The Highlight Reel
You might know me as a former NBA athlete. During my 12-year career as a pro athlete, I played for the Vancouver Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Sacramento Kings. I was also a member of the U.S. Olympics Men’s Basketball Team that won gold in 2000.
Today, I’m the President of the NBA’s G League, a philanthropist, and an entrepreneur.
My lesser-known, but most important, roles are as husband to Delicia, father to Jabri and Samiyah, as well as a man of faith, community builder, and an advocate for athletes.
Why advocate for athletes? Athletics has opened doors to many incredible opportunities in my life and taught me priceless life lessons. I’m paying it forward.
My purpose is helping others, and I’m committed to sharing what I’ve learned with you—athletes, parents of athletes, and business professionals.
But first, I invite you to read more of my story and learn about what matters most to me—family, faith, and community.
My parents kept me grounded and humble from the start, and being one of 12 siblings has a way of helping a kid keep things in perspective. It was never just about me.
I grew up in Metro Atlanta’s East Point and attended struggling public schools, along with my siblings. At age 6, I came across a flyer from a community center and joined the basketball team.
Of course, I had no idea at the time how far the sport would take me, but I enjoyed the game, teamwork, and discipline.
While our East Point community was tight-knit, it was lacking in resources. My parents set an example—my mom always had her arms wide open to others, and my dad was always working to build up the community.
A Turning Point
In 1996, I was studying sociology and playing college basketball at the University of California, Berkeley, when I had the opportunity to enter the NBA draft.
I looked to my parents for guidance and support, as I made this decision. There was never any pressure or expectation from them to be anything other than me.
I decided to enter the NBA draft and was the third overall pick.
Imagine being 19 years old and sitting in the Nike boardroom, or in a team owner’s office. It was surreal.
Over 18 years as a pro athlete, I got a behind-the-scenes education in the inner workings of professional sports that ignited my passion for business and marketing.
I paired that real-life experience with completing my sociology degree while at UC Berkeley and later earning my MBA from the University of Southern California (USC).
The next big turning point in my career came in 2014 when I retired from pro basketball. I asked myself, “Now what?”
Transitioning from pro athlete to executive forced me to rebrand myself, and the lessons I learned then have applied to every major transition since.
True Measure of Success
Giving back to the community is part of who I am—whether it was delivering Thanksgiving meals to Atlanta families with my dad, or assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
I wanted to help underserved youth and families in Atlanta gain access to the valuable resources and opportunities that I knew were lacking in the community. So I founded the Future Foundation in 2001, which serves 1,500 Atlanta youth and families living in poverty each year—totaling over 20,000 individuals impacted and counting.
My philanthropic work, as well as my work in sharing my message, circles back to my parents, who taught me that the true measure of success is in your character and giving back. That’s at my core, and I’m proud to set that example now for my own kids.
The greatest achievement in anyone’s life is the person you become. It’s not the awards and accolades you receive, but who you are and what you’ve done to help others that matters.