During the process of writing SAME NAME DIFFERENT GAME, I have come into contact with people that have inspired me. I see what they are doing to improve the lives of athletes, whether those athletes are still playing, or about to transition to their after-playing days. I did an interview the other day with two ladies (shout-out coming) that are doing impressive things. Towards the end of the interview, I commented that what they are doing for building a sense of community for athletes, in general, was unheard of when I was playing. I believe that it can be a powerful tool for generations to come. If they can inspire this old-head with their ideas, then their work is planting seeds. Now I would like to give a quick shout-out to those that have inspired me and say thanks!
Taj Dashaun was one of the first people I reached out to on social media about my book and right away he helped me out with some questions I had. He wrote a book called Thrive After Sports that is about helping athletes make a smooth transition after their sports career. I have a copy and it is an excellent read. Another person I reached out to was Jori Davis. Being a current basketball player in Greece, I asked her opinion about the women’s side during my research for my book. Not only is she a baller, but is one of the CEOs of WEVOLV along with Toccara Renee. Those are the ladies I had the conversation with the other day. WEVOLV is dedicated to connecting athletes and exploring options for the community of those athletes. I look forward to their future projects! Marv Fox Jr. is someone that I ran into during an online meeting through WEVOLV and we just clicked right away. He is my go-to motivational speaker at the moment and his work is based on people fulfilling their purpose in life. Carlon Brown is doing fantastic things with Pointadvising. He gives a wealth of information, tailor made for European ballers. He is doing similar things as what I have planned but that doesn’t matter to me. Everyone has their own story to tell and in their way. I am proud of what he is doing because I believe his message is only for the benefit of the next generations of players. I am glad my voice isn’t the only one being raised to inform and help athletes.
Kyle Hines is someone that I have never reached out to personally, but I see from afar what he is doing as one of the founding members of the Euroleague Players Association. The work he and his fellow players is doing will have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the European leagues in the future. And lastly, giving those who aspire to play professional basketball an alternative to having an agent. I met Brad Kanis through social media but it turns out we are both SUU T-Birds. He broke my school record for blocks in a game (I will never forgive him for that!) He is building extraordinary things in Valencia for players looking to play professionally without an agent. His player exposure camp Europrobasket is rapidly growing and has signed over 180 players to professional contracts without the use of agents. Alen Ruovac and his Strsljen Sports Management also help those who do not go the “traditional” route. Since 2013 his company has helped over 255 players obtain contracts. I do not know Alen personally but what I have seen from him, he keeps things real and does not seem to sugarcoat the trials and tribulations of European basketball and that is what made me take a closer look at what he is doing. Hopefully, someone will look back and say I inspired them just as these men and women are doing for me now!
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!