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Against All Odds with AJ Rompza, NCAA Coach & Former UCF Basketball Player

Interview | AJ Rompza

Against All Odds with AJ Rompza, NCAA Coach & Former UCF Basketball Player

Career, Entrepreneurship, Mindset
Kaivan Dave Kaivan Dave
Career, Entrepreneurship, Mindset
“I like failing because I know I’m going to succeed.”

It is not common in basketball culture to expect a 5’7″ scrawny kid to be a challenger on the court. In every game, AJ Rompza would prove every doubter wrong by earning himself top ranks at every level of the sport, from grade school through college. 

As a high school senior that had become one of the top point guards in the country, on one of the top-ranked high school teams in the state, and leading a team that would later produce seven NCAA Division I athletes such as Marcus Jordan, one would think that D1 universities would be knocking on Rompza’s door. 

His journey started as a nobody from Chicago, to becoming a fan favorite, and feeling like a celebrity as kids across the nation began to look up to him. AJ strongly encourages fellow athletes never to allow the opinions of others to stop them from pursuing their dreams.


Some questions we ask:

  1. Tell us about your mission and dreams? (1:00)
  2. What was your motivation to inspire and impact others to fully realize their potential? (5:00)
  3. What hardships have you gone through that have shaped you as a person? (11:00)
  4. What kind of a legacy would you like to leave behind? (15:00) 
  5. What is your formula for success? (17:00) 


In this episode, we learn about AJ’s inspiring basketball story that started at the age of 3 and his mindset to ‘think big’ and not put limits on himself. AJ talks about the shortcomings (no pun intended) faced as he was overlooked for his height and nobody believed in his goals. He discusses putting his dreams on hold due to his foot injury and suspension from the NCAA. as a strong advocate for putting himself out of his comfort zone, AJ believes that our circumstances don’t define us but how we react to what we can control builds resilience.   



AJ Rompza is a former UCF Golden Knight point going that is now striving to pay it forward. His passion for basketball and character has earned the respect of many in the NBA and D1 programs. He currently is a restaurant/bar owner in Chicago, where he is also a youth basketball trainer. AJ trains players from the NCAA, high school and middle school levels. Because of his relentless efforts to support everyone he meets, AJ has amassed following loyal fans and a network within the sports industry. AJ has started what he calls “the A.J. Movement” to push people to succeed in life and published his autobiography called “Against All Odds’”. 

Kaivan Dave

Written By

Hi, I’m Kaivan - Entrepreneur, growth marketer, and extremely passionate about building brands. To get to the top, you have to fall several times, and learn how to pick yourself back up. The most successful people in the world know that breaking out of your comfort zone and staying there is the secret to achieving your dreams. Remember to stay uncomfortable and never to stop dreaming.

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