2019 NCAA Leading Scorer + Future Pro, Aston Francis sheds light on his experience and what coaching in the D LEAGUE means to him
Aston Francis, a 22-year-old Tyler, Texas native played collegiate basketball at Wheaton College for three years after one year playing for Tyler Junior College in 2016. With a father who doubled as his coach at All Saints Episcopal School and in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Francis was taught the fundamentals of basketball at an early age, a rare gift which many children aren’t given.
While playing on the men’s Basketball team at Wheaton College, Francis received the
prestigious 2019 Division III National Player of the Year award. He was the first Wheaton athlete to earn the award since its invention and only the second player from the CCIW to receive it.
His visceral love for basketball and the service Tommy Mitchell and his wife Whitney are supplying for the east Texas community is contagious when explains the difference in KODC and other basketball leagues. He believes that the focus on player dedication causes the year-round league to stand out as one of a kind because of the unique infrastructure that allows children ranging from grades 1 through 7 to learn the fundamentals of basketball, like footwork and ball handling, from current or former collegiate coaches; people who have mastered them and excelled throughout the process.
As a player on the court, Francis describes himself as competitive and motivated. His
background as a strong defensive player and precise scorer allows him to not only push himself as a player, but also communicate these ideals to the players he coaches. However his rare ability to step outside of his hyper-competitive nature as a player and into a mentoring role allows him to function well within and emphasize the mission of the league when he explains,
I care more about the kids improving week to week more than I care about them being better than the team they're playing.
His favorite moment from his first season coaching with KODC League was getting to watch a right handed eight-year-old boy dribble down the court to make a left handed layup during a game. “We had been working on it the week before in practice and it was awesome to watch him take what we’d taught in practice and apply it to help his team during the game. That’s what we’re teaching.” says Aston.
In October, Francis will be playing for the Wisconsin Herd, The Milwaukee Bucks Minor League and later he plans to try out for The European Basketball League. Aston Francis’s unique skill set as a player and supportive coaching mantra merge together and embody KODC D League’s mission. As a coach he provides a fresh perspective and specialized skill set to the KODC League Coaching Staff.
For more info on the D LEAGUE or to register for our upcoming Fall League, click here.
Author Caroline Kidd | IG • www.instagram.com/kidd_you_not
Caroline Kidd is an east Texas native who loves meeting new people and sharing their stories. When she isn't busy interviewing athletes and consulting on digital marketing matters, she can be found in San Marcos, TX, floating the river and exploring the hill country with her dog, Rio.
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