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From the Executive Producer/Film Director’s Chair It’s Time to Make a Difference... For the Love of the Game, Brand, and Culture Bring on the Thunder One Athlete’s Experience of Life’s Firsts, Transitions, and Memories Remember the NBA Pro Who’s Still Leaving Legacies

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Fish Talk Peer to Peer Athlete Education A Team Effort: Improving Financial Literacy NBA Players Pursuing International Careers: A Tax Perspective Street Team Clarify Your Priorities and Uncover More Hours in Your Day AAU Champion or NBA Champion? YOU Decide! Beyond the Game Film’s College Tour Begins with the Bulls BOOK REVIEW: Forces of Character: Conversations About Building A Life of Impact Branded Entertainment: Athletes in Film Bad Money Habits to Break in 2019 A Jeweler’s Brilliance Beyond Bling Self-Leadership: Learning to Embody Confidence, Decisiveness, and Trust Finding Net Worth in Networking 4 Mistakes NBA Players Should Avoid Before Retiring The Victors Valiant What is a Brand Investment℠? Athletes’ Stories Making a Difference By The Time You Figure It Out, You’ll Be Out of the Game or Too Old to Play Professional Athletes and the Importance of Building Your Financial Runway The Evolution of an MLB Athlete Tax-Free Long-Term Care Cover photo courtesy of University of Texas at Austin

STREET TEAM “I remember being seven and picking up a basketball. I can still remember that smell There’s a legacy that the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and all of us involved in this sport are part of and we need to preserve it at its highest level.” ~ Jerry Colangelo, “the godfather of basketball” interviewed in the Beyond the Game film. 4






FISH TALK Mentorship and peer-to-peer education are important gifts to give in order for us to grow and thrive. It’s a way to give back from those with experience to those that want to follow a similar path; it can light the way and provide valuable advice, hints, and tips for our peers that can benefit from the experience of others. Mentorship is a word that has been used to mean different things. For me, it is as simple as an on-going exchange between individuals, which allows for one to support the development of another. It is less about deliberate influence, or “power over” another, and more about accompaniment, or “empowerment”. Peer-to-peer (P2P) education embodies mentorship, and vice versa. While constantly learning from each other for many years, Rebound has proudly highlighted players, programs and services by shedding light on the fantastic things that professional athletes bring to the table. We learn through positive examples of success, and learn even more through past mistakes and failures. These successes and failures are all an important part of our process of improvement and betterment. Each of us, by striving for and reaching the pinnacle of our sport, bring value through our experiences. These experiences need to be shared, examined, deciphered, and brought to the table for others to learn from. A better understanding of the challenges ahead will help everyone navigate the perils that hinder us from reaching our goals: wealth, fame and a legacy of success. We have all succeeded in the sport we love—now it’s time to use our collective knowledge—to find ways to mentor, teach, and inspire each other, and pave for the way for those that will follow us. Rebound and Beyond the Game have collaborated to lead a movement of mentorship and peer-to-peer education. With a college tour in the works for this spring, your help is needed. Beyond the Game is a full-length documentary film that shares the positive attributes of sports. Through personal and up-close interviews, pro athletes from different sports around the world discuss needs and issues that commonly arise in regard to professional athletes. This is your invitation to get involved; help others reach what you have already achieved, and celebrate their successes!



production since the summer of 2015, Silverlight Films’ crews and I have captured intimate interviews with over 150 professional athletes in 80 locations around the world to produce the full-length documentary, Beyond the Game. Athletes were interviewed from every sport ranging from the NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and MLS to the Olympics and a host of others. The players in the NBA and WNBA, current and former, as well as team owners, coaches, advisors, NBPA and NBA executive staff—even Euroleague basketball—play a major role in the film. Additionally, we interviewed student athletes and educators looking at the earlier stages of the evolution of the world’s highest performing athletes. A cutting edge creative and technical team from around the globe has shot in a 4K-8K immersive and cinematically stunning format edited for the giant screen, broadcast, Video on Demand (VOD) and other distribution sources. The ninety-minute film is not only being distributed with these commercial sources internationally but will also be shown, in a sixty-minute version, on a college tour at over 60 schools. As part of our outreach, many of the film screenings on college and university campuses will be accompanied by current and former professional athletes as panelists, speakers and moderators of discussions and forums. Over 300 hours of footage not used in the primary documentary will also be repurposed for Peer to Peer programs for student athletes, current athletes and retired athletes transitioning and preparing for each stage. Also covered are the student athletes, who for the most part, are preparing for careers and a life outside of their sports as opposed to pro sports. The messages conveyed by those in the film, although affiliated with sports, are universal to all audiences with the athlete ambassadors leading the underlying movement for change. Never-before-told stories, in their own words, and covering subjects most frequently ignored by popular media—these current and former athletes, share insights into their transitions. The film dispels myths, clarifies what the athletes really want you to hear, shares never-before-told stories, provides answers to questions rarely asked, and heightens the awareness of the life of an athlete, during his or her sport and beyond. We are now in preparation to release the film and I’m honored to share glimpses of what’s to come before the big reveal. Included in this Special Edition of Rebound Magazine are only a mere sampling—a tip of the iceberg—of what you will see in the film’s release, peer to peer education and outreach. We further included in this issue of Rebound articles from selected advisors and consultants to athletes for the added knowledge and background on some of the subjects discussed by the athletes in the film. I encourage you to reach out, volunteer or apply for our posted outreach positions, sign up at our website, keep in touch, come to one of our red-carpet premieres and join us. For current and former athletes, Beyond the Game will be a cornerstone and together, we. can change the game for future generations of athletes. Susan Sember Executive Producer/Film Director Silverlight Films Malibu, California






REBOUND MAGAZINE PUBLISHER/CEO Matthew Fish ART DIRECTOR Kate Tressler SPECIAL EDITION: BEYOND THE GAME EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/FILM DIRECTOR Susan Sember LITERARY STRATEGIST Anna Weber WRITERS Susan Sember Anna Weber Ben Kim Angela C. Waugaman Athena P. Constantinou Rob Walker Rachel Revill Tim Adams John O’Reilly Andrew Meyer Carlos Dias, Jr. Bill Hettling Bruce J. Weinstein George Scott, Jr. Dr. Crystal Gifford Rodd Newhouse Matt Dodge Matt LaPorta Jonathan Miller SALES EDITORIAL ADVERTISE © SPORTS MEDIA MARKETING LLC 3317 S. Higley Road, Ste 114-224 Gilbert, Arizona 85297 P 480-586-6941 WWW.REBOUNDMAGAZINE.COM

REBOUND is a trademark of Sports Media Marketing, LLC

Social Media Street Team Brand Ambassadors Athlete Panelists & Speakers for College Tour Film Screenings and Other Events To apply for these compensated positions, go to or email

PEER-TO-PEER ATHLETE EDUCATION By: Ben Kim A Beyond the Game Street Team Member The Beyond the Game project, separate and apart from the film, has captured hundreds of hours of footage for use in effective and meaningful Peer to Peer Athlete Education. Seeing firsthand the tremendous need for financial literacy education, life skills, career development, transition assistance and more, we have collaborated with a great number of athletes, universities, players’ associations and others on the interviews for Beyond the Game. However, separate from the finished film, we are, additionally, committed to a platform of continuing education on these topics accessible by the athletes, whatever stage in life, created from the massive content of Beyond the Game. Documentary filmmaking is footage intensive. Substantial footage is required to create a feature length documentary project such as Beyond the Game. That being said, we are committed to utilizing all of the great footage we’ve captured, maximizing the assets not used in the film, for Peer-to-Peer Education.

Peer-to-Peer education is perceived as a credible source of assistance. It helps: •

Empower participants to help themselves;

Transfer firsthand knowledge;

Provide learning opportunities for role-modeling;

Reframe negative perceptions; and

Foster personal development opportunities.

Student athlete to student athlete or pro athlete to pro athlete sharing of information, mentorship and guidance is at the core of change and success. Likewise, vetted trusted advisors, industry experts, service providers and others outside an athlete’s sport are vital to join in and support that same education of athletes—no matter what the stage: student; rookie; pro athlete; retired athlete; and others choosing alternative careers outside of sports. Join us in this mission and contact us if you’d like to learn more or be a part of our Peer-toPeer education initiative. WWW.REBOUNDMAGAZINE.COM | WWW.BEYONDTHEGAME.COM


Photos courtesy of University of Texas at Austin



heart of a filmmaker is filled with passion and stories. It is that passion that fuels us to share and use our art to make a difference. As a seasoned filmmaker, I can rival the fireside tales of cowboys and the seaside accounts of sailors. Yet, it’s in the honor and responsibility to share truly authentic stories for which I strive in every story so that a person's legacy lives on and a lasting impact made in each one. The journey of the “why” in every film project I have is always a personal one.

The Beyond the Game film production spanned a little under four years. As its executive producer and director, I traversed the world filming over 150 athletes and others associated with their sports. The stories of these athletes are intimate, open and compelling. They dispel all the myths projected by negative media and I appreciated every athlete, location and subject. But one of my 10


most emotional and moving experiences and the purposeful additional discovery of my “why” was when I returned to my alma mater, the University of Michigan. Like a dog with a bone for almost four years, I looked for an opportunity and contemplated a way to get back to Ann Arbor to film in the land of Maize and Blue. The Michigan memorabilia in my office continually reminded me, "What about us?" The University of Michigan certainly has a worldwide brand of excellence. However, I needed the connection, the angle, and the stories. Never motivated by commercial appeal and prestige of the association, vetting those in my film was always tops in the list of my considerations for interview inclusions, only featuring the best ambassadors for my desired messages. I wanted to film my alma mater as a tribute, an expression

of gratitude, a way to share the seeds that had inspired me so many years ago to work in a lifelong purpose for change. Law and then film became my platform to advocate, persuade, inspire and engage in a call to action. A change in sports, student-athlete programs, financial literacy, attitudes about service to others, and changing the misperceptions about, athletes, all factors in pursuing Beyond the Game. There were also stories to tell to honor the athletes’ authenticity, their value beyond the sport, and contributions in business, philanthropy and social change. There was further in the filming… the hundreds of hours of footage for the benefits attached to Peer to Peer Education. A mentor once told me that being a documentary filmmaker gives you access to go anywhere in the world and meet anyone you want to meet and after 20 years as one, I can emphatically say he's

absolutely right. Presidents of countries, every celebrity imaginable, Nobel Peace Prize winners— and trips ranging from great white shark habitats in South Africa to jungles of the Amazon are my norms. Arm a former lawyer turned producer/ director with camera crews and you have unlimited potential to champion a worthy cause… and here I was in my latest endeavor with a project with enough footage to run a series for years. However, the girl from Michigan—the one that walked every Football Saturday to "The Big House,” sat in the largest stadium in the country, sitting amongst the 100,000 plus fans and then during basketball season and feeling in the time-steeped traditions in "The House that Cazzie Built" (Crisler Center)—wanted to "go back to Michigan—to dear Ann Arbor town." Hearing that song line over and over in my head, it had to happen. In considering pro athletes to interview for the film, I looked immediately at their bios, "Any connection to Michigan? THE Michigan?" I heard Coach Jim Harbaugh shouting, “Who’s better than us? NOOOBODY!” and the ghost of Bo Schembechler chanting, “The Team, The Team, The Team.”

