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commUNITY spotlight: Ashton Khan, making basketball work off the court

Ashton Khan is using his talent to help young people by connecting virtually through Outschool's online learning platform.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ashton Khan played basketball at Canisius College during the 2010-2011 season and he played professional basketball in Europe.

Now Khan is using his talent to help young people by connecting virtually through Outschool's online learning platform.

"Being able to connect with students not only from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Ireland, England, Barbados and Africa, you know, it's just really just touching lives in a positive way," Khan said.

Khan works with student-athletes around the world. 

"I'm helping them with Sports Fitness, but not only that, I'm helping them with their life skills as well," he said. "Building confidence, financial literacy courses and just learning different things kind of bridging a gap like some things that are not taught in a traditional school setting."

Looking back, Khan wishes the tools he's teaching were available when he was a student. 

"It would've been very, very helpful - for example one of my courses is about how to become a successful student athlete," he said. "We talk about so many things that go on, on the court, field, ice or whatever sport you're playing. The classroom as well, so it's very, very beneficial. I'm using some of my life experiences and what I've been through as a student-athlete, not only at the collegiate level, but at the professional level."

He admits the courses are unique. 

"It's understanding to use basketball or any a sport for that matter as a tool and use it as a tool to propel you in life, if it is to get your free education," Khan said.

Credit: CANISIUS COLLEGE

Outschool offers more than 100,000 interactive online classes. There are also summer camp options.

"Some of the things that I'm seeing is a lot of students are putting a lot of effort into their lacrosse or hockey, but they're not getting up that early to put in the same effort in their education," Khan said. "And the education is what is going to sustain you moving forward into your later life. I know that's hard to see as a 14, 16-year-old looking at yourself as a 30-year-old, but that's what you're going to need."