NBA players’ exemplary financial maturity is a model for other athletes

Grant Hill

Grant Hill retired after a 19-year NBA career in 2013. Hill partnered with billionaire investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh to develop an ownership group to place a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers. Hill currently works for NBA TV/TNT.

By Charles Glover

NBA players are recognized for their talent on the basketball court but there is also a growing number of current and former NBA players who learned entrepreneurial lessons from their predecessors. This new breed of player-entrepreneurs know how to put what they learned in business to grow their personal brands and enhance their financial legacies.

Webber was the #1 overall draft pick in 1993. He retired after the 2008 season. Webber owns a restaurant, and an investment company. He currently works for NBA TV/TNT.

Webber was the #1 overall draft pick in 1993. He retired after the 2008 season. Webber owns a restaurant, and an investment company. He currently works for NBA TV/TNT.

Recent NBA retirees like Grant Hill and Chris Webber have learned their lessons and have an eye towards NBA ownership. Hill put together a group of investors that attempted to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, while Webber put together a group that is hopeful of purchasing the Atlanta Hawks.

But despite the examples set by the player-entrepreneurs, there have been many accounts of professional athletes, and in particular some NBA players, who have blown their fortunes shortly after retiring from the game of basketball.

Rumeal Robinson

Rumeal Robinson last played in the NBA in 1997 after being the 10th overall draft pick in the 1990 NBA Draft. Robinson’s legal troubles include charges for bank fraud, bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and perjury.

There’s the tragic story of former NBA guard Rumeal Robinson who swindled his foster mother out of her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2003, Robinson tricked his foster mother into signing over the deed to her own home. He then transferred the property to people unknown to her. These thieves eventually forced the foster mother from her home of over 30 years.

Jason Caffey

Jason Caffey was taken 20th overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1995. He finished his NBA career in 2003. Caffey faced a brief jail stint for failure to pay child support.

There’s also the unfortunate story of former Chicago Bulls players Jason Caffey. Caffey eventually had to file for bankruptcy after having trouble paying child support for 10 children with 8 different mothers. Former NBA power forward Derrick Coleman also had to file for bankruptcy after having a series of investments go sour. Coleman’s former New Jersey Nets teammate Kenny Anderson has also faced serious financial hardship for many years following his NBA career.

Latrell Sprewell

Latrell Sprewell was the 24th overall draft pick of the Golden State Warriors in 1992. Sprewell was a four- time All-Star, making the team with the Warriors and New York Knicks. Sprewell endured many financial woes including a $200 million lawsuit against him from an ex-girlfriend and auctioning off his yacht to make his defaulted mortgage payments.

Latrell Sprewell, after turning down a three-year, $21 million extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves was quoted as saying “I’ve got my family to feed.” A few years later Sprewell’s home was in foreclosure and he had to sell his yacht as he experienced financial difficulties shortly after retiring.

Ray Williams

Ray Williams was the 10th overall draft pick of the New York Knicks in 1977. Williams finished his NBA career playing for the New Jersey Nets in 1987. Williams would experience extreme hardship in post-NBA career resulting in homelessness. Williams was a victim of a real estate scam and filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Williams died on March 22, 2013 of colon cancer in New York City at the age of 58.

Antoine Walker, formerly of the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, has also had to file for bankruptcy after earning over $100 million during his playing career. There was also the sobering tale of 10-year NBA veteran Ray Williams. Williams, who played for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He ended up homeless, living out of his car in Florida, before dying at a relatively young age.

Russell Westbrook (i) and Kevin Durant (r).

In the summer of 2014, Russell Westbrook (l) had his Westbrook XO line debut at Barney’s New York and launched his own line of sunglasses. Kevin Durant (r) opened a restaurant in Oklahoma City in 2012, appeared in the 2012 children’s film “Thunderstruck,” and had a documentary about his life air on HBO in the summer of 2014.

Many of today’s NBA players have learned from both the cautionary tales and the impressive one. They new breed of player-entrepreneurs are making strides in taking care of their finances for their families’ future. The Oklahoma City Thunder have two dynamic All-Stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durrant has used his popularity to garner major endorsement deals and appearances in film and television. Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook has taken his notoriety for style and turned it into an opportunity to earn through fashion. Westbrook not only has his own clothing line, as an extension through with his endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand, he also has his own brand of sunglasses.

Amar'e Stoudemire with the stars of Beyond the Lights.

(l – r) Writer/Director, Gina Prince-Bythewood, NBA Player/Producer, Amar’e Stoudemire, Co-stars of “Beyond the Lights,” Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Nate Parker.