I heard University of South Florida President, Dr. Judy Genshaft state in her film interview that “Student Athletics are the front porch to a university” and thought, likewise aren’t sports the same so often with the world? The bond and pride of former Dallas Cowboy, film interviewee, Chad Hennings, expressed having a unique connection with Coach Gregg Popovich—both who are part of the service driven "fraternity" of the United States Air Force Academy. Hearing his description also struck a chord in my core values… resonating, like theirs, back to my roots and a lifelong passion to serve, fostered before and after my university days. During the production and thousands of miles of travel, I was blessed to interview the legends, the Hall of Fame inductees, the "A listers" that every fan would love to meet. I was filmed at every infamous pro sport venue, national championship and high demand ticketed event one would desire. But my heart kept whispering, "You need to go back to Ann Arbor. You've been to numerous great universities to film their athletes, their pro athlete alums and dedicated athletic directors, coaches and educators for Beyond the Game, yet it's simply unfathomable to even think of making

such make a film without Michigan." I was getting closer to the realization. While filming at the 2016 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction, I encountered Jalen Rose, one of Michigan's Fab Five. What a class act and role model! Continuing through the production, I interviewed pro NFL players who were former Michigan Wolverines—but most were on the road at their games, team practices, relocated away from Michigan or ensconced in their businesses and nonprofits… and like me—years since they had walked the Ann Arbor campus many years ago. I met the wonderful C. J. Kupec, a distinguished Wolverine (1972-1975), at last year's filming during the NBA All Star weekend in Los Angeles. I enjoyed hearing about his studentathlete days, playing on Michigan’s football and basketball teams and meeting his beautiful daughter, also a former student-athlete. That following March, this Michigander transplanted twenty years ago to California and definitely going through Maize and Blue withdrawal, I fortuitously was filming in San Antonio during the Final Four. Having the opportunity to just once be a fan

I saw the deep pride of the alumni and greats like NFL Hall of Fame Floyd Little, while filming at Syracuse University for Beyond the Game and loved hearing about his mentoring, specifically, of the women's basketball team there. Heading to Texas, I thought, “Wow Susan—and you thought Wolverine fans loved football—there are 6,000 people here at a Friday night high school football game”! It was the best in a local community’s pride for a school and the support of their athletes. I interviewed that school district's Executive Athletic Director, who oversees 14,000 studentathletes and 500 coaches. The program is creating athletes who come together in a culture of servant leadership preparing them for adulthood at the best level. Those middle and high school students come back, continuing to assist in a way that one would expect that only loyal college grads do. I interviewed countless pro athletes with strong ties to their alma mater, deeper than their pro team associations, and witnessed firsthand the power of their individual brands in co-collaboration with their universities and communities to pay it forward. Numerous times, these pro athletes showed up wearing their alma mater’s colors and logo embellished ties. Their names were on buildings at the colleges I visited—as donors of those new installations, scholarships and endowments made, in their names… often anonymously. WWW.REBOUNDMAGAZINE.COM | WWW.BEYONDTHEGAME.COM


instead of a filmmaker, I saw Michigan in the Championship final game. Albeit Michigan lost to Villanova, I didn't realize, at the time, the orchestration of events that would lead me to see two quality rookies on each team that night and to reconnect in another film production trip on the project. This past summer while filming interviews related to the NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas, my next close encounters occurred. Matt Fish, former NBA player, and Rebound Magazine founder, as well as good friend and I were near the players' tunnel leading into a court at the Thomas Mack Center. I was anticipating a scheduled film interview with former Villanova player (newly to the Phoenix Suns) Mikal Bridges. While waiting for Bridges and watching the G League Game, I felt a tap on my shoulder from Fish saying, "Hey look who's behind us! Want to meet Mo Wagner?" Not one to ever be star struck or mesmerized by celebrity (I've met countless over the last 20 years), I yelled like a groupie at a rock concert, “Heck yeah!”. Because Mo loves Michigan in the same way I do , deeply values his former university coach and all that Michigan represents, while continuing to cheer for the Wolverines now as a Los Angeles Laker, I was thrilled. What a fun chat Matt and I had with Mo, then newly drafted. It seemed like I was getting close to being Ann Arbor bound. But time was ticking, the project was going into post-production. I earlier spoke with a gentleman at the University of Michigan, Brian Townsend, Class of ’91, through an initial search on LinkedIn. I decided to reconnect in a last attempt. I was now coming full circle in a way I never imagined. At Michigan, as a Radio, TV, and Film major, I interviewed studentathletes for university television program and classes. Yet, did I ever envision making a sports film, called Beyond the Game? No. I became totally immersed in the practice of law for many years. My practice, however, opened doors and a passion for sports and entertainment clients. I engaged in a lot of pro bono work for artists and observed the unique challenges and opportunities the sports and arts industries present to those involved. I loved the law but felt called to do something else; something more. Twenty years ago, I transitioned from a full-time law practice to direct and produce films and established my own production company. Now the thought of going back to Michigan where it all began, the day that decision to change majors from pre-law/ political science to television and film seemed to be pre-destined. Speaking with Brian Townsend, the Director of Student Athlete Leadership Development and Community Engagement, I knew I had found the man who could make my dream shoot in Ann Arbor happen. Brian, as a former NFL player, former assistant high school and university basketball coach, and the prior director of Basketball Operations, participating in the resurgence of Michigan Basketball under Coach John Beilein, immediately recognized my Michigan pride—and our shared purpose and desire to use this film to rouse—not only fellow current or former pro-athletes, but to share mentorship and guidance from these pros to inspire, influence and mold student athletes into lifelong leaders. 12


Cutting through the sometimes-daunting protocols of filming at a university, Brian got permission in record time to interview insightful and dynamic student athletes—all who readily shared their sage advice and unending experiences to enlighten, impact, and motivate our audiences. Brian also delivered the ultimate dream locations in "The Big House" and others I hadn't seen or re-visited since I graduated. The awe I experienced being back in the renovated stadium and the Crisler Center were reigniting my earlier memories. The walks down State Street during the Ann Arbor visit, the rooftop views from my hotel overlooking the campus, and watching the students with their parents during Sunday restaurant breakfasts, were rich and purposeful. While in college, the last Michigan student football player I interviewed for my Radio, TV, and Film program was Les Miles, now a coach at Kansas— and the last basketball player, Rickey Green. Yet, here I was now looking at student athlete audiences while planning an accompanying college tour of the film. I was even inspired further by these fabulous student-athletes at the University of Michigan. and in them, I found an even greater passion, more inspiration, and an even larger desire to give back more to my alma mater. The student-athletes, including captains of teams, among others, kept me smiling and leaning in to hear their words throughout. They had the idealist spirit of youth with all the hopes and dreams I recalled having there. Similarly, those plans were grounded in a strong and cultivated culture of hard work, sacrifice, and unselfish service. The mentoring I did those days, in between film shoots with these student and the mentoring I continue to do, in follow up, with these Michigan students are some of the best days now.

My film, Beyond the Game, additionally gives the athletes in the documentary and I yet another platform to mentor. As I listened to these Michigan studentathletes and conversed with Brian Townsend, I thought, If these studentathletes are our future leaders, the world is a great place. This is my why… MY "WHY" DROVE ME TO MAKE BEYOND THE GAME; I TRAVELED THOUSANDS OF MILES, LABORED OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARS; I SOUGHT OUT LIKE-MINDED CURRENT AND FORMER PRO ATHLETES TO SHARE THEIR STORIES; I MADE THIS FILM AND AM DRIVEN THAT IT BECOME AND IS BECOMING, MORE THAN A FILM BUT A MOVEMENT. Michigan's known for "the leaders and the best." Through this great institution, you are told that you can become a victor for the greater good, transform lives, shape the world, and make great things happen. This becomes part of your DNA. In my own way, using my resources, art, abilities, and a platform in film, it came full circle—to honor and include my alma mater, as a personal homage, on the international stage as one of the “players” in Beyond the Game. Sometimes, we innately know our “why,” but it evolves and refines along the journey. The momentum picks up, the passion is stirred, and the realization is there that this is your purpose.



The University of Texas at Austin (UT), along with others, and in collaboration with Matthew McConaughey, has embarked on a such a venture. UT and a group led by the Oak View Group (OVG) will build a world-class arena on campus that will be home to Texas Men’s and Women’s basketball games and other events. It is expected to be opened in 2021. McConaughey is part of an innovative 35-year agreement with those parties to provide groundbreaking standards in college athletics and provide a public benefit for the City of Austin for decades to come. The $338 million venue will be constructed on land wholly owned by UT without using any university or public money. UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said, “The arena will provide for an unforgettable UT basketball experience and represent the best of our university.” The 10,000-seat arena will provide an intimate, stateof-the-art men's and women's Longhorn basketball fan experience and features student seating surrounding the court. Much like how the Erwin Center currently operates, the new venue will be a prime location for the university, campus, and community. This is a truly wonderful opportunity for The University of Texas, our basketball programs and the City of Austin," said UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte. "We're building one of the nation's finest arenas that will provide an awesome home court advantage for our men's and women's basketball programs. "There are very few brands as dominant and as wellknown as The University of Texas and the Longhorns. This is a rare opportunity to be partners with one of the greatest academic institutions in the world, UT, and to build a world-class arena for one of the world's greatest emerging market—Austin," said Tim Leiweke, chief executive officer of OVG.” Many people are called to take up a torch for change. Recently, I learned of Academy Awardwinning Matthew McConaughey becoming the "Minister of Culture" at the University of Texas at Austin for its men's and women's basketball teams. McConaughey, a huge supporter and fan of a number of pro teams, often seen courtside, and as an advocate for youth sports and development. However, he has once again become visible in a way that may become one of the finest accomplishments in his own personal legacy. An Oscar, like a trophy, is a crowning jewel in a legacy, but it is our families, our communities, and our service that defines us. Matthew McConaughey has found another “why” with the University of Texas. As the “Minister of Culture,” at his alma mater, he’s leading the charge with the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Seen courtside at the games, participating with the team in time-outs listening intently to Coach Shaka Smart , pumping up the players in the men’s team’s locker room and encouraging the Longhorn athletes and fans to rise, his zeal to make a difference is contagious. With similar parallels of alumni pride, love for our universities, support of student-athletes, and our teams and communities, there’s a vehicle for all to come together to utilize any resources possible—where financial, brands and partnerships make a difference. 14


Merging passionate alumni with innovative sports, university, business and community leaders to benefit student athletes and our culture of all athletes... in my opinion is a critical component, based on the interviews I conducted in the film. I’m also proud of the current and former pro athletes championing the culture that needs to start early and continue in each transition of an athlete’s life. The University of Michigan, like the University of Texas in Austin, have brands that are far more than the distinctive colors, the mascots, and the thousands of sports events tickets sold. Their brands are the heart and soul of their culture…and all of the students, current and former athletes, alums and communities are a force of change.

