George Mason University

News at Mason

His time at Mason was more than hoop dreams

March 13, 2019   /   by Damian Cristodero

Otis Livingston II found a home at Mason that went far beyond basketball. "It's a place I can come to down the road and still have that family connection," he said.

Livingston will finish his Mason career as one of the university's greatest players. Photo courtesy of Mason Athletics.

When Otis Livingston II accepted a scholarship to play basketball at George Mason University, his knowledge of the campus was pretty much limited to the team’s 2006 Final Four run.

What he said he found in his four years at the university surpassed is expectations. Not only did the 5-foot-11 guard, become one of the greatest players in team history, he became part of what he called “a tight-knit family” with “an administration and staff that are really supportive of my goals and willing to do anything to help.”

“It’s a place I can come to years down the road,” he said, “and still have that family connection.”

When Livingston, a senior sport management major, finishes his Mason career, he will be its all-time leader in free-throw percentage and game starts, second in assists and fourth in scoring at a time when Mason is reinvigorating its program and this season had a school-record 11 Atlantic 10 conference victories.

“His legacy is going to be as a guy helping us get back to the type of program Mason had been, and as a guy who connected with and re-invigorated our fan base,” Mason Coach Dave Paulsen said. “That’s probably as significant as the measurables, which are pretty impressive.”

The Linden, New Jersey, native is also graduating in May with a solid foundation of sport business practices.

A 2018 summer internship with Evolution Basketball, a Northern Virginia chain of training clinics, not only provided Livingston a chance to coach but to experience how a successful business runs.

“I learned some of the management that goes on behind the scenes,” Livingston said. “I learned about payroll, billing, marketing, building relationships with clients and the importance of being consistent, to put out a good product.”

Livingston, who wants to coach on the college and high school levels, said the networking he has done at Mason also has been invaluable, including getting to know Craig Esherick, the former Georgetown coach who is associate director of Mason’s Center for Sport Management.

“He’s a figure in the basketball world, and he’s taught me so much about networking,” Livingston said. “The connections, I feel that’s the biggest thing with this major.”

“He’s a smart young man,” Esherick said. “He’s had a great career as a basketball player, but he also recognized he’s going to have to do something with his mind when his [basketball] career is over. He’s done a good job of planning for that in terms of some of the things he was exposed to.”

That said, Livingston has some basketball left at Mason, including the Atlantic 10 tournament, March 13-17 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

“I love being at Mason,” Livingston said. “I loved my time here, but it’s good knowing what I accomplished. My graduation is something I can be proud of, and then it’s off to the next stage in my life.”

Livingston conducts the Green Machine pep band after his final game at EagleBank Arena, on March 5. Photo courtesy of Mason Athletics.