THE NEXT FAMILY
NBA / FIBA
Austin Walton founded Walton Sports Management Group, a full-service sports management firm in 2009. He did so with the goal of creating a boutique sports agency where professional athletes could expect a level of representation and service, unparalleled in the industry.
As President and CEO of WSMG, Austin oversaw every aspect of the business, including recruiting and strategic brand development of all clients. As Founder of NEXT Sports he will use his extensive knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement to give his clients an advantage in the draft process and free agency. Known for being a tough negotiator who fights for his clients to secure unprecedented contracts and endorsements.
Within the past 3 years, Austin has negotiated $100 million dollars in contracts. He has also negotiated a $70 million dollar contract for Kent Bazemore, making him the highest paid undrafted player in the history of the NBA.
Founder and NBA Certified Agent
Michael Whitaker graduated from the University of the District Columbia in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. Mike started in this business due to his 13-year friendship with former NBA player Nick Anderson (Orlando Magic 1989-1999), before he became a sports agent. Whitaker founded REID Entertainment in 2003. In his first year, Mike signed Ricky Minard (formerly of Morehead St.), who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 48th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. In 2006, he was able to negotiate Tarence Kinsey (formerly of South Carolina University) a 2-year contract with the Memphis Grizzlies as an undrafted player. In 2008, Mike signed George Hill (formerly of IUPUI) who was drafted in the 1st Round with the San Antonio Spurs, with the 26th Pick. In 2009, Whitaker helped Jermaine Taylor (formerly of Central Florida University) get selected by the Houston Rockets, with the 32nd pick.
Due to Whitaker’s experience as a manager and then as an agent he has a ton of experience about every facet of client representation. Mike has 14 years of experience as an agent and almost 25 years of experience in the game of basketball. He has negotiated over $75 million dollars worth of NBA contracts, millions in overseas contracts, and worked with tons of companies in order to procure endorsement deals for his clients over that time.
Mike’s experience is an essential piece to NEXT Sports. Mike now serves as the Director of Player
Relations, as well as, heads the NEXT International division. Mike resides in Washington D.C., with his wife and two children.
Director of Player Relations
From competing at the professional level in Canada as an equestrian to CEO and founder of Verati Design Group, Denise Fraile is a truly outstanding. She graduated from Lynn University with a B.S. in Design. She has lived in several countries and speaks multiple languages, she considers herself a citizen of the world. As a student at Lynn, Denise was President of the Future Business Leaders Society and a member of the Student Alumni Association. She remains active with Lynn by mentoring students in the Howard Isaacson Challenge and participating in the Alumni Council.
Following her time at Lynn, Denise founded Verati Design Group, a branding and business strategy firm based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. She founded Verati Design in 2006 and quickly acquired high-level clients including NFL athletes, red carpet celebrities, and fortune 500 companies. Realizing the parallel between corporate branding and lifestyle branding, Denise launched DSF by Denise Fraile a lifestyle and interior decorating brand with which she also focuses on the high-end sector currently designing the home for LexisNexis CEO, Haywood Talcove.
Aside from her busy career, Denise is actively involved within the community. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Alliance for Kids, a non-profit organization committed to providing support to patients at children’s hospitals, and was candidate of the year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year in 2011. Most recently, she received the Humanitarian Leg-Up Award from JustWorld International. This award was given for exemplary efforts in giving children in impoverished communities a “leg-up” to a brighter future.
Denise became involved with JustWorld over ten years ago while competing as an equestrian. Today she is an ambassador and hosts various fundraising events, participates on gala committees, heads up social entrepreneurial initiatives and has spoken as a Nexus speaker in Miami to global philanthropic leaders and impact investors.
Vice President of Marketing
Zontwell received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Valdosta State University and his Masters of Sports Leadership from Northeastern University. He has been part of the NEXT Sports family since its inception. As Creative Director, he oversees many of the company’s branding, marketing, and technical properties.
For our clients, he handles all editing, post-production, and content distribution of game film, highlights, and marketing videos. He also consults and supports on all our clients and staff’s technology related needs. Zontwell is integral in building narratives for our clients marketing campaigns.
Recent projects include a new NEXT Sports website, online interactive presentations, design and production of promotional materials, creation of our online video repository, and the planning and implementation of NEXT Sports current IT infrastructure.
Zontwell is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He was born in Memphis, TN, but currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Rohan received his Bachelor of Science in Sports Business with a double major in Statistics from New York University. As a student, he was a member of the Dean’s List of Scholars in the program.
He previously worked as an executive assistant at 3PT Sports Management, overseeing website management, portfolio planning and day-to-day basketball operations. He also worked in marketing operations for all clientele, coordinating and managing agency charity events with clients and celebrities at venues across New York City, and partnering with organizations including Modell’s, Lego, Hasbro, Lucky Strike etc. Rohan is a salary cap and statistical analyst of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Rohan’s other positions include experience as an assistant with the NYU Varsity Athletics department of sports information, where responsibilities included data analysis, online publishing and game-day team operations. He also regularly contributed to stories on the website regarding games, individual performances and awards.
Rohan spends time as a sports radio host and producer on WNYU 89.1 FM, appearing bi-weekly on topics for number of sports analysis shows including basketball, baseball and soccer. He currently resides in New York, NY.
Salary Cap Analyst
David Hamilton earned a B.A. degree in Marketing from Indiana University and received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. David has an extensive basketball background, not only through playing, but also through coaching AAU basketball with both the Spiece and Indiana Elite programs.
Before joining NEXT Sports, David worked with several NBA players including a lottery pick. David has successfully guided players through the draft and free agency process. Using his expertise in both the collective bargaining agreement and the international market, David has negotiated millions of dollars in both NBA and international contracts. David’s focus is ensuring that his clients are in the best possible situation on and off the basketball court.
David currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife and two sons.
Director of Basketball Operations and NBA Certified Agent
Zachary Charles is an NBA and FIBA certified agent with several years of experience. Born and raised in New York City, Zack is a sports fanatic, and at a young age fell in love with the game of basketball. He not only watched professional basketball, but he was also an avid college fan as well.
In 2015, following his early passion, Zack founded his basketball agency, 3PT Sports Management, a boutique agency based in New York City. Zack managed the recruiting process, placements, and marketing for all of his clients.
Zack has extensive knowledge of the game and works tirelessly to place his clients in the best situation by building individual strategies, long-term plans and leveraging his relationships. He prides himself on the service he provides for his clients and their families during the draft process and throughout their careers.
Zack currently resides in New York City with his wife.
NBA and FIBA Certified Agent
Adam Papas graduated from Saint Louis University Law School where he concentracted in Sports and Entertainment Law as well as Contract Law.
Adam interned throughout Law School with a local Baseball Agency learning valuable negotiating skills and marketing skills.
Adam was a college athlete at Lindenwood University where he played Men's Ice Hockey.
NBA Certified Agent
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