Amar’e Stoudemire has taken some of his NBA earnings and translated it into a film production career that featured production credits on the recently released film “Beyond the Lights.” Stoudemire also has a clothing line and writes children’s books. Stoudemire’s New York Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony has taken some of his NBA earnings to begin to prepare for his post-NBA career through the funding of tech companies that he hopes can eventually grow to be successful as over the next several years.

Chris Paul (l) and Blake Griffin (m) on the set with Jimmy Kimmel (r).

Chris Paul (l) and Blake Griffin (m) on the set with Jimmy Kimmel (r).

Blake Griffin and his Los Angeles Clippers teammate Chris Paul have taken their popularity and translated it into off the court opportunities as well, with Paul contributing handsomely to President Obama’s social initiative “My Brother’s Keeper,” which is designed to offer opportunities to Black and Latino boys.

LeBron James.

LeBron James is not only a minority owner of the Liverpool soccer club but has also expressed interest in teaming up with soccer star David Beckham to own a Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Miami.

Perhaps no NBA player has done more to build his own personal brand then Lebron James. James has not only had large endorsement deals but he also has co-ownership  of the Liverpool soccer club in England. James is already on record as stating that he wants to become a billionaire and he appears to be on his way.  Kobe Bryant is also creating waves with his own production studio, to make films.

Magic Johnson.

Magic Johnson’s sports ownership includes being a part of the majority ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks. Johnson is also working to develop an expansion team in the MLS in the near future.

These current players seem to have taken the lead from two of the best 12 who ever graced a basketball court in Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Both Johnson and Jordan are owners of major sports teams. Johnson is the majority owner of the  group which purchased the  Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Sparks while Jordan is the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Michael Jordan.

With the recent increase of his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets to 89%, Michael Jordan has had his personal value evaluated at over $1 billion.

Jordan and Johnson are phenomenal businessmen who provide a template for their contemporaries and future NBA stars, while sending the message that it is important to value themselves as professional commodities beyond the game of basketball. The example set by Jordan, Johnson, Hill, Weber and the current player-entrepreneurs is a strong reminder that it is important to prepare for life after basketball. Their examples offer a good mirror for other athletes to use and plot their future before their sports careers–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a management/employee training and benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on For business inquiries contact (646) 309–1938.

Diaspora urged to invest in Jamaica’s stock market and reap rewards

Jamaica stock exchange

Jamaica Stock Exchange

KINGSTON, Oct. 21 (JIS): Members of the Jamaican Diaspora are being encouraged to actively participate in the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) as a means of helping to drive economic growth in the country.

“The Diaspora presents a wonderful opportunity to help the development of the country by investing in Jamaica through the stock exchange,” said JSE Chairman Allan Lewis, while addressing a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday, October 8. “To the extent that we can convince those living outside of the country to invest in Jamaica, the stock exchange stands ready to facilitate such investments,”  Lewis said.

Jamaica stock exchange

Jamaica Stock Exchange Index comparison.

He noted that the JSE, for its part, has a unique role to play by facilitating the transfer of savings to productive enterprises in the country.  Speaking of the ease with which people can now manage investments on the JSE, Mr. Lewis said persons can use the exchange’s website to view the list of companies listed and decide where they want to invest.

Jamaica Stock Exchange Chairman Allan Lewis (c) engages in discussion with other business executives.

Jamaica Stock Exchange Chairman Allan Lewis (c) engages in discussion with other business executives.

“The beauty of the stock market today is that you don’t have to physically come to Jamaica to do so, you can stay in New York, in China wherever you are and invest, and the more persons do that the better we believe Jamaica will become,” Mr. Lewis pointed out.

In the meantime, Assistant Vice-President of Treasury and Trading at Scotia Investments Gregory Samuels said that now is the right time to invest in the stock market. Noting the recent positive reviews of the Jamaican economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Standard and Poor’s, he said there is a direct correlation with the growth of the economy and the performance of the stock exchange.

JAMAICA_STOCK_EXCHANGE_LOGO_2“We have the companies that can help to grow wealth, that can help to give local manufacturers and owners the capital they need to continue this growth… the market has been under-priced for a while, it’s about to take off, and now is the time to invest,” he added.

The JSE is celebrating 45 years of operations, providing a fair, efficient and transparent stock market to create wealth for Jamaicans–


Unemployment rate dips but blacks still struggle to find full-time jobs

Black men face a steep climb in finding well-paid jobs.

Black men face a steep climb in finding well-paid, full-time jobs, despite the decline in the unemployment numbers and the steady increase in available jobs, many of which are for part-time work.

