Ten years into his basketball career, Robert was in a car while back home visiting his parents when he heard a radio commercial for ASU Online.
It was a conversation with his dad that would ultimately influence his decision to apply.
“He said if you push yourself to the limit, you’ll be surprised by what you find out,” he says.
A couple of weeks before the new semester started, Robert had been accepted into ASU’s program to study business with a concentration in global leadership. At the same time, he was preparing to travel with his wife and two children back to Israel for another season of basketball, already secure in his roles as full-time player, husband and father.
“I vowed not to let school take away from life with my family,” he says. “I studied when the kids went to sleep, staying up until 3 in the morning many times that first year.”
Although the basketball season started out shaky when he tore his calf muscle, an injury he says was caused by not getting enough sleep, Robert learned how to balance himself, and would ultimately go on to have the best season of his career.
“I was the most valuable center of the league and the most valuable player of the all-star game that year,” he says. “I also got an award at the end of the year, the Israeli Basketball Super League Most Improved Player, for making the biggest jump from one year to the next.”
Robert would go on to finish his degree in two years and three months, taking extra courses and at times overloading his schedule with as many as seven classes per semester.
“I really enjoyed taking math classes again,” he says, when asked what he liked most about the program. “The business aspect of the school with regard to marketing, global supply chains and dealing with other people … the online business school is one of the most highly ranked in the country, which speaks for itself. I speak five languages and have lived in nine different countries and 15 cities. I’ve had a lot of multicultural experiences, and enjoyed taking courses dealing with international workers. Now I understand life in a whole different way. You go through life consuming media, and this program gives you so much more. I talk to people here in Israel about my future after basketball. ASU has put me 10 steps above.”
Robert graduated summa cum laude in 2016, delivering on his promise to himself of earning a degree paid for with his own money.
“Because I paid with my hard-earned money, I took as much as I could. It felt great to go back and do what I said I would to provide an example for my kids. My wife has a master’s degree, and it definitely says something about a person’s ability to finish something.”
He credits his ASU Success Coach for getting him on the right track from the beginning.
“I was buying my first home, getting ready to fly back to Israel and in such a rush. But we did set up a meeting, and soon began meeting every week after that. He added so much value, helping me prepare and set goals for life after my studies and basketball career.”
His ASU advisors, too, served as a secret to his success.
“I told them I need to finish as quickly as possible,” he says. “They never met me in person, but were so helpful and ready to give me the support I needed to make it happen. ASU is amazing. I would tear up my degree just to do it again!”