Photos courtesy of University of Texas at Austin "It's time to raise the bar. It's time to excel, on the court and in the stands. It's time for an authentic home court advantage for our Longhorn basketball teams. It's time for a choice experience for our fans. It's time to be a preferred venue for headliners from across the globe. It's time for quality, success, and victories for the Longhorns and for Austin. It's time for the big show. It's time. Hook ‘em, " said McConaughey. The eloquent and passionate words of McConaughey sums it up. It's time; time for the culture of leaders, current and former athletes, student-athletes, coaches, academic institutions, team owners, and communities to come together. It is time to make a difference, in whatever way, we as individuals and collectively, as sports fans and community members can do so. Sports is a place that can unite us in these divisive times. It's a platform of leadership, inspiration, and change. CONSIDER JOINING US… Join the movement behind Beyond the Game at https://; Join your alma mater to encourage and support programs for student athletes and the student body, as a whole, in leadership, financial literacy, life skills, entrepreneurship, community service, social activism and career development; Join current and former pro-athletes in Peer to Peer Education in support of opportunities to mentor, guide, lead and make a difference. As Matthew McConaughey states, “It’s time!” Susan Sember Executive Producer/Film Director Silverlight Films | Malibu, CA GO BLUE!

STREET TEAM "My job as a coach goes far beyond guiding these students in their athletic skills. My greatest joy is helping them grow as people and in their future careers." Kim Whipple, Head Coach for the Spirit Team, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, former NBA Seattle Sonics dance team captain in #collegecoach #studentathletes #beyondthegamefilm#tamucc #islanders #islandersspirit @islanderriptideofficial @island_university



Positivity Water (missing)

A TEAM SPORT: IMPROVING FINANCIAL LITERACY The Definition of Financial Literacy is the possession of skills that allow people to make smart decisions with their money that benefits them throughout their lifetime. Financial illiteracy affects all ages and all socioeconomic levels. A social issue so significant that April is National Financial Literacy month—and has been for over ten years! Forbes Magazine ran an article last year outlining four alarming stats and felt they could be drastically improved with the right education: 1) insufficient cash reserves; 2) student loan debt; 3) credit card debt; 4) zero retirement savings. Startling facts are reflected in various articles found in Forbes, Investment News, and the U.S. Department of Education Statistics 2016-17: •

44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency.

43% of student loan borrowers are not making payments.

No one is surprised to hear that the average cost of college has increased over time at almost 6% per year.

At $1.4 trillion, Federal student loans mark the second-largest debt segment in the country.

38% of US households have Credit Card debt at an average of $16,048 @ 16.47% interest.

33% of American Adults have $0 saved for retirement.

Personal financial literacy is critical to succeed in today’s world, but study after study shows that many Americans need a deeper understanding of financial concepts. While an abundance of financial education exists, it is clearly underutilized. The simple truth is we have not made it a priority in our homes, schools, or our workplace. From school-aged kids to baby boomers, financial literacy should be a lifelong course in continuing education. Student loans, credit card debt, the feasibility of home ownership and having enough for retirement all come to mind when we think of financial

challenges. For some these might be temporary obstacles that can be overcome with sound financial management. For others, they may represent stark choices where staying above water requires sacrifice. In the true spirit of the film, Beyond the Game, Professional Athletes and student-athletes reflected on their own financial literacy, in addition to other topics in the film. Some athletes even stated that their education started with “The School of Hard Knocks.” The Media tends to single out those athletes who have gone broke and dramatize their story, yet financial hardships are not just limited to athletes. Men, women, young and old, retired or working people… many have educated and surrounded themselves with good mentors and advisors to achieve financial independence and give back to their communities to benefit others. Throughout the world, many programs are trying to advance the education of Financial Literacy. Rhonda Ashburn and Angela Waugaman have one such course that offers a comprehensive yet customizable online personal finance course at NO COST! Rhonda Ashburn leads the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF). Angela Waugaman has over fifteen years’ experience providing strategic communications counsel to management at large corporations, nonprofits, and coalitions in the financial services arena. Together they offer the benefits of responsible money management through their free financial literacy education program MoneySKILL®. To date, more than 880,000 individuals from all fifty states and several countries have used MoneySKILL®. The goal of the MoneySKILL® program, which is also available in Spanish, is to educate users on money management fundamentals and provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to make sound financial decisions while avoiding the financial pitfalls. MoneySKILL® was initially designed for teachers, which could include coaches and school administrators, but now the program has attracted the interests of parents, employers, community organizations and others. We cannot lay the responsibility for educating solely at the doorstep of any single entity. It must be a team effort-Together Everyone Accomplishes More! We must all commit to meeting this challenge, and in doing so, we will change our lives for the better in our homes, schools, and communities. Angela C. Waugaman Director of MoneySKILL® American Financial Services Association Education Foundation



U.S. BASKETBALL PLAYERS PURSUING INTERNATIONAL CAREERS: A TAX PERSPECTIVE The of the things that became clearly visible during the world-wide filming of Beyond the Game is just how many international borders are crossed in the pursuit of professional athletic careers. To understand the impact, we look at issues involved with income, residency, citizenship, and the best practices to manage taxes on an international level. In the last 25 years we have witnessed a large movement of basketball players from the U.S. to the European Basketball League and, lately, to the Chinese Basketball League; near-retirement NBA players, NCAA players who don’t get drafted in the NBA, U.S. players who use foreign leagues as a platform for a later potential recruitment by the NBA, WNBA players who supplement their income by playing overseas during offseason, and the list goes on!

DRIBBLING OUT THE TAXES Basketball players moving abroad face a number of challenges as they settle and adjust to new realities. Signing a playing contract in a foreign country comes with a new culture, a different language and the change of a team and colleagues. One of the biggest hurdles faced by athletes playing abroad however, is dealing with the tax obligations arising from their foreign playing contracts. Basketball players, as employees of sports clubs, receive salary and success bonuses which are subject to employee tax withholdings and social security contributions in the club’s home country.

WHERE IS HOME COURT? A common misconception amongst international athletes is the belief that tax obligations end by paying taxes in the country where they are employed; this is usually not the case. Athletes should be aware they may have a tax liability both in their country of citizenship (where they are from) and their country of tax residence (where they currently live and work). Tax residency in a country is usually established by one’s physical presence there, for a period of 183+ days within a calendar year. Athletes competing in team sports are taxed in their country of residence; however, when competing in a foreign country, any earnings attributable to the particular foreign country will be taxable in that country as well. Fortunately, most can take a tax credit for the foreign tax paid when filing



returns in their country of tax residence. Any endorsement income received by basketball players is taxed separately and is not subject to employee tax withholdings and contributions. To optimize the tax burden, U.S. athletes who receive sizeable amounts of endorsement revenue, usually channel the income to a personal corporation in the U.S., through which they commercially exploit their image. These entities, however, are highly scrutinized by the tax authorities, making it necessary to support a commercial substance to justify the corporation’s existence. To steer clear of any criminal charges, practices such as having offshore companies and accounts to hide commercial income, should be avoided. Also, depending on the country the revenue was generated, and the treaty maintained with the U.S., there may be a tax withholding that can be applied against any U.S. tax liability resulting from taxing the underlying income. The different ways through which countries apply taxation in terms of residency and citizenship, are: 1.

Taxing both citizens and residents on worldwide income no matter where they live (i.e. the United States);


Taxing residents on worldwide income (i.e. the United Kingdom);


Taxing citizen residents only on worldwide income and not the foreign residents of their country (non-dom tax regime);


Taxing residents only on their local source income (territorial tax system).

THE FULL-COURT PRESS ON TAXES… There are countries providing tax incentive packages to foreign sports players moving into the country. These incentive packages usually differ from the country’s standard tax regulations, like the ‘Beckham’ tax law of 2005 in Spain which allowed foreign players living and playing in Spain to be taxed at the rate of 24.75% instead of a progressive tax scale ranging from 24% to 43%. Athletes need to be aware of the tax treatment of their earnings in both their country of citizenship and country of residence. Simple things can make a big difference—like knowing International players who are US Citizens or a US green card holder, must still file a tax return in the U.S. and pay any applicable taxes on their worldwide income—despite the fact that they are playing abroad and thus, tax residents of another country. Or, that when filing a U.S. tax return, these athletes are allowed to receive a tax credit for any taxes paid abroad. And… because personal taxation rates in the United States are quite high, in many instances will create an additional U.S. personal tax liability.

STREET TEAM It’s More Than a Film—It’s a Movement!

Athletes should maintain full tax records when playing abroad; pay slips, earnings statements, proof of tax payments, and invoices of any playing related expenses. Proper record-keeping makes it easier for their CPA to do proper tax planning and legitimately minimize their tax liability. An understanding of the tax treatment of their contracts and the allocation of the resulting tax burden is helpful to players during contract negotiations with clubs. For example: a common practice with team athletes playing in Europe is to have social security contributions and income taxes arising from the contract paid by the clubs and the athletes paid an agreed upon net amount.

IS IT CHERRY-PICKING OR RUN AND GUN? The complexity of tax systems take a heavy toll on sports professionals competing internationally. A lot of preventive planning has to be done from the athletes’ part to optimize their overall taxation and remain tax compliant wherever they compete. It is vital for U.S. basketball players moving into the international arena, to get help from an experienced tax consultant who will advise them on taking a “best interest” approach to the tax obligations arising from foreign sports contracts. After all, when it comes to tax compliance, the final responsibility and liability lies with the player and no one else! By: Athena P. Constantinou, MBA, CPA, CGMA, CFEI Managing Director of APC Sports Consulting Ltd E-mail:

Are you wondering about all those little short, blocked in comments spread throughout the magazine? Great! That’s what we wanted to achieve – the kind of curiosity that shows how powerful and prolific our Street Team is and can be—and to inspire you to join in! We shared a sampling for our social media so you will have an idea of some of the interview quotes in the film, as well, as the Instagram and Twitter posts you can have access to as a follower and more “insider information” as a Street Team member or Brand Ambassador. We are looking for more people join our team of allies; a beta crew of supporters who are passionate to build momentum for greater change… changes in the misconceptions about professional sports figures, the ties between sports and education, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and branding, community service and leadership. The film stories show the difference these athletes have made, and continue to make in our communities, and at many levels, the world at large. Can you see yourself as a Social Media Team Member, a Brand Ambassador? Are you an athlete who would be excited to participate as a panelist or speaker to accompany our film and be at its special theatrical screenings, the film presentations during our college tour, red-carpet premieres and other Beyond the Game events? If so, you may also be interested to know these are compensated positions for which you can apply at our site or by sending an email, expressing your interest to It’s more than a film. It’s a movement.



andice Dupree and Rob Walker so clearly represent the stellar quality of professional athletes— and those who support their efforts. In Beyond the Game, you will see a rather humble man inspiring viewers with his vision for a tournament he founded in honor of Candice Dupree… an American basketball player for the Women’s National Basketball Association. She has also experienced professional basketball as a player in Europe and Asia. In 2006 Candice was selected 6th in the WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky, before being traded to Mercury in 2010; Dupree currently plays for the Indiana Fever. Together, they are doing great things—engaging in the kind of mentoring that generates positive messages for student-athletes with a passionate desire for the rewards of attending college. This powerful duo is a beautiful example of what happens when a community leader reaches out to a professional athlete—to make a difference—together.