By Carmen Glover

The October 3 report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was mixed, showing some areas that are cause for celebration, such as the creation of 248,000 jobs. But  other areas are grim, such as the high unemployment rate for blacks, which elicit feelings of profound concern.

While the figures showed a dip in the overall unemployment rate down to 5.9 percent, they also showed that the unemployment rate for African-Americans is at 11 percent, almost twice the national rate, with black men facing the greatest challenge in finding a job. Conversely, the overall unemployment rate for whites is now 5.1%, Hispanics, 6.9%, teenagers 20% and Asians 4.3%. Also, the figures showed that the participation rate for workers held steady at 62.3 percent, which means that of the entire workforce almost 40 percent of capable workers have become so discouraged that they have dropped out of the employment race.

This week Month ago Year ago
Unemployment Rate 5.9 6.1 7.3

Furthermore, the industries that showed the greatest employment gains were unchanged: healthcare, retail, professional services, business and construction, with part-time employees having a better chance of holding a job, which often has no benefits, than a college graduate who is seeking a well-paid full-time job.

The stock markets rejoiced at the news of the low unemployment figures but discouraged job seekers have become frustrated with the paucity of jobs that match their qualifications and areas of interest. Despite the dip in the unemployment rate, and the consistent period of steady job growth, more jobs are needed to enable a higher participation rate, which can only be achieved when there is a greater variety of well-paid jobs available across a broader cross-section of careers.–

Industry leaders organize day of service to promote financial literacy

Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) and Operation Hope Future (BOOF) DC have joined forces to put on a Financial Literacy Day of Service in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2014. Individuals attending the Congressional Black Caucus’ 44th Annual Legislative Conference, professionals and business owners in the Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland areas are invited to learn about how technology and money can empower a community, provide financial literacy for youth and enjoy an opportunity to network with power players.


On Wednesday, September 24, the organizations will put on activities which include an 8: 00 a.m. breakfast  to discuss money and technology. The breakfast event is billed as a  “thought-provoking panel discussion at the Microsoft Retail Store, at The Fashion Centre, Pentagon City Mall.” The discussion will feature panelists from Microsoft, government agencies and community organizations, who will talk about how technology and money can work together to make communities more financially savvy. The breakfast will be followed by a financial workshop for youth at Kenmore Middle School at 11:00 a.m.

“Nothing is more exciting than providing financial literacy for over 300 school students at Kenmore Middle school, located at 200 South Carlin Springs Road, Arlington, Virginia 22204,” said the event’s organizers. “We need 18 volunteers, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm that are passionate about depositing the seeds of financial literacy in the minds of middle school students that will grow into financially savvy minority professionals. Banking on Our Future (BOOF) – DC will provide training and financial literacy curriculum to all volunteers.”


The day will conclude with a Green Carpet networking reception at 5:30 p.m. at Washington DC’s newest financial institution, Premara Bank. Premara Bank Office is . located at 1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Branch, Washington, DC 20004.

The Economic Evolution of Our Future Selves

Operation HOPE’S Banking on Our Future (BOOF) program educates youth ages 9 to 18 at no cost to school districts and community-based organizations, with a focus on urban, underserved communities. The Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC), formerly known as the National Association of Urban Bankers (NAUB), is an organization of minority professionals in the financial services industry and related fields. Affiliation with UFSC offers a unique opportunity to influence the shape of the banking and financial services industries

For more information or questions, please email or contact Ditu Kasuyi at

VP Records’ pop-up exhibit makes debut at recent jerk festival


Jerk Festival patron examines the VP Records exhibit.

Jerk Festival patron examines the VP Records exhibit designed by Michael Thompson.–Ajamu Myrie Photo.

By Tiffany Mea

2014 marks the 35th anniversary when VP Records’ founders Vincent and his wife Patricia Chin moved their headquarters from Kingston, Jamaica to Jamaica, New York,- transforming their operations into the largest reggae company worldwide. The label celebrated with a special pop-up exhibit that debuted Sunday,July 20, at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival 2014. The festival attracted over 15,000 patrons this year in Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY, and the VP Records 35th Anniversary launch event was among the main attractions.

