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Athlete of the Week: Antonio Givens

Antonio Givens transferred to Pitt State from Kent State University and is currently playing his second season on the men’s basketball team.  

“In basketball I love to win, I love to compete, and I love the art and skill of the game,” Givens said. “ 

Givens earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies at Pitt State and is now a first-year graduate student working toward a master’s in health, human performance, and recreation. 

“(The) biggest basketball accomplishment during my career was winning the district conference championship my freshman year and receiving a district winner’s trophy,” Givens said.  

During his first season at Pitt State, Givens started in ten of 30 games and averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He shot .536 percent from the field and made 89 of 166 attempts.  

At Kent State University, Givens redshirted his only season. Prior to that, he spent two seasons at Wabash Valley College and as a sophomore there, Givens averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in the 2017-2018 season and shot 62.5 percent from the field.  

“I first started playing real, organized basketball in (eighth grade)…,” Givens said. “I originally grew up playing football first so… I actually didn’t grow up playing basketball. I started to love basketball in high school, played and became a three-year varsity starter. That’s what made me pick basketball over football in college.”  

As a child, Givens didn’t develop an interest in basketball but rather took to football first before venturing into basketball later.  

“My background as an athlete… (began) when I started playing organized little league football in my community league at about five years old until (I was) about 13 years old..,” Givens said. “My middle school only had basketball as a boy’s sport so… (in eight grade), I played basketball… I played with a local team named Ohio Dynasty before joining the program All-Ohio. I didn’t participate in sports my freshman year of high school (but I) played basketball… (from my) sophomore (through) senior (years), and played football my senior year. It means a lot to me that I was part of my school athletics in a special way. I was recognized as an All-City athlete for football and basketball. My picture hangs up on my high school wall of fame for football. That picture will hang there forever, and I’m honored to be recognized like that…”  

Given’s family has been his at his side throughout his athletic career.  

“My mom uncle and grandparents have been my biggest supporters during my athletic career and journey,” Givens said.  

Givens has a lot of plans after he graduates from Pitt State.  

“My plans after college are to explore the world, take care of my family, and be an inspiration to young others in my community,” Givens said. “If playing overseas professionally presents itself, I would be more than happy to play.”  

There are a few crucial elements to balancing school and athletics.   

“…The secret is time management and dedication,” Givens said. “If you put the same passion and dedication into school as you do your sport, it’ll be easier for you and less to maintain. Some tips… (are to) check your email daily, travel with your laptop, and make good relationships with your professors to communicate about what’s going on.”  

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