During this time filled with fear and uncertainty in our country, I feel it is necessary to present a positive story that can alter our perspective on life. Angelo Richardson was primed to live out every young athlete’s dream. After becoming the 2005 junior college leader in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, Richardson officially signed a scholarship offer from Arizona State University to play wide receiver. The college football star’s dream of playing in the National Football League was moving closer to becoming reality. However, merely one month later, Richardson’s life would change forever.
On what appeared to be a normal day, Richardson decided to attend a party in San Francisco, California. As the event concluded, gunshots were fired into the crowd of people exiting the venue. Unfortunately, Richardson was shot and became paralyzed from the waist down.
In a horrific turn of events, Angelo Richardson’s playing career was abruptly stripped away from him. Initially, Richardson felt lost. However, Angelo courageously decided to utilize this inconceivable tragedy as motivation for fulfilling a new purpose in life.
Due in large part to support from the Sun Devil community, Angelo enrolled in classes at Arizona State and completed his undergraduate degree in justice, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college. But Angelo was nowhere near satisfied. One year later, he earned a master’s degree in Sports Law and Business from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Angelo was determined to use his platform as inspiration for his family and young people around the world. While managing a rigorous course load, Richardson shared his advanced football knowledge and life advice with Arizona State’s student-athletes as an assistant football coach. Currently, Richardson is involved with professional football as an NFPLA certified agent. His ambition and drive to making a legitimate difference in the lives of others inspired him to create his own athlete representation firm: REX Entertainment and Sports in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I had the pleasure of speaking directly with Angelo about his remarkable story and triumphs. Below are some Q&A from our conversation:
SAB: How did this tragedy lead you to the success you experience today?
AR: Before I got shot, I felt on top of the world. Everybody loves a winner. Once I became paralyzed and could no longer play football, I felt that a lot of people turned on me fast. I quickly understood that football only lasts so long and who you become after football is what shapes your identity.
SAB: What do you believe gives you an advantage over the competition when recruiting clients?
AR: I come from a similar background as most players. I am able to relate to them because we both went to war on the football field and know what it is like. I’m still young and able to connect with guys.
SAB: What advice would you give to an aspiring sports agent?
AR: It’s a lot of hard work. You need to get out and cultivate relationships. You have to understand how the game is played. It’s a very hard business.
SAB: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to overcome serious adversity in their life?
AR: You can’t give up. You have to believe in yourself and stay confident in everything you do. It is never going to be easy. Always keep pushing. I enjoy instilling this in people.
Angelo Richardson’s life is a perfect example of the importance of remaining resilient in the face of adversity. Mr. Richardson’s character and drive has inspired me, and I am honored to be able to share his story.