Susan Sember, Director of Beyond the Game, makes a note of Candice during the filming; she experienced a quiet, authentic, and purposeful leader, often compared in various articles on the Internet as the "Tim Duncan of the WNBA." Her demeanor in the film shows her style on the court and off, personifies grace and determined grit. Seeming never to need "splash" attention, Dupree leads by example and serves as a beautiful role model for young girls, particularly those wishing to pursue college and pro-basketball or any other sport. With strong Tampa roots, her family is important to her; her mother being the most significant influence in Candice's life as a role model and supporter. Like many other youth sports volunteer organizations, the Tampa Thunder was born from a parent's desire to support a child's passion for playing a sport. However, the objectives, end state, and culture have grown to be so much more for the more magnificent Tampa Bay area girls' basketball community. Upon being assigned by the Department of Defense to a posting at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL, program founder, Rob Walker started a travel program focused on using the youth basketball platform to develop and mentor female student-athletes and prepare them to be successful in the middle school, high school, and collegiate ranks.

By: Rob Walker Founder/ Candice Dupree Invitational Student-Athlete Advocate

Despite being a metropolitan center with a population exceeding 3 million people, there were very few healthy venues indigenous to the Tampa area that afforded female basketball players vessels to develop and ultimately seek out the vast amounts of opportunities to attend college or participate in collegiate basketball. In 2010, the Tampa Thunder began its operations and set out to make its mark in the community. Focusing on skill set development, team concepts, character building, communication skills, and education and empowerment, the Thunder quickly established itself as an organization that mentored and cultivated young ladies who were not only talented student-athletes but were high character people prepared to be successful on and off the court at the next level. WWW.REBOUNDMAGAZINE.COM | WWW.BEYONDTHEGAME.COM


ENTER WNBA STAR, CANDICE DUPREE! Through a chance encounter in 2015, Walker noticed a Phoenix Mercury—Candice Dupree bobblehead on a work colleague's desk. Turns out that colleague served with Candice's mother (Patty) several years ago while she was still working on MacDill AFB and was a huge Candice Dupree fan. The engagement could not have been more timely. Candice Dupree as a military brat who played high school basketball in the Tampa area could directly identify with the challenges of being a girls' basketball player coming up in Tampa. She could also identify with the military brand values, culture, and ethos that are at the core of the Thunder program. Despite a rigorous professional basketball career in the WNBA and overseas, Candice has been more than willing to offer her time, access, and resources to the Thunder program. Since partnering with the Thunder program, Candice has personally participated in media photo ops, come out to activities to speak to the girls about her experiences, purchased gear for the coaches, and donated hundreds of Nike t-shirts a year for the girls and coaches. Moreover, Candice has allowed the Thunder to utilize her name to help build the program brand on the national travel basketball scene. Since 2016, Thunder's top team is Team Dupree, and the Thunder hosts the annual Candice Dupree Invitational at the University of Tampa, which has become one of Florida's marquee travel basketball tournaments. As an individual, Candice is serving as a role model for young girls in the Tampa community who aspire to be achieving students, athletes, professionals, and members of the community. As a brand, the Dupree name has opened doors to allow the Thunder program the built-in ability



Phoenix Suns Mikal Bridges, at the NBA Summer League games, talks about investing wisely as a new draftee, during his film interview #beyondthegamefilm #nba #phoenixsuns #mikalbridges #phoenixarizona #villanovabasketball #wealthsimple #nbadraft #nbagleague @wealthsimple @mikalbridges

processes, tools, and resources that empower their student-athletes on and off the floor. An example of a result driven from growth is now available to Thunder families is a web-based recruiting search tool, which allows a student-athlete to input data into an algorithm that provides them direct feedback on college academic and athletic matches. This process alone enables parents and coaches to work with a student-athlete to narrow a college search down to focus on realistic colleges that meet the specific academic, athletic, and social needs of the student-athlete.

CANDICE DUPREE THE VOICE OF INSPIRATION, INFLUENCE, AND IMPACT! At the end of the day, results are paramount. With the help of Candice Dupree, the Tampa Thunder has assisted 107 student-athletes in reaching their goals of going to college and playing collegiate basketball. Additionally, the program has 21 more high school seniors who are committed to college programs and will begin their college journey in the fall of 2019. The Thunder has student-athletes attending colleges in 26 states and playing at every level of NCAA, NAIA, and JUCO basketball. The program is currently in the process of developing a college internship program that would allow aspiring college students to come aboard and learn how to operate a non-profit organization, set-up and manage events, manage volunteers, and maintain a robust marketing and social media platform. In summary, Candice Dupree and the entire Thunder program recognize the game of basketball is merely a vessel to allow young girls the ability to access a wider variety of educational, athletic, and ultimately professional opportunities. When the ball stops bouncing, education will be the credential used for the rest of a career.

CLARIFY YOUR PRIORITIES AND UNCOVER MORE HOURS IN YOUR DAY As the owner of PerfectTiming Concierge, I support sports professionals who want to focus on what’s most important in their lives. Although my PASSION is to help them manage their time and make the most of life’s moments, I do so by managing to-dolists and tasks, and removing stress in sometimes unusual ways. For example, imagine my having managed one athlete’s wedding, and how I helped another pick up cars, which had to be shipped, pack up a home and complete the move to the next contract location—on short order! In the film, Beyond the Game, you will see high-performing, high net-worth professionals, who value the joy in laughing until your stomach hurts, being still enough to hear your inner voice, or being very present with your loved ones. You may question, “how did they arrive at that capacity and still spend all the time necessary to become the best of who they are and can be?” In the face of managing time, the common denominator will be you—how will you make the changes necessary to develop the time management that will make a difference in your world? You have to start by seeing the part you play in how well you manage what you’ve been given: the time; the talent; the energy… and honoring the gifts they are to you. Sometimes, you have to look no further than recognizing what you were born to do! That passion drives me when I work with an athlete who is doing what they were born to do. I recognize it because I have made the same choices in life doing what I have been called to do through each season of my life. A significant key is to trust yourself to delegate and hire experts in other fields so you can do what only you can do best. A professional athlete’s time is consumed with studying playbooks, maintaining nutritional and physical health, and mastering a sport. Everything is about excellence, which can only be achieved through healthy habits, right decisions and a mind set willing to delegate and ask for help. When I look at the acronym, MOMENTS, I can stay focused on creating priorities in my life, I am able to define the things I most treasure, recognize when my cup overflows, and listen to be quiet enough to decide what I want from life. The tips remind me to minimize materialism and focus on what I do value; only handle things once… deciding to finish, delegate, or put on a to-do list; maximize my time; elevate my thinking, accept that no is sometimes the best answer, and to slow down and be present. There is a dance between mastering your time and embracing those moments. Time, as we all know, is your greatest resource and how you use it determines your outcome. There is an exhaustive list on time management tips; each person must sort through what works for them. For example: you may prefer to complete most important tasks first, another person may find time mastery includes being able to focus on one project at a time, or not allow unimportant details to distract them. There may be different periods of time when things like saying no, or making important health choices are more integral to how you best manage your time.

Productive, laser-focused individuals know time represents money; they never consider SAVING time, the focus is to leverage or manage what they have to increase their productivity. I watch athletes and see these smart, quiet intellectuals work from a brilliance, and know their mastery has been achieved by recognizing their strengths, and delegating or outsourcing tasks they either don’t know how to do or choose not to do… and applaud them as the power of time to produce more is multiplied by those choices. I prefer the context of being a lifestyle manager, to help simplify lives by handing tasks and chores—to empower others to fulfill important time management and lifestyle skills and plans. For me to pick up the pieces and what falls through the cracks may seem like a little thing, but for a busy athlete who experiences important and valuable solutions—it can be a very big thing! So, whether you want to recapture moments, or maximize your mastery of time through delegation, the answer is to engage someone who can help you reclaim valuable time, and make your life simpler by taking care of professional and personal tasks, which can be delegated. Everyone is pursuing the next big thing; in the process, let’s inspire each other to cherish the moments that matter the most. Often to accomplish that goal, one has to evolve, to let go, ask for help, or hire experts in other fields. The return on investment is exponential, and everyone wins. Rachel Revill PerfectTiming Concierge



you are the parent of an aspiring young athlete, you may well be the first and best advocate for seeing your child is prepared for high-performance, wellness, and longevity in their sport of choice. As a long-term Performance Coach, I’ve focused for 30 years on helping individuals achieve greatness from a physical, mental, or emotional perspective. My passion began in high school, realizing the importance of learning from the best and the value of having a drive to improve. Over the years, I’ve discovered how piecing and integrating the wisdom I’ve gleaned can bring someone else to a new realm of performance. First and foremost, I believe it’s important to keep the end in mind. If you want your child to get a college scholarship, compete in the Olympics, or become a professional athlete, the child must first express the desire to do so! If it’s their dream, then it’s our responsibility as a parent to do whatever we can to help them accomplish that dream. There is a time to prepare, develop, build a foundation, load, learn the game, learn systems, and then there is a time to compete, you cannot do it all at once. If you’re only competing, then you are not preparing for the future or what you and your child ultimately want. If the desire is to play at the highest level then being an AAU basketball, Pop Warner, or little league champion is not that important. You don’t want to win the battle but lose the war!


Tim Adams Performance Coach


As a parent, there are a number of things you need to be aware of that should impact you and your child’s youth sports choices—particularly for children ages 6-14. This is a prime time in their development for the acquisition of skills, Due to the growth of their nervous system this is an optimal time to focus on fundamental, fine motor skills, general motor patterns and overall skills development, Movements such as skipping, running, sprinting, jumping, throwing, and catching are all included in this time frame. However, more sport specific activities are also included in this skill development—skills such as throwing a football or baseball; shooting or dribbling a basketball, stick handling and shooting a puck; swinging a bat, a racket or a club; and other lessor known yet maybe more important

skills include visual acquisition, field of view, anticipation and leverage. All of these skills can be taught and refined—and should be practiced extensively during this time frame. The next thing to consider is how important it is for you to engage your children in multiple sports in order to diversify and disperse the stress they place on their systems. Specializing in one sport at an early age can be detrimental to your child’s ability to reach their full potential, Three factors are at play. First, there is burnout; doing the same thing with no change in stimulus can potentially lead to the child becoming uninterested in the sport. Second, there is an increased chance of injury; doing the same movements over and over can cause repetitive stress and can lead to the breakdown of tissue. Third, when you only perform one sport… you effectively diminish the potential to develop other motor patterns, movements and stressors. However, when you participate in other sports you not only allow the physical system to rest and recover, you allow the mind to do the same. Another benefit is that different sports create different metabolic, strength, and neurological capacities. At the end of the day, by making sure your child has more diversity in movement, the win/win is building a high-performance athlete who is more complete, healthier, and made for the duration of a longer career. Coaches, trainers, and parents… each person who assumes responsibility for young athletes, can inspire going the extra mile to develop skills, strength, and the mental toughness needed to realize the ultimate goal of professional sports.

