Only a handful of athletes in NCAA history have recorded over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists, and 300 steals in their collegiate career…and The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) alum Armintie Price Herrington is one of them. Many players that achieve that level of success don’t think much about planning for their future, but Herrington was inspired by her collegiate and WNBA experience to make a difference. Her faith, work ethic, and eagerness to learn have allowed her to transition into the NEXT Quarter of her career, while helping the next generation of athletes prepare for success. Read more to learn how this high-flying heroine is touching lives now to change the game later!
Herrington is arguably one of the greatest success stories in women’s basketball. She is no stranger to working hard and tackling challenges head on. Highly decorated and accomplished as a player before her WNBA retirement in 2015, her newest career inspires and challenges her in a different way. As the Coordinator of Player Engagement at Ole Miss, she is tasked with arranging student-athlete scheduling and serving as an academic liaison, a professional mentor, personal role model and much more. The position was created specifically for her, and she is very grateful for the space to grow and use her talents to develop young women ready to thrive after basketball.
Oftentimes, professional athletes will develop a passion for what they will do in their post-career based on their sports journey experience. “I recognized that these young ladies (current collegiate players) don’t have the same resources as I did. [When I was in college] Our coaches sacrificed time with their families, gave huge pieces of themselves to us. I wanted to help address that deficit. I want to pay the investment that was made in me forward.” Herrington shared. “These girls’ success is very important to me. I am incapable of sitting back and watching other people fail. I am inspired to help as much as I can.”
Even as a young athlete, Herrington had a reputation for being mature and level-headed. This temperament served her well throughout her career. Unfortunately, after being selected as the 3rd overall pick in the WNBA’s 2007 draft, she witnessed many players struggle with issues ranging from bad financial choices, personal missteps, and professional failures. That experience taught her that even as a professional athlete, you never stop learning. When asked what advice she would give players at the beginning of their career, she said, “Don’t miss the wisdom of your elders. Don’t have any regrets, humble yourself. Be willing to learn and to listen. Be patient. Listen to those with the resources to help you reach you goals.”
Many athletes do not have a strong support system, and those that do don’t always connect with the individuals that truly want to help them. Sometimes, they try to do it all themselves, and that path frequently ends in failure. Herrington attributes her success to her faith. “I trusted God. My plan was to walk by faith. I let God lead me. Most of those who struggle, did so because they thought they had all the answers. That’s a trap. No one knows it all.” Herrington warned. “I was surrounded by great ambassadors for African-American women, like Peggy Gillom…great role models, like Coach Carol Ross (Ross led Herrington to become one of the most decorated Ole Miss athletes of all time). I wanted to win for myself and my team obviously, but I wanted to win for my coaches. I wanted them to be successful.”
As a WNBA athlete, Herrington often served as a player-coach and leader among her peers. She saw herself as an extension of the coach’s leadership. “I always wanted to give my best and be my best!” Although coaching was never in her plan, her new role speaks to her natural inclination. For many athletes, sometimes it simply takes someone else believing in you to help you discover your gift. “Coach Ross told me I would be a coach. In my current role, I get to touch these young lives in a positive way and send strong, capable women out in to the world.”
Herrington has always believed that the key to success is balance. She is active with several organizations through her church and is focusing on growing her family with her husband. In addition, she serves as the President of the Ole Miss Alumni Fast Break Club. Her role includes planning for media interaction, cultivating fan relationships, soliciting donations, and building a network that can help the students transition to professional life after basketball. Her passion and commitment is inspiring other former athletes to sow into their alma maters and communities.
We, at The Athlete’s NeXus, look forward to seeing all the amazing things Herrington does in her NEXT Quarter!
By LaToya Baker of The Athlete’s NeXus
Follow Arminitie on Twitter: @Armintie