Ribbon cutting

VP Records Co-founder Patrician Chin (c), surrounded by family and supporters,  cuts ribbon to launch the company’s  35th anniversary pop-up exhibit. –Ajamu Myrie Photo.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off at 2 p.m. VP Records Co-Founder Patricia Chin gathered with family and friends as media and fans caught the first glimpse of the historical feature, designed by Michael Thompson. Inside was an exclusive photo exhibit by Ajamu Myrie, documenting Jamaican reggae culture, an illustrative map exploring the global impact of the genre in every continent and a timeline covering each era, beginning in 1958 when the Chins established Randy’s Record Mart and Studio 17 in Kingston, Jamaica.

patc chin

Patricia Chin with Grace Jerk Festival Founder Eddy Edwards.-Ajamu Myrie Photo.

In a roped off area of the exhibit, Mrs. Chin debuted a short documentary video for the press. From ska to rocksteady, roots reggae to dub, lover’s rock to dancehall, VP Records has been at the forefront of Jamaica’s musical evolution. The video which was narrated by Sirius XM reggae personality Pat McKay, revealed the social and political history of Jamaican music and explained how VP Records is a key contributor to its growth, development and future.


A large crowd awaits performances by Maxi Priest and Etana at the Jerk Festival.-Ajamu Myrie Photo.

The label plans to take this traveling exhibit into other markets throughout the rest of the year, including Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival in Florida. More details will be announced at a later date. For more information contact–

Registration deadline looms for Silicon Harlem conference


New York, NY (July 22, 2014): Early registration for Silicon Harlem’s inaugural conference is approaching its August 15 deadline. Silicon Harlem, the pioneering group dedicated to transforming Harlem in to a technology hub, will present its inaugural Silicon Harlem Conference on Thursday, October 16 in Harlem, New York at My Image Studios (MIST), 46 West 116th Street. The title of the conference will be “Show Your Love” for technology, film, video games, apps, Harlem and more.

clayton Banks

Clayton Banks, business executive, is a co-executive producer of Silicon Harlem.

The event is a one-day interactive conference on how to transform Harlem into a technology and innovation hub. Inspirational speakers and leaders from software engineering, digital film and art, video game development, broadcast and video, graphic design, mobile and more will share actionable insights about technology, practical skill building, new creative techniques and business innovation that impacts the Harlem community. The event will also feature keynote speakers such as telecommunications expert and technology visionary Larry Irving, whose company The Mobile Alliance for Global Good” is using mobile devices to solve global problems.

“The Silicon Harlem Conference brings together the brightest and most creative minds in the industry to discuss ways to best serve our freelance, startup and anchored businesses and institutions,” said Clayton Banks, co-executive producer of Silicon Harlem. “We’re excited to have so many great people sharing their experience and setting Harlem on the path to thrive in the innovation economy.”

Technology expert Larry Irving will speak at the conference.

Technology expert Larry Irving will speak at the conference.

Silicon Harlem is a social venture focused on growing the technology sector in Harlem. The Silicon Harlem pillars include Gigabit infrastructure, Monthly Meet-ups and an annual conference to galvanize the community, provide opportunities in STEM education for the youth in the community, and collaborate with electives, stakeholders and the investment community to bolster business opportunities in Harlem. Learn more at

The conference will be held at MIST in Harlem and includes a welcome breakfast, networking breaks, luncheon and an appreciation reception. For details, please visit questions about registration, contact Katrina Monroe at or visit the Conference website. For sponsorship information, contact Von Joseph, at–

Scholarship opportunities available for students with UFSC


By Ditu Kasuyi

The Urban Financial Services Coalition (UFSC) is trying to find 30 of the nation’s brightest, motivated and highly intelligent high school and college students to participate in the nation’s most unique, exciting and challenging leadership development program for young people – the MARK I (MI) UFSC Emerging Leaders – National Apprentice Challenge (See attachment).

The MARK I Emerging Leaders – National Apprentice Challenge is a one-year group business competition that focuses on the development of critical foundational management and leadership skills through an intensive five-day leadership program. The components of this program include personal development and management issue oriented seminars, developmental heat through an apprentice style group competition and the opportunity to apply the skills learned through the completion of a challenging community action task.

The MARK I program will take place from June 1 through June 7, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Activities for the MARK I program will take place at the Club Quarters Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

The MARK I program promises to make the young people stand out from the crowd and the cost is only $625 That’s right only $625. This registration fee covers the hotel room for 8 days and seven nights. UFSC will be covering the cost of facilitators, program materials, post conference webinars/tele-seminars, learning materials, breakfast and lunch and other cost associated with administrating such a dynamic leadership program. Only the UFSC can deliver a year-long leadership develop program such a low price. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation to Chicago, Illinois.

Interested students are asked to complete the attached application and return it to the UFSC national office by May 30, 2014, or Click Here to Register online. If you should have any questions, or need additional information, please contact Melanie Lee at or me 804-651-7739/Email–