"THE MIND" The focus on a child’s performance mindset is also at issue in a culture where immediate gratification is more prevalent than hard work. A child will watch games, read celebrity books and


absorb subtle messages in films and on television. The ride to stardom looks, mistakenly, like an easy one. Young athletes feel they're invincible. Many have a mindset that not a lot is required of them, yet the ones who commit to taking care of their body are the ones that end up having the careers they dreamed of; they are the athletes who learn to love the commitment and process as much as the outcome. Young athletes need to be taught that a professional athlete’s journey requires selfdiscipline, determination and a host of other traits, which take guidance and direction to help them develop. They also need to understand the difference between an athlete that puts in 3-4 hours of professional development a day and another who puts in double that time. Mental toughness, a focus on a purpose and why in their lives, and being taught that although parents, coaches and other support them, it is their personal drive that will bring the success. Both the athlete who wants to play at the next level and the parents who are supporting them have to accept the reality that not every child will “make the cut” no matter how many camps they attend, how many games they play, or how many challenges a coach presents them. There are only a certain number of prime positions and the competition can be fierce, Yet the skills that are developed during this journey are extremely valuable for the individual’s future success in ANY endeavor,

PROFESSIONAL IMPLICATIONS Not only are there physical and mental implications, but professional ones as well. Recruiters from college to pro-sports are looking more favorably at multi-sport athletes. They see the value in an athlete who has more skills, less stress, and potentially a longer, healthy commitment to a team. Professional team managers understand they are not just building a defensive end or a forward… nor a golf-pro or a short-stop. Through sports programs our society

is changed by athletes who perform not only in sports, but in the careers in which they engage after retiring from the sport, become participating members in society, and share their versatilities in time, talent, and wealth within their communities. The documentary, Beyond the Game, has given a voice to these athletes who are openly sharing their stories.

WHO INSPIRES CHANGE? If we look back 10 years, have there been visible positive changes in building athletes of peak performance, maximum wellness, and longevity? When we do the same 10 years from now can we afford, for the sake of young athletes, to have not made even greater strides? When will this understanding of the body, and its relationship to sports be more significantly embraced by youth sports in general? When parents fully understand the concept, and hold coaches and organizations responsible for acquiring the same knowledge and implementing it in sports programs at every level—from little league to basketball; from gymnastics to football; and every sport in between. When coaches want to do the best by these young people, they can make more demands on the organizations to reestablish standards of play and training. It is a difficult change to make, and will require many voices making waves; it will be the documentaries, such as Beyond the Game, that touch the hearts of people who champion a movement for sports coaching that often spans three or four generations of athletes; it will be the conversations between parents, coaches and organization leaders who share experience, perspective and evaluation of a new world of youth sports. Let’s speak out against injuries to athletes and the “suck it up” mentality around pain; let’s speak up for better understanding how our bodies work. If we don’t seek change, the paths followed by our future athletes will be the wrong ones and the longevity of their careers jeopardized.

“As a 5’10” runner, 190 lbs., I was told I couldn’t play. 50 years later, I’m in 8 Halls of Fame. It just fueled my fire. Sacrifice to be the best you can be!” ~ Floyd Little, former NFL interviewed in Beyond the Game film @Cuse #floydlittle


James Grandholm, USF class of ‘84 and center for the school's basketball team, shared highlights about his overseas path to becoming an NBA player, then later a sports agent and subsequently, successful and prolific entrepreneur in the film. Grandholm participates in the National Retired Basketball Players Association (NBRPA) and is a trustworthy mentor to many former NBA players.

Photos courtesy of University of South Florida



he Beyond the Game film, while designed to be entertaining and engaging for commercial appeal, has an underlying and strong mission for education and outreach.

In addition to the international commercial distribution of the film to theaters, television, video on demand and others, Beyond the Game will also have a college tour nationwide to a committed sixty plus schools. At these schools, the film will be screened with many—including current and former pro athletes—as panelists or speakers to accompany these presentations. The attending athletes will serve as ambassadors to encourage discussion and further knowledge of the topics of the film, particularly within the student-athlete body and general community of alumni, parents, and educators.

University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, FL, will be the first university in the country to host Beyond the Game with its upcoming VIP-invitation only "green carpet premiere" this Spring. The University of South Florida is the 4th largest public university in the state and has an enrollment of over 50,000. USF President, Dr. Judy Genshaft, having had the prior honor of being selected as the first woman to chair an NCAA Division I committee, with a host of other current and former student and pro athletes the university, has been interviewed for the film. USF has been especially proactive and innovative in his multitude of student-athlete programs, such as the LeRoy Selmon Mentoring Center, Vinik Sports, and Entertainment M.B.A. Program and its partnership with Tampa pro sports teams like the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning.

While Brian Lamb, USF class of ‘98 and a point guard and captain of the Bulls’ basketball team, chose the business road leading him to take on his position of Chairman of the university’s Board of Trustee—while also being employed as an executive vice president, head of wealth and asset management and, Chief Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Officer at Fifth Third Bank. Lamb has also been named to Savoy Magazine's 2018 list of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. His passion for studentathletes and his alma mater shines through in his film interview, as well. Genshaft, Grandholm, and Lamb are joined in the film by other great USF current and former pro athletes, entrepreneurs and educators doing the Bulls team proud in Beyond the Game!

For more information or to include your school in the College Tour of Beyond the Game, please contact Susan Sember Executive Producer/Director Silverlight Films



FORCES OF CHARACTER: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT BUILDING A LIFE OF IMPACT Chad Hennings, an allAmerican, midwestern Iowa boy, found his way to playing defensive tackle for the United States Air Force Academy Falcons, and the Dallas Cowboys... and ultimately, into the documentary film, Beyond the Game. Hennings’ many accolades—from lettering as a freshman to playing in the Japan Bowl; from being named WAC defensive player to being inducted in the GTE Academic All-American Hall of Fame—are impressive and it is that side of his life viewers will see in the film. However, while we are notably impressed with his play on the field, it is his attitude, character and leadership that contributes to reviewing his book, Forces of Character: Conversations About Building A Life of Impact. The book is a series of conversations with individuals Henning felt lived lives of high moral character, consistently demonstrated habits of excellence, and in elevating their focus on a noble purpose, will lift others to peak potential. Henning includes candid interviews with a large collective; our focus is on one whose story is befitting this Special Edition: Gregg Popovich. Henning begins Chapter 9 (Gregg Popovich) with a representative quote, "When I think about character I want to know about the fiber of an individual." Henning and Popovich shared the common experiences of attending the United States Air Force Academy, making the conversation between the two easy and natural. At the core of both these men is service—the commitment to serve, which is most certainly ingrained in these very special men. You see it in their actions. Henning then delves into a look at Gregg Popovich’s unique coaching style. and provides appropriate mention of the San Antonio Spurs: the five championships, team members such as Tim Duncan and David Robinson, and how the public recognizes the high character of the team 28 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

built by Popovich. Popovich tells Henning he feels most people discuss CHARACTER in too general a term, knowing he is much more specific in his selection. You might be surprised that Popovich looks for a sense of humor; it is a huge decision that conveys to the coach they are capable of "giving themselves to the group" and how he sees a "wise-ass comment" when given with respect is a good thing!

he is not a fan of preferential treatment. You may never again watch a Spurs game without thinking of Popovich’s character, when you read that his greatest satisfaction is not from winning championships, he says that “fades quickly.” What is satisfying to this renowned coach is the relationships he builds with players, relationships so strong they understand his influence and naturally buy into the team's goals.

Reading further through the interview, one is fascinated at how "being able to enjoy someone else's success" is a huge factor that tells Popovich whether a potential player has what it takes to be part of a team. While work ethic is obvious to any professional athlete's character, Popovich's expands on that by noting he can calculate work ethic in a player by seeing whether they have "gotten over themselves." This character trait is viewed in this perspective to confirm to Popovich the kid will "accept the role" and "accept the parameters. "Such a simple question,” says Henning as he reflects, "if they haven't, they can't give themselves to the team and won't put in the work."

Hennings pulls even more from Coach Popovich as he addresses, "the face of what is considered to be one of the best run franchises in professional sports," and the transformational moment(s) in Popovich's life that called for character. Your read will reveal things such as getting up when you're knocked down, knowing the right and wrong of things, and the power of personal choices.

The author pulls another surprising comment in response to his questions about a player's reaction to their childhood. Popovich looks for situations where the response to a not so rosy life may have drawn the best from them... that circumstances called them to a higher sense of community, and the face of adversity stimulated a strong comeback. It is in this section that Hennings pulled out the powerfully revealing quote with which he began the chapter: "When I think about the character of an individual, I want to know about the fiber of an individual.”

Hennings asks Popovich about those people who most influenced his career and character development. “Coach” notes that although there were others who did influence him, it was necessary to take the best of the best and form his own character, not mimicking any one person. "You have to be yourself above everything else." There is adequate humor in Henning's interview with Popovich... you can pick your favorite: about how he curses and tells his players not to, or how he thought, "I was going to come in there and be God's gift to the world, and I got slapped pretty good." The interview comes to a wrap as Popovich discusses "the taste of lemons" and the part that philosophy plays in one's character.

Henning recognizes the selflessness Popovich looks for, and shares an exercise the coach used to "build camaraderie and respect for each other." This section alone is worth buying and reading the book; for Popovich, "It was worth a million dollars!" The coach shares further how he expects the most of his top players, counting on them to be the role models that support the coach's standards;

Review by: Anna Weber Literary Strategist

BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT: ATHLETES IN FILM The mediums of film, television, and video content provide a unique platform to establish an athlete's brand in the most immersive and authentic way. Branded entertainment is increasingly gaining stride in preference over traditional advertising and demand for sports-related programming—documentaries and feature films— is greater than ever. Thus, the opportunities for such undertakings to advance an athlete's brand are unlimited. If structured appropriately, such projects will allow the athlete to tell his story, on his own terms, in an engaging and personal manner and establish a deeper connection with a fan base or audience. They extend and enhance the athlete's public relevance, career longevity, and brand loyalty and value. They further serve to establish a permanent legacy and narrative that continue beyond the athlete's life. Hence, the responsibility, strategy, and expertise required are paramount. Creating a story associated with the athlete's brand requires trust and chemistry. The collaborative process with the creative team mandates active listening and the ability to translate the athlete's vision successfully. Stories work when they influence, persuade and emote. The relatable connection of the audience's own experiences is at the core of expertly crafting the athlete's story, as well. Audiences love to cheer for the underdog; learn lessons from the athlete who hits bottom and then makes a triumphant comeback; supports the student-athlete who thrives despite significant challenges and emerges as a leader, or shares in the journey of an athlete who's injured by his sport only to realize a higher purpose. Therefore, a well-built personal story can be a powerful tool to use for conveying an athlete's brand values and messages for a variety of social, economic, philanthropic and cultural purposes.

