Anthony Fields builds basketball business, brand

Veteran basketball agent Tony Dutt insists former Division I point guard Anthony Fields may one day become NBA general manager. He has intelligence, common sense. Insight, enthusiasm.

But right now Fields is living in Las Vegas, building a basketball brand. A company. And for now, that’s more than enough for him.

Fields is the vice president of basketball operations for the Vanguard Sports Group, an agency founded in 2014 by longtime football agent Joby Branion, who hired the precocious Fields, 29, in 2017 to create a division of basketball.

His clients include Chicago Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr., Miami Heat forward Chris Silva and free agent Ky Bowman, formerly of the Golden State Warriors. While not yet a Certified Agent, he consults in contract negotiations, designs his clients’ offseason plans and helps grow their brands off the basketball court.

Fields is originally from the Detroit area and started his professional career in Houston, but moved in 2019 to Las Vegas – a city he considers to be a budding sports mecca.

Brimming with potential and promise, and suited to effortlessly exuberant fields.

“He can communicate with the parents. He can connect with reception staff, coaches and owners. He has the ability to communicate really effectively across the spectrum, ”said Branion, who represents Chargers Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen and Broncos All-Pro linebacker Von Miller, among others.

“He’s going to be a star.

Play and train

Fields once had his own hoop dreams.

He flourished in Greater Detroit as a leader, generating recruiting interest from many Michigan Division I programs, including the State of Michigan. But his recruiting stalled, leading to a transfer to a prep school, Quality Education Academy, in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where he played alongside four- and five-star prospects and eventual pros like Quincy Miller and Sir ‘ Dominic Pointer.

The move paid off. Fields was offered a scholarship by Wake Forest, which he committed to and performed sparingly as a freshman in 2011-2012. He transferred to Bradley, where he graduated from before ending his 2015-16 playing career at Liberty under coach Ritchie McKay.

“He’s been instrumental in shaping the character and the culture and the evolution of our program,” McKay said.

Fields started 11 games at Liberty as a fifth-year senior, but his presence in the program outweighed his production on the field. He even lived in the dorms to set an example for the younger players – a rarity for all students in the upper class, let alone a 24-year-old looking for a master’s degree.

He finished playing that spring and got a graduate degree in sports management, although he wasn’t sure what profession he wanted to do.

“I knew I wanted to play sports,” he said. “Especially basketball.”

But that was about it.

So Fields put together a resume and initially sought to become a varsity coach. He reached out to head coaches across the country, campaigning for the opportunity to join a team. He got an interview with Billy Kennedy, then head coach of Texas A&M. He was quickly hired as an operations assistant, responsible for film study, skill development and scouting.

NBA scouts and executives would drop by the Texas A&M campus that season to watch Aggies center Robert Williams, now a center for the Boston Celtics. Fields introduced himself, creating a collection of valuable contacts along the way.

One of those contacts was just Dutt, who signed the great Karl Malone in 1985 and has previously negotiated contracts on behalf of NBA All-Stars like Shawn Kemp and Rashard Lewis.

“He’s got everything you need in this business,” Dutt said of Fields. ” He is intelligent. He understands the game. He is faithful. He is honest.

The basketball case

It was during his time at Texas A&M that Fields began to consider athlete representation and management. Dutt recommended him to Branion, who made a point of meeting Fields during a visit to the school’s campus that spring with Miller, an Aggie alumnus.

Branion said Fields was “incredibly genuine… straightforward and honest” when they first met. Their conversations evolved over time, and Branion ultimately offered Fields the opportunity to create Vanguard’s basketball division.

Fields worked in Houston for about 18 months and legitimized the company’s basketball division by signing Carter, the 7th overall pick in the NBA in 2018 and one of the league’s most promising post players. .

He moved to Las Vegas in January 2019 because “there is nothing bigger than Vegas,” he said.

“Everyone comes here. The summer league is here. Everyone goes to Vegas, and there is great talent here, ”said Fields. “I wanted to be a part of it. “

Alas, here it is.

Fields made Las Vegas his home, living a dream he never knew he had. Work in a league he has always loved. Thrilled by another career that has apparently only just begun.

“For me, it’s about continuing to build our brand. Continue to take care of our customers. Continue to be the voice of someone like me who didn’t really know what he wanted to do but who cared about the sport, ”said Fields. “It’s about learning through my experiences, building on my experiences and creating real opportunities. “

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at [email protected] To follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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