For Jasen Powell (’95, kinesiology), having such an integral role in the physical well-being of professional athletes is almost as enjoyable as being one.
Powell is in his 12th year as head athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I love sports,” Powell says. “I’m able to do a job that allows me to be around sports and indulge in the environment.”
Powell helps coordinate and arrange every practice and health regiment the players need to stay healthy. He is also the first athletic trainer in the NBA to have collegiate playing experience.
“You need to provide the best service you can for athletes” Powell says, “whether it’s pro, college, high school or even little league.”
While the Clippers may have a day off in between games, there really is no such thing as a day off for Powell.
On non-game days, Powell monitors practice games and conducts treatment sessions for the athletes to make sure they are in good shape. If a player is injured, he ensures that they get the care they need. With today’s athletes pushing themselves harder and harder, Powell says athletic trainers are more important than ever.
“You have a lot of players that compete and work out at such a high level,” he says. “It’s such a high demand on their bodies. Being able to control and understand their needs is important to keep them at a high level.”
Powell was the Broncos’ point guard from 1993 to 1995 and was simultaneously participating in the athletic training program. After he received his bachelor’s degree, he interned with the Atlanta Falcons and then worked for four years with the San Francisco 49ers as an assistant trainer.
Powell served as head athletic trainer at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game for the Eastern Conference team and at the 2011 All-Star game, held at the Staples Center, for the Western Conference team.
He is an active member of the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Athletic Trainers Association. He is also a credentialed performance enhancement specialist and a credentialed corrective exercise specialist. Powell is also proud to be participate in Kids Powered by Fitness, an organization that serves underprivileged youth ages 6 to 13.
“That's the most attractive age for children to adhere to proper diet,” he says. “Educating the parents directly allows the kids to know what they need to eat.”
Raised in Oakland, Powell holds a special place in his heart for his hometown and gives back through the Jasen Powell Health Promotion Scholarship. The personally funded scholarship helps students in the Oakland Unified School District pursue their interests in the sports health field.
Powell says he learned a very important lesson during his college years that has fueled his passion in the sports health world: “Be persistent and consistent at what you’re trying to do. In college you’re open to so many things. Cal Poly allowed me to stay persistent and consistent at the task at hand.”
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