Photos courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy

Athletes are becoming more aware of and understanding the power of film making, along with the effect it can have on their personal brand. They can directly benefit by creating original films and television programming around the values of their brand. Celebrity athletes can utilize films to sell their stories to reach and engage a broad audience on their own behalf or as a corporate or team ambassadors. Film and related content can tactically strengthen their businesses and sell products. Sports figures can align their brand with a charitable cause by participating or collaborating in the production of documentaries that highlight socially relevant causes. Also, these projects can promote an athlete's career opportunities in broadcast media, acting, public speaking and book authorship. Like any enterprise, quality and professionalism in the design, implementation, and distribution of the film are critical. Athletes should know the business they're getting into, understand the industry risks and position themselves with like-minded creative, business and legal advisors. Whether the athlete is acting as a producer, writer, talent or interviewee, the learning curve isn't a quick one nor is it without challenges. However, making use of the art of film can be one of the most rewarding and successful means of asserting and establishing an athlete's brand, passion, and purpose. Incorporating a personal brand into film and other such content programming, at any stage of an athlete's career, can productively bridge or transition his goals of long-term success. Susan Sember, J.D. Executive Producer & Film Director Silverlight Films, L.L.C. Malibu, CA


During a compelling interview for the film, Beyond the Game, Chasity Melvin quickly surfaced as a fantastic athlete who has experienced the first of many beginnings—from the responsibilities, pressures, and lessons of being a "first generation of success"—to many other accomplishments where she shines as well: A North Carolina standout women’s basketball player in college. One of the first in the newly formed WNBA at the time. Now the first female coach in the Charlotte Hornets’ G League team, the Greensboro Swarm. You will find Chasity, a woman who ‘kicked and broke the glass' in many ceilings, and has inspired and gained the respect of all in the NBA and WNBA. Beginning a new chapter in a sports career, after twelve seasons with WNBA, by earning a position as an NBA G League Assistant Coach, gave us the perfect reason to interview her again, hoping to uncover more of those attributes, like faith and hard work, which played into her success. Having retired from the WNBA, Chasity can speak from the heart about the memories she created while traveling the world, representing the sport as a life coach, and commentating as a basketball analyst. Making recent history as the first female coach in the Charlotte Hornets organization, she is also the perfect person to speak about transitioning into another corner of professional sports. Enjoy her sound, heartfelt advice to athletes about to embark on a similar journey of success, transitions, and possibly creating a few career memories of their own. I UNDERSTAND YOU PLAYED FOR 12 SEASONS, WBA, AND HAD AN EXCITING TRANSITION BEYOND THE GAME.

Yes, I first worked at a non-profit, but then returned to coach high school basketball and finally—landed an assistant coaching position— back in the pros, with the G League, which is the NBA’s Developmental League. WHAT IS ESPECIALLY EXCITING ABOUT THAT POSITION?

I am the first female assistant coach with the Charlotte Hornets NBA team, which is super exciting. I am working with young men, who don’t have to worry about my being overly sensitive,

because I am not, and I don’t have to worry about a lot of drama. LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW WORKING WITH THESE PLAYERS STIRS YOUR PASSION.

I am really passionate about inspiring athletes in general, and in this G League, we all want to take the skills they've developed thus far and to have more success and a more positive approach to life as they continue to pursue their sport. My passion, of course, extends to athletes who either graduate from college, move to professional sports, or say goodbye to the game. I want to be a part of teaching them or communicate to them the importance of using a life coach, having a strategy to create more success in any career transition, and give them a more positive approach to life after their sport, if that becomes the case. All of these transitions are challenging, which fuels my passion. YOU'VE EXPERIENCED SO MANY "FIRSTS" IN YOUR LIFE WHICH MUST HAVE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT TRANSITIONS. SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE, THEN, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU FEEL IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE ATHLETES EXPERIENCE IN THE PROCESS?

Challenges are a natural part of any person's life, athlete or not. The most significant problems for many athletes are embracing certain beliefs and implementing them. For example: Any athlete going through a transition—from high school to collegiate sports, from college to pro sports—or ultimately, to a career beyond the game, is: “ONCE AN ATHLETE, ALWAYS AN ATHLETE.” This embodies yet another belief… that the talent, the skills, the magic—all of it, is never solely in the game, but always lies resident WITHIN them. Another is the reality that being an athlete is probably THE BIGGEST ASSET YOU HAVE in any career transition, because you are armed with confidence earned and a competitive drive for which you’ve been groomed for years. When things get tough, those three concepts may well be the best thing to remember. As an athlete, you also learn three primary qualities that become ingrained in you. They can be counted on at any level of play, but also in the work-a-day world, where you are prepared better than most of your counterparts, believing: 1) there are no days off; 2) you work hard regardless your circumstances, and 3) you push through all obstacles and challenges.

Sports teaches you everything you didn't know about life. The change is so gradual and so complete, you may not recognize it. Athletes learn to be a starter, to fight back, to ‘deal’ with things and to look at life as a series of changes and challenges that will never break you. Another core value learned is how to stack the little wins and wake up one day knowing you've grown to be the best of the best. You take that same confidence within any career transition, knowing, “I’ve achieved these things as an athlete, I can accomplish anything—once an athlete, always an athlete.” ATHLETES HAVE TEAM COACHES; DO YOU FEEL A LIFE COACH CAN HELP THEM DEAL WITH OTHER CHALLENGES—IN THE GAME AND BEYOND?

Transitions between high school and college, those associated with going pro, and moving on beyond the game are best handled by having a life coach. Think about it—as a junior or senior, you are challenged to recognize how you want to show up in the world; as a pro, you have an entirely different set of challenges to face, and even more surface when moving beyond the game. Life coaches are a valuable transition tool. You’ve probably had some kind of coach since you were about six years old—parents, youth sports, high school and then college athletics; when you graduate, none of them are available to you. I’ve seen some students freak out over not having the support system they’ve always counted on. The shift in schedules, strategies, and boundaries creates in some a sense of freedom; others feel a total loss. The life coach can help you organize your life, explore your options, and develop strategies for schedules that work in your new life. IF WE LOOK AT THE RAW VULNERABILITY OF ATHLETES TRANSITIONING OUT OF THE GAME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THEM TO SELECT A LIFE COACH WHO IS A GOOD FIT FOR THEM?

Oh, that's a great question! I would encourage any student-athlete looking for a life coach to request a free consultation with them first. And in that initial consultation, assess whether they get to talk more than the coach! The response from that coach should be honest feedback about what the former athlete wants to achieve, what their strengths and weakness might be, and how the coach can actually work with them. Athletes have years of being focused on goals; the life coach must show their ability to help build on new goals and improve the athlete's ability to clearly articulate a future path.



I’ve also discovered a lot of athletes don’t realize how smart they are, which goes along with that loss of self-identity I spoke of. You might find yourself thinking, everyone looks at me like an athlete, but now I want to be seen as someone with a future beyond that identity. If a life coach makes you feel like little more than an athlete… look for another one. MANY OF YOUR CORE VALUES WERE RECOGNIZED DURING FILMING BEYOND THE GAME—TRUST AND CONFIDENCE INCLUDED. THINKING ABOUT THESE TRAITS, HOW DO YOU FEEL THE PHILOSOPHY, “AS AN ATHLETE, HOW YOU PRACTICE IS HOW YOU PLAY,” HELPS PLAYERS BUILD BOTH—IN THEMSELVES AND OTHERS?

Working harder is foundational to becoming a successful athlete; these same players, however, have to learn to trust themselves with the results of that hard work. Working on certain moves every day, putting in 300 shots a day—that's how the skills sets are increased. Should the time come when these same players transition to a new career, that workout might be less physical and more mental, such as doing research, boosting a learning curve? The same things athletes applied in their athletic life when used to a post-athletic one, will imbue trust and confidence. Moving up the ranks to professional sports, or transitioning into a career, athletes need only think back to when they were younger. Many of them didn’t start out ‘great,’ yet with the attention of a trainer, practice, and increasing skill sets, the learning curve was trimmed, success grew exponentially, and trust and confidence became a natural extension. ALTHOUGH YOUR PRIMARY PASSION AND CONCERN ARE FOR ACTIVE ATHLETES, YOU CAN ALSO AUTHENTICALLY SPEAK TO THOSE WHO ARE SAYING GOODBYE TO THE GAME. WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE MOST PREDOMINANT PROBLEM ATHLETES HAVE IN MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A LIFE WITHOUT SPORTS?

The biggest problem is connecting with an identity outside of the sport. In high school and college both, because you’ve made a commitment, the majority of your time is with teammates in class, in practice, and on the field. Pretty much everything is team-oriented, and you are wrapped up in who you are as an athlete. Once you graduate, you lose the boundaries to which you’re accustomed, you are thrown into a world where you assume responsibility for your daily schedule and other responsible choices, and you suddenly become aware you no longer 32 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

play sports. You have new goals and interests to define, which raises your awareness of your selfidentity—asking the question, “Who am I and who do I want to be?” IN YOUR EXPERIENCE—PERSONALLY AND THE ATHLETES YOU WORK WITH—DO SOME ATHLETES NEED TO ALLOW FOR A GRIEVING PERIOD AS PART OF TRANSITIONING BEYOND THE GAME?

I believe there is grief involved, regardless of the bright future in front of them. If I see this occurring, I try to inspire these young people and help them feel comfortable by acknowledging grief and loss are a natural part of the transition. We athletes are tough; we don’t want to admit how vulnerable we are, or admit to something that might give the appearance of not being strong or showing too much emotion. The best analogy I have to share relates to how athletes react to an injury, the self-talk goes something like this, “I'm going to be okay, I'm working to get back, I'm going to get back in shape.” This doesn’t happen in the first two or three days; the first thoughts are more along the lines of, why is this happening to me? This is terrible. Getting through the grief of transition is similar; the moping and emotion are natural, but the time will come when it is possible to talk about it, write down progressively positive feelings, and generally accept that it is hard—but doable. If transitioning athletes are aware of what they are experiencing and agree to grieve and then make the decision to move on, then they are better prepared to deal with it. HOW WOULD YOU PREPARE A STUDENT LOOKING TO ENTER A WORKFORCE, AND HELP THEM BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF BEING A WORK IN PROGRESS?

You’ve probably heard it said that players get to make up for any mistakes every few minutes, whether on the field or the court. That is not the case in a corporate world. I would first share my motto, which I learned in my first experience with a nine to five that was utterly, entirely different from anything I'd ever done, which is: “uncomfortable is the new comfortable.” The first analogy athletes probably understand: when you came into the game as a college freshman, you knew you'd have growing pains. What you also appreciated were the results, which would come from practicing and putting in the extra time, was a better, more confident athlete. Going into the workforce, you are that freshman again. You won’t be expected to

know everything, but using the mindset of an athlete—you’d be willing to give yourself the time to become a ‘better player’ by learning the craft, putting in extra work, going up against polished seniors, and being patient with yourself. Another interesting recognition for me was how as athletes, our mistakes are primarily physical, and as such can be more easily modified. When we get out there in the real world, the expectation is to provide measurements and outcomes—on paper! Oh, and don't forget all the facts to back it up. This transition calls for a significant change in our mindset—we have to shift from "Let me just SHOW you how to do it!” We are so used to getting awards, and sometimes there is this feeling that if we could just show them how many awards we’d received, they would KNOW we were cut out for the job. As I moved forward, I allowed those awards to fire me; I knew I had the right stuff, and I would work hard to fill the expectations of putting my proof to paper until that discomfort became comfortable. My message would be, "This shift doesn't happen in the short term. Just be patient with yourself and find your way from physical, to mental, to paper.” WHILE BEING INVOLVED WITH THE FILMING OF BEYOND THE GAME, WHAT DID YOU DISCOVER WAS THE MOST COMPELLING THING ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE AND ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT?

