other person, this celebrity needed and wanted a college education.
Daley, now 33 and living in Dallas, Texas, has been a professional basketball player since 2000 and has been with the Globetrotters for six years; in that time, he has traveled to more than 60 countries. But he’s more than a ball player – he’s also a motivational speaker and an author. He takes it as a personal mission to “motivate and encourage people to greatness.”
In fact, it was his passion for motivating others that made him decide to finish his college education. “I found myself talking a lot about the importance of an education in my motivational speeches and one day I thought to myself, ‘How can I speak on education if, when I had the chance to get an education, I didn’t take advantage of it?’ I also never wanted anybody to label me as ‘just’ an athlete.”
Of all the universities Daley researched, Ashford University accepted the most transfer credits, and it allowed him to complete his assignments online. “Being able to do my assignments on the computer was very important to me because my schedule is very demanding.” That’s an understatement! In the year and a half it took Daley to complete his degree, he played 500 games in 25 different countries and 150 US cities racking up over 50,000 miles! “I had to meet deadlines while I was in different countries with different time zones, so sometimes I would be up at crazy hours doing class work.”
The long hours certainly paid off; in May 2010, Daley graduated from Ashford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. “Life has definitely changed for me as an Ashford graduate. People respect me more and people are inspired by me in ways that I never thought possible; this time, it has nothing to do with basketball!”
To future Ashford graduates, Daley has this advice: “Do not hesitate. Only positive things can come from earning a degree. If I was able to graduate under the conditions I did, then you can do it, too.”