Every Monday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place. Today’s #MCM title belongs to Aaron Ware who is bringing his discipline and success as an athlete into the workforce all while inspiring kids from the inner city to stick to education.
Aaron Ware, 26, was born in Gardena and raised in Los Angeles. Upon graduating from Bishop Montgomery in 2008, Aaron attended George Washington University on a basketball scholarship from 2008-2012. He chose GW amongst the others because it was the most well-known basketball school and first school that recruited him.
Although initially apprehensive about leaving L.A. to attend college, Aaron’s mother always encouraged him to spend time in another city as well as meet new people. GW began recruiting Aaron in July of 2007 and they stuck with him until he signed his letter of intent to attend the university. “I attended GWU because it was an opportunity for me to attend college in the nation’s capital, as well as grow as a young adult,” he says.
Playing basketball has given Aaron many opportunities that he says he would have never fathomed. “Traveling around the country, staying in 5-star hotels and getting television exposure is something not too many people that come from my neighborhood get to experience,” he says. Furthermore, he was able to learn the business side of college basketball such as, coaching staff changes, early morning film sessions/practices while balancing it with schoolwork allowed him to prepare for life after basketball, in the workforce.
Going to school in Washington, DC gave Aaron many memorable experiences that he will never forget, such as: taking a white house tour, attending President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009, GW basketball’s marketing campaign and an opportunity to play a basketball game in front of the First Family.
Today, Aaron works as an Order Management Specialist, in which he places orders for K-Swiss Sales Representatives from around the country. However, in five years, he hopes to be the Sales Representative for the brand for the Southern California and Arizona area.
Aaron’s passion for shoes led him to K-Swiss when his mom’s best friend, John Porter, saw an opportunity for him to have a career in a business he was knowledgeable in. According to Aaron, Porter has been a sales rep for K-Swiss for over 20 years and is responsible for the Southern California and Arizona territory. He finds that the best part of his job is seeing how each department operates, between operations, product, sales & marketing, etc.
K-Swiss has been in existence since 1996 and is best known for producing tennis shoes and a wide range of apparel including shirts, shorts, and bags. Working at K-Swiss and understanding their “Assembly Line” has helped Aaron realize that when everyone commits time to their assignments, the brand will be successful. Aaron believes that what makes K-Swiss so uniqu
e is that it has remained true to court fitness and style, and will continue to influence young consumers with trends for many years to come.
Transitioning from the sports world into the shoe industry is right up Aaron’s alley, since he knows trends and styles that people love on the west coast. “K-Swiss is a brand that was very popular among our parent’s generation. However, the goal within the next 3-5 years is to sell shoes and apparel that resonate more so with people 13-35 years old,” he says.
Aaron’s plan to do so by being a “walking billboard.” He says that people he is around often are always curious as to what shoes he is wearing. He explains that once they realize he is wearing K-Swiss, they are shocked because the shoes are typically known to be basic, all white and black shoes.
Today, Aaron enjoys playing basketball sparingly, sometimes 3-4 times a month. “I have a few friends that play professionally so when they come home in the summer, I play with them on weekends,” he says. However, he remains very active participating in cardio 4-5 times/week.
Aaron pays it forward to his community by speaking to young boys and girls, especially those who come from the inner city. When given the opportunity, Aaron speaks at basketball camps to children aged 7-12 about the game of basketball, but more importantly, life lessons.
When Aaron is not playing basketball or working, he enjoys watching sports and attending games, mainly basketball, baseball and football. He genuinely loves music of all genres, but mainly listens to hip-hop, R&B and Pop. An interesting fact about Aaron is that he owns over 70 pairs of shoes. He still owns some of his shoes from when he was just two-years-old and still wears shoes from over 10+ years ago.
Aaron looks up to his mother, Shirley Warren and her best friend/his Godfather, John Porter who are both of his greatest mentors. In addition, he admires Doug Mitchell, his high school basketball coach at Bishop Montgomery in Torrance.
Aaron enjoys living in the South Bay mostly for the beach culture, restaurants, beaches, and bars/lounges which he says make it very hip and one of the most underrated areas in the city. He also enjoys going to restaurants around the L.A. area and claims himself to be a huge “foodie.” In addition, he enjoys shopping time to time in the Beverly/Fairfax area of L.A.
Thank you, Aaron, for being a wonderful member of the South Bay community and finding ways to inspire the youth to reach their academic and sport goals.
“I believe I can inspire young people to achieve their goals and encourage them that school is very important. I have been very fortunate thus far with some of my experiences, and I think if I can share my story with the youth, they can visualize themselves becoming successful.”
– Aaron Ware