I think Beyond the Game will have a huge impact. I believe far more people will get the opportunity to experience it as well, first and foremost because it is a documentary. I know people like stories and enjoy their books and movies. However, at some level, they know how much more real the athletes in a documentary are. The stories will remain, but the athletes are going to be authentic and vulnerable, and that will have to touch people. What viewers will see, instead of an actor portraying an athlete, is an athlete speaking from the heart. Additionally, to release this film in the colleges and before the organizations that attract aspiring athletes and the people who support their dreams, the platform is going to be massive. Can you imagine how amazing it would be to have it on Netflix where kids, parents, teachers, coaches and the like can watch it—and then tie to that how important one documentary can be to the lives of so many. Anna Weber Literary Strategist

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Do bad money habits constrain your financial progress? Many people fall into the same financial behavior patterns year after year. If you sometimes succumb to these financial tendencies, the New Year is as good an occasion as any to alter your behjavior.


Lending money to family & friends. You may know someone who has lent a few thousand to a sister or brother, a few hundred to an old buddy, and so on. Generosity is a virtue, but personal loans can easily transform into financial losses for the lender. If you must loan money to a friend or family member, mention that you will charge interest and set a repayment plans with deadlines. Better yet, don’t to it at all. If your friends or relatives can’t learn to budget, why should you bail them out?


Spending more than you make. Living beyond your means, living on margin, whatever you wish to call it, it is a path toward significant debt. Wealth is seldom made by buying possessions, today’s flashy material items may become the garbage sale junk of 2027. That doesn’t stop people from racking up consumer debts; a 2017 study contducted by NerdWallet determined that the average U.S. household carrries $15,654 in credit card debt alone.*


Saving little or nothing. Good savers build emergency funds, have money to invest and compound, and leave the stress of living paycheck to paycheck behind. If you can’t put extra money away, there is another way to get some; a second job. Evenj working 15-20 hours more per week could make a big difference. The problem of saving too little is far too common; at the end fo 2017, the Department of Commerce found the U.S. personal savings rate at 2.9%, a low unseen since 2007.**

4 5 6 7

Living without a budget. You mak make enough money that you don’t feel you need to budget. In truth, few of us are really that wealthy. In calculating a budget, you may find opportunities for savings and detect wasteful spending. Frivolous spending. Advertisers can make us feel as if we have sudden needs; needs we must respond to; needs that can only be met via the purhase of a produce. See their ploys for what the are. Think twice before spending inpulsively. Not using cash often enough. No one can deny that the world runs on credit, but that doesn’t mean your household should. Pay with cash as often as your budget allows.

Gambling. Remember when people had to go to Atlantic City or Nevada to play blackjack or slots? Today, behemoth casinos are as common as major airports; most metro areas seem to have one or be within an hour’s drive of one. If you don’t like smoke and crowds, you can always play the lottery. There are many glamourous ways to lose money while having “fun.” The bottom line: losing money is not fun. It takes willpower to stop gambling. If an addition has overruled your willpower, seek help.


Inadequate financial literacy. Is the financial world boring? To many people it is. The Wall Street Journal is not exactly Rolling Stone, and the Economist is hardly light reading. You don’t have to start there, however; great, readable, and even entertaining websites could greatly increase your financial understanding if you feel it is lacking.


Not contributing to IRAs or workplace retirement plans. Even with all the complaints about 401(k)s and the low annual limits on traditional and Roth IRA, contributions, these retirement savings vehicles offer you remarkable wealth-building opportunities. The earlier you contribute to them, the better; the more you contribute to them, the more compounding of these invested assets you may potentially realize.


DIY retirement planning. Those who plan for retirement without the help of professionals leave themselves open to abrupt, emotional investing mistakes and tax estate planning oversights. Another common tendency is to vastly underestimate the amount of money needed for the future. Few people have the time to amass the knowledge and skill set possessed by a financial services professional with years of experience. Instead of flirting with trial and error, see a professional for insight. John O'Reilly may be reached at 832 498 3219 or joreilly@ or This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note, investing involves risk and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied upon for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. Securities and Advisory Services offered through Signal Securities, Inc. All Investment-related information presented is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation or offer to sell securities, investment advisory services, or insurance services. 1.* html[12/12/17] 2.** 1EG1J2[12/22/17]

STREET TEAM Niko Pappas, Greek basketball player, of the highly acclaimed Panathinaikos BC, in Beyond the Game, interviewed while we were filming in Cyprus, shared the financial literacy and transitional challenges of the current pro basketball athletes in the Euro league.

A JEWELER'S BRILLIANCE BEYOND BLING Industry knowledge is a huge piece of being successful as a jeweler. After graduating from the University of Miami, his credentials also include in-residence attendance as a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America. “My education was valuable—no, critical—I learned what colored stones are, how to look at a stone and know its properties, its qualities. But that education never comes to an end; there are always fine nuances to learn.” Meyer’s credibility is strengthened by several key positions/organizations: (1) Vice President of the American Gem Society, and (2) founder the American Gem Society Laboratory, which is one of the two most respected diamond grading labs in the world. Andrew’s knowledge enables him to be a better diamond buyer, and increases industry pride. “We take a lot of pride in customers being satisfied, because we know it is those small nuances other jewelers might miss. In a creative world, it is fascinating to be very scientific in the way we look at things.” In working with pro-athletes, Meyer is ardent about serving with honesty and respect and building life-time relationships. “What is important to me is to earn their trust. It is only when that is well established that I can educate athletes to what they are buying, and make sure they get what they really want—whether that’s a watch, a diamond, or any other piece of luxury jewelry.”


a third-generation jeweler, Andrew Meyer grew up in the business. While attending the University of Miami, his father opened a store and Andrew opted not to be a “normal kid” but to work in the factory and learn to make jewelry. Watching over the company’s investments, Andrew learned when you deal with gold and diamonds… it’s big money. His 15year-old sales pitch was a winner! When the budding jeweler had the opportunity to sell


a very expensive piece of jewelry to a couple; his sales pitch was, “How much do you love your wife?” That was probably a question only a 15-year-old can ask, but as the man saw his wife’s response—the sale was made. Not a one-time sale for Andrew, the couple remained customers for over 30 years. That singular experience taught Meyer two things: (1) how much joy a person gets buying a beautiful piece of jewelry, and (2) just how personal it is.

His advice for an athlete: “Vetting a jeweler can be difficult even with the Internet, social media, and referrals.” Meyer suggests, “Talk to other players, your general manager and your owner. They are knowledgeable, have your best interest at heart, and can better direct you to a jeweler whom you can trust. Ask about the jeweler’s continuing education, participation in industry organizations, and find someone who has a good reputation in the community for having dealt honestly and fairly with athletes in the past.” Find a jeweler who respects your anonymity. “Our policy is kind of like Vegas—what happens in this store stays in this store; not a word breathed about transactions. It’s just not cool to breach a customer’s privacy. Let the athlete do that!” Find a jeweler who is knowledgeable, creative, philanthropic, and provides high-quality customer service. You will find Myers is:

KNOWLEDGEABLE: “Each piece of jewelry has meaning; it is purchased for a memorable event: engagement, anniversary, graduation, promotion. Once the purpose is understood, customers better understand the value and then matching the budget, we know how to get the best pricing, provide the best quality and serve the customer forever—each important decision-makers for anyone looking to buy.”

Continental Wholesale Diamonds is the only jeweler known to Myer who has a store and sells to the trade as well, allowing him to buy around the world, at manufacturer prices, and travel to where ever the athlete is—to select stones and setting designs. “What is important to me is to help them… to provide the resources, attention to detail, selection, and knowledge to make intelligent jewelry buying decisions.”

CREATIVE: “The Muhamad Ali ring really represents the type of requests for jewelry we can fulfill. We make championship rings, Super Bowl rings; if you imagine it—we can make it!” Fun and fascinating stories are shared in Beyond the Game; you won’t want to miss them.

Wanting to provide all ‘the right stuff’ customers require, Meyer hires and trains people who share his corporate philosophies. Whether he is in California delivering a custom-designed piece, in Alaska selling rare gems, or in Europe buying the best cuts, he knows who is manning the store. “We pride ourselves in our staffing: three graduate gemologists are on staff, continuing education is part of our culture, and staff members are put on the front line to make sure customer service never suffers in my absence. No one person could pull this off—my store is only as good as the people I hire and train.”

PHILANTHROPIC: Most of his charity work relates to children and the military, such as benefits, raffling off diamonds at the Glazer Children’s museum and the Museum of Art. “Hospitals and the military (Wounded Warriors) are part of the mix. If they are fun—we are in.” UNIQUE IN HIS CUSTOMER SERVICE: Custom pieces are made from hand selected stones and personally designed. Providing a comfortable salon atmosphere, Myer has achieved his dream to have a jewelry store where people are comfortable, and not overwhelmed or intimidated.”

Andrew MEYER, Jewelry Designer Diamond Dealer Continental Wholesale Diamonds

STREET TEAM “Basketball may be their entre but our current players’ philanthropic and advocacy causes are, for the vast majority, not in basketball. They understand the value of their platforms to give back and are very committed to service and leadership in their respective communities.” ~Sherrie Deans, Executive Director of NBPA Foundation, in her film interview for


“The most effective way to educate our players is both experientially and with peer-to-peer learning. The stories you’re sharing in the film, Beyond the Game”, told by current and former players, themselves, will provide that, along with dispelling some of the myths the general public has about these players.” ~ Greg Taylor, Sr. Vice President of Player Development, NBA interviewed in Beyond the Game film.


Dr. Crystal Gifford President, Life Application Bridge

on your mission and know what’s yours to do, without strength and clarity it is easy to lose site of the central purpose of why you are leading in the first place, and become vulnerable and pulled in multiple directions, often wasting resources, energy, and even years of your life—stuck swimming in a sea of everyone else’s dreams.

SELF-LEADERSHIP: LEARNING TO EMBODY CONFIDENCE, DECISIVENESS AND TRUST The documentary, Beyond the Game, includes many professional athletes, in addition to student athletes, who have learned the value of leadership, and learned how, depending one’s role in the team, the scope of leadership can change. In watching the film, you will see many instances of players who are sports leaders. As authority figures fellow team members will naturally and easily follow and be inspired by awareness, passion, enthusiasm, the ability to communicate, and the motivation to win. As President of Life Application Bridge, I place significant importance on developing leadership skills. Leadership reveals itself in many ways; as it unifies a unique set of people toward a common goal or way of thinking. But often, the question left unanswered is how one becomes a person who embodies the confidence and decisiveness needed to lead a group—particularly when group members may have their own individual agendas as well. Whether found on the court or playing field, in a boardroom, or at the helm of one’s own business, a true leader is one who has harnessed “Self-Leadership.” One of the best definitions of self-leadership is found in the Tao, as “The art or skill of doing something in harmony with the essential nature of the thing,” Three situations to which you should listen and learn how to more rapidly become more effective include: 1.







TRUST Every promise you make is an opportunity to cultivate trust within the relationships in your lives. By making the choice to show up and keep your promises, you demonstrate integrity. The regular demonstration of integrity and consistency in your behavior is an indicator that it is safe for others to trust you. Self-trust is no different. Each time you make a promise to yourself, you are in a position to either show up as a leader and keep that promise, or breach your integrity, and therefore harm your ability to even believe in yourself when you make future promises. You learn if it is safe to trust yourself in the same way others learn, by the collection of your promises made and kept (or unkept). Once you have learned to trust yourself, you now begin to find that other areas of your life as a leader begins to naturally come into alignment. You will find there is no one person more important to trust than yourself.

ALIGNMENT In order to bring your leadership skills into alignment, you must first become crystal clear about the question, “What is mine to do?” This clarity is sometimes a process, and cannot be rushed. Leaders know that the first step in leading is being clear on where you are going (mission) and why (purpose). As you step higher into evolving leadership positions, others will begin to request you carry out their agenda. Although you may be clear

If you want to be a leader, you must first learn to lead yourself.

OPENNESS Openness is a key characteristic a successful leader must embody. As leaders, we find ourselves regularly facing new situations. One of the most effective ways to navigate the changing environment, especially in fast-paced climates like sports, is to listen. The best way to lead to literally close your mouth and listen. Three key situations to listen and how to become more effectively rapidly include: Listen to experienced mentors and the guidance they provide. Listen to those you lead, they will show you how to lead them. Listen to the still, small voice. This is that intuitive “knowing” that aligned leaders experience. When you trust yourself, align your actions with your values and listen to your inner self, you master self… when you master self, your qualities as a leader show up in every area of your life: health; finances; relationships; and much more. Being open-minded helps you learn, grow, and strengthen your belief in yourself. Life comes with no guarantees—yet when you exercise self-leadership, when you don’t have anything else, and all you have are your beliefs and thoughts—you can take a stand for who you are as a person, what you do, whom you choose to serve, and how people’s lives can change if you lead them in a certain direction. If you do not first have self-leadership, and cannot get yourself excited at a core level, you may well experience failure because no one else will have seen you as a leader, and would not have “gotten on board. “ Show up like it is your last chance, every time.

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here does a love of sports begin? Or for that matter, the love of a particular one? Darwin Cook clearly remembers that his love of basketball started at age 14, attending Crenshaw High School, as a five-foot-eleven guard that others on the team didn't think was very good. Cook, however, had someone in his corner—a coach who saw something more than the players did. He took the time to let Darwin know he had something special, which inspired hanging on his coach’s coattails, learning all he could, and in the process—falling in love with basketball.

What followed was two years junior varsity and a year in varsity that inspired Darwin to be an All-American guard. His start at five-foot-eleven was a good one for him. He knew he needed to be better than the taller guys he played with, which developed a better than "good" work ethic… an ethic that surprisingly grew as big as the six-footthree senior!

in a chair with several faces staring at him across the room. The "release" he had been expecting was much different than the one he was offered. The message he heard was, "Well, in a way we ARE going to release you, we are going to send you home because we've seen enough over these two days we want to sign to a contract. So, you can go home, and we'll see you in training!”

It is our dreams that make us the finally completed heart. Darwin's vision was big. It drove him to play against NBA players during high school summer leagues, and he often thought about a future there, I think I can do this because I am competing

Integrity and passion prompted Darwin’s response, “I'm not leaving because there are still three guards I’ve not played against and I want to prove that I can!” There was some conversation about whether he'd get hurt and jeopardize the contract even before he could sign it, but the pragmatic player said, “Well if I do get hurt, I guess it's just not meant for me to be here. I'm a basketball player, I'm going to stay here and play the whole time.” The next day, pitting himself against those three guards, Cook played like it was his first day—strong, proud, and powerful. He was given an opportunity, he shined, and signed his first rookie.

very well against some of these guys. I just have to get stronger because this is where I want to be after college! During his college career in Portland, Darwin committed to never missing a game— from freshman to senior year he fulfilled that commitment. The coach helped him push through minor injuries and keep him mentally prepared to compete at a collegiate level. It was that same goal that led the young player to become the all-time leading scorer in the school’s history, and after 40-something years, still holds some records he set. The tradeoff was significant. Cook makes note that, "My first objective, of course, was knowing there were NBA scouts there to take a look at me. But in thinking back, I know I grasped just how much I wanted to be with my team, to play with (or against) other outstanding players. I also found just how much I wanted to leave a legacy; that whenever I left a basketball court, people would know and remember who Darwin Cook was.” An NBA career came to life when Cook was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the fourth round, attended the rookie camp for three days, but was released. Imagine the devastation of being told you were not good enough to make the team. But sometimes, life has its funny little twists… released as a free agent, just three days later the New Jersey Nets invited Darwin to its rookie camp. The memory remains in his mind. So, I went to this

rookie camp and thought of the opportunity it would give me to make this team. I saw how many guards had been invited, and being the odd man out— from the west coast—I watched how they played and kept focused on how to play better than any of them. I wasn't there to play; I was there for a job. This allowed me to show what I was made of and that I could be counted on to help the team stay on its feet. For two days Cook played hard, did everything he thought the team needed from him, and at the end of the second day, was called to the office about nine o'clock at night. Fear of being released filled his mind as he made his way to the office and sat

With a passion for a career in sports comes accomplishments. Darwin was the man who could play shooting and point guard positions; he led the team with double figure scoring and getting the steals, and earned the reputation of being an excellent defensive player in guard. Like Magic Johnson or Isaiah Thomas, Darwin Cook brought value to a team. There were a lot of records made, playing with the Nets—some still standing—one broken by Jason Kidd… years later. There are also memories a player never loses, such as having high points in a game at the Boston Garden— scoring, points, competition—in an arena that is no longer standing. Another… the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers in a best of five series. The team won three games on Philly's home court as team members—Richardson, Buck Williams, Daryl Dawkins (and others)—worked that court as a family.

hit Malone right in the face! It took some fancy talking to work through that, “Oh wait a minute, I'm not in the New Jersey Nets. I played with them for six years; they knew everything I did and when I was going to pass and just how I’d pass it—and now, I’ve hit Malone!” Looking down at his uniform Cook apologized profusely and knew it was all good when Malone responded, “Man, I didn't know you can pass like that!” A little more conversation about keeping an eye on Cook, and being ready for him… and in the years that followed Malone never dropped another of Cook’s passes. The lesson for Darwin was to understand how to adjust your game to a new team. The next shift as a free agent came in his sitting out a few games, working through some contract issues regarding the first right of refusal to Washington, and ultimately signed with a team in Italy after a scout had come to watch this forward guard play. Cook was good for the Italian team; in the first year, it won an Italian championship… the first they had won in the history of the city. The win was also good for him, “That was by far one of the greatest memories I had, and after finishing the season, I knew I still had plenty left to give and wanted to come back to the NBA.” The following leg of his journey was to sign a contract with the San Antonio Spurs and Larry Brown, who had been one of his coaches in New Jersey. Although he played a reserve role, as was his general nature, Cook played better than a regular game, always pushing the competitive edge with anyone he played. “New Jersey, San Antonio, Denver—playing with good players like Alex English and Walter Davis—we played well together, got to the playoffs—and then in a vie for various contract possibilities, I returned to Italy for three more years. Oh! We won another championship, and I left a legacy that stays with that city.” Although Cook, is humbled and honored by requests such as the invitation to attend the

Later traded to the Washington Bullets, sharing competitive space with the likes of Jeff Malone, Moses Malone, and John Williams came with some transition. Cook and his teammates on the Nets knew what to expect of each other so during a game he was thinking through his play, I think I have

a shot, and I go to Washington, and I'm playing in a scrimmage, and I'm in a trade, and I see a path for Moses Malone. The ball



Photos courtesy of University of Antelope Valley 50th anniversary of that championship, he is equally grateful for his career. “My NBA career was more than successful; I’ve played against some of the best guys in the history of the game, and I can say we’re all able to compete at the highest level— every one of us.” Some players discover a lot of surprises when they step into the pros; Cook doesn't feel there were many. After all, he grew up in L.A. and played against a lot of veteran NBA players. He would pick their brains, study their plays, and sometimes put them through the paces. It was here Cook developed good habits, learned to be on the top of his game, and through his mentors, learned never to be the underdog no matter what veteran players might try to rain on him, “You step out on that court and you play like a pro!” The inevitable happens: a career comes to an end, and a player is filled with challenges in a transition from professional sports. Cook had always been considered an overachiever by others, yet as his career came to a wrap, he also learned something about himself, "I think I actually wanted people to be talking about me, whether it was good or bad. If I had gone out there and made a game-winning shot, or was deep into something they didn't like, it was more important to me to hear people talking about the game and knowing my name.” Darwin spent his career always proving himself… proving his skills, proving he belonged. Life beyond the game to him meant people remember who he is, “When it was my time, I wanted to hear that people knew how hard I worked. At some level, that was all I was looking for—to know I played my best; to know I mattered.” A ransition can be difficult without a strategy. Cook had one! After retiring from the NBA, Darwin got his first coaching job at UNLV and stayed for four years—then on to Pepperdine University for another four. “I was looking forward to a head 42 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

coaching job… but those opportunities didn’t come as soon as I expected, so I opened a youth program in the city where I live—Lancaster, California. It was very gratifying for me to be a mentor and give young athletes an opportunity to try and do the best they can. I was able to work with young kids who had the same dreams I had… to one day play professionally and to get a good education. Some went on to play college basketball, some are running their own businesses or working for good companies. I’ve been so grateful. In fact, if I am honest with myself, working with these kids has meant even more than playing in the NBA.” Sudent-athletes don’t always realize they may just need a Plan B, just in case they are not drafted. Darwin's story is not significantly different. Back then the draft was on the radio. There were no exciting television programs for the big reveal. Darwin called in to inquire if he had been picked and they said, "Darwin Cook hasn't been called for the draft in the first four rounds." That is when it hit him, “I was like, wow! What am I going to do now?” Cook shared a calm moment when thoughts ran through his mind,

I guess it was not meant for me. I guess I'm going to go back to college and work on my Master's and get into a graduate system where I can work with the basketball team. No sooner than he had processed the acceptance of a Plan B, when Darwin got a call from a newspaper reporter out of Portland asking, “How does it feel to be drafted in the fourth round of the Detroit Pistons?” “I literally jumped up and down—so high. Oh, wow! That’s amazing! I was so happy to hear those words; it was good to know I had the opportunity to show my talents, but there was actually a comfort that I had a plan to go back to school and be a graduate assistant; a plan that would now materialize later.” That “later” brought about

Cook’s opportunity as head coach for the men’s basketball team at the University of Antelope Valley. When the program was developed, he applied for the position as president of the school. Despite Cook’s constant desire for people to know who he was, those who interviewed him did not. At the time he was promoting some