AO, Aaron Owens – Throwback Thursday

The Mix Tape Tour has seen ballers come from all corners—every level of college and pro ball has had a Tour member under contract at one point or another. But we’re pretty sure there’s never been a player who scored 8 points in his entire high school career.

That’s how humble the beginnings were for Aaron Owens, who warmed the bench at Simon Gratz High School in North Philly behind future NBAers Rasheed Wallace and Aaron McKie. Gratz played a big-time national sked, so competition for PT was fierce and Owens couldn’t get burn. But he didn’t run from a challenge, didn’t transfer or find a coach who would make him the main attraction. He stuck with it, and after JuCo, Div. II ball, and pro ball in Israel and the D-League, AO had made a life for himself in basketball.

And a big part of that life has been the Tour; AO debuted in 2000 and has been a fixture ever since.  “I play rec ball for a living. How great is that?” he says with a smile. “It gives me a good feeling to know that I’m reaching so many people because of basketball.

“That’s always something I wanted to do, but it didn’t always look like that was going to be a possibility. Not when I was sitting at the end of Gratz’s bench dreaming about being a star.”