SAAC Spotlight: Alaska Anchorage's A.J. Garrity
A.J. Garrity averaged 13.1 points per game with Santiago Canyon (Calif.) Junior College in 2019-20, shooting .412 from 3-point range.
A.J. Garrity averaged 13.1 points per game with Santiago Canyon (Calif.) Junior College in 2019-20, shooting .412 from 3-point range.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

Name: A.J. Garrity
Sport: Basketball
Institution: University of Alaska Anchorage
Year: Junior
Major: Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology
Hometown: Huntington Beach, CA

Why Did You Choose To Attend Alaska Anchorage?: I had never moved out of California before coming to Alaska but God put it on my heart that this was the right fit for me. Alaska Anchorage gave me the best chance to compete for championships on the court and prepare me for my future off the court. I seek adventure in my soul and I love challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone. You can't get much more adventuresome than Alaska.

What Is Your Favorite College Class And Why?: I thoroughly enjoy classes that are interesting and relevant to my everyday life, so I would have to say Anatomy and Physiology is my favorite. The human body is so complex and it's fascinating the way everything works together for our good. We are still learning so much about it and I think it's critical that everyone understands their own bodies to a certain extent.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor?: I did have my dad as a teacher in high school. He taught at the university level for several years and he is everything I love in a professor and more. He uses great examples to teach the class in an exciting manner and includes games to captivate his students. He would do just about anything for a student that works hard and wants to be helped.

How Many Years Have You Been Involved In SAAC?: Two.

Why Did You Choose To Get Involved With SAAC?: I have always been a person that is willing to step up and speak for what I believe in or for other people. Leadership is one of my best qualities and I think being involved in SAAC is helping develop that part of my mind.

What Have You Learned From Needing To Balance Athletics And Academics?: Focusing on my mental health and consistently getting enough sleep are the most important things I have learned from balancing school and basketball. When I put those two aside, my performance in the classroom and on the court declines significantly.

What Is The Biggest Obstacle You Have Overcome During Your Collegiate Career?: Breaking my ankle is the biggest obstacle that I have been fighting to overcome.

What Does It Mean To You To Be A Division II Student-Athlete?: It means everything in the world to be going to school on a scholarship and playing the sport I love. I don't take a day for granted because I know how quickly that can be taken away from me again.

Who Is Your Current Mentor(s)?: The Bible, my parents, my grandparents, my older brother and some close genuine friends.

What Are Your Future Goals After Graduating?: Travel, get a degree in nursing, start my own business and continue investing and growing as a human.

What Advice Would You Have For An Incoming Freshman?: Get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the process. One percent growth every day will go a long way in four years.

What’s Your Favorite Sports Memory?: Upsetting the No. 1 seed in high school and sending my school to the finals for the first time.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person, Who Would It Be?: Michael Jordan. The psychology behind MJ and having the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest athletes of all time would be unbelievable. Plus, we like to do all the same things. I already know him and I would've eaten well, golfed 18 holes, got in the gym and gotten competitive in some other shenanigans. His stories would be worth every second of that day.

Favorite Sports Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Favorite Athlete: Kobe Bryant

Extracurricular Activities: Anything that involves adrenaline, being competitive, a body of water or beach, giving back, reading or just simply being outside.

What’s Something People Don’t Know About You?: Every other week or so, I set aside a full day completely dedicated to self care. Sometimes that means lying in bed all day and eating like a king or something completely different. I'd highly recommend people start setting aside time to treat themselves every once in a while. You deserve it.

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