This past weekend was a change of pace for former women’s basketball player Anna Florzak. The current New York resident traded in the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple to take a visit to Ames for the weekend and catch up with friends and the coaches.
For many who are curious what she is up to now, you don’t have to look far out of the realm of the sports world, or even basketball for that matter. Florzak currently works at the NBA as a Coordinator for identity, outfitting and equipment The ISU graduate works with branding, outfitting and licensing to ensure products going into the stores are executed properly. She also works with equipment managers from all three of the NBA’s leagues (NBA, WNBA and the D-Leagues).
Prior to working with the NBA she went to grad school at the University of Central Florida to get her MBA and master’s in sports business management. While in Orlando she helped out with the Orlando Magic and it was there that she knew she would like to work for the NBA.
It’s easy to see how much she loves her job and living in New York, but she doesn’t have to search far back in her memory to think about how she got where she is today.
“When I look back on my time here I realize how much pressure there is when you’re an athlete and I realized how much Coach Fennelly and the other coaches on the Iowa State basketball team really made sure that we went to class and got good grades,” she said. “Just how they kept us all accountable makes me realize how much four years of college really prepared me for the next level.”
Saturday morning Florzak went on a 20 mile run throughout campus–no that’s not a typo, she really did run 20 miles–and while doing so she took some time to reflect on her time at Iowa State. She said one moment kept coming back to her–the 2009 Elite 8 run. With a little over a minute remaining the Cyclones trailed Michigan State by seven with the winner advancing to the Elite 8. The Cyclones went on an incredible 8-0 run to take the lead and the win from the Spartans grasp.
“That whole year we had a lot of struggles, but we just gelled at the right time,” Florzak said. “It took everyone from the bottom to the top to get us there.”
With such a busy work schedule Florzak doesn’t get much time off, but she is grateful for getting the opportunity to visit Ames.
“It’s such a different vibe when I come back to Ames,” she said. “It’s much more mellow [than New York], and it’s such a smaller town. It’s good to come back to my roots and see everyone. I know why I chose to come to Iowa State. It is a family town and we still have the greatest fans in the country, and we also have the greatest coaching staff. It’s great to come back and see it for a few days.”