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Meet the ATSU-ASHS alumnus behind the innovative athletic training product made for travel

Zeshaun Mirza

Zeshaun Mirza, MS, ATC, CES, ’11, has been enjoying great success as an athletic trainer. He’s been an athletic trainer with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns, off-season athletic trainer for Phoenix Suns’ all-star guard Devin Booker, and personal athletic trainer for 14-year NBA veteran forward James Johnson.

The ATSU-ASHS Master of Science in Athletic Training program alumnus would put athletes through full-body and workout sessions and send them on their way with exercise instructions, resistance bands, mobility wedges, and more.

More often than not, a lot of those items didn’t make their way back to him.

“‘Why doesn’t every athlete have their own kit,’” Mirza asks, “‘where they can just take their stuff with them, wherever they go, and it’s theirs?’ Then I thought, ‘Does this even exist?’”

Now, thanks to Mirza, it does.

Mirza launched The Z KIT LLC in January 2020, seeking to fill a gap for athletic trainers and the athletes they serve. The 15-piece Z KIT (thezkit.com) contains essential equipment for athletes to complete crucial training tasks and rehabilitation, all packed in a convenient carrying case for easy transport to the gym, home, and arenas across the world. He’s cleared 500 units sold and is launching a crowdfunding campaign to produce additional kits.

Zeshaun Mirza and Devin Booker
Zeshaun Mirza was the off-season athletic trainer for the Phoenix Suns’ all-star guard Devin Booker.

A U.S. Army veteran, Mirza has always been seeking ways to improve the delivery of athletic training,
first focusing on his own skills. He graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor of science degree in athletic training but knew he wasn’t finished with his education.

“I felt like all I had was the bricks of athletic training. I didn’t have a real good structure or foundation. I always wanted to work with the best athletes in the world, I wanted to work at the top, but I just had the pieces,” he says.

Mirza had a clinical director who heard of ATSU’s program and knew of his student’s interest in pursuing an advanced degree.

“He said, ‘If you can get into that school, I’d be very impressed,’” Mirza says. “I took it as a challenge.”

Mirza applied to three schools. ATSU called him back first.

“I accepted right away on the phone,” he says. “I didn’t think twice. This is one of the top post-professional programs.”

Zeshaun Mirza and James Johnson
Zeshaun Mirza works with 14-year NBA veteran forward James Johnson.

He had high praise for the faculty, recalling courses led by ATSU-ASHS’ Tamara C. Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA, FNAK, FNAP, chair and director, athletic training; Barton E. Anderson, DHSc, AT, ATC, ’03, professor; Alison Snyder Valier, PhD, ATC, FNATA, professor; and Eric Sauers, PhD, ’97, now dean of ATSU-CHC.

“The courses were hard,” Mirza says. “They were all very tough professors, but they wanted the best out of you. I really enjoyed that.

“The program solidified things for me and put those bricks together, providing me a more holistic approach to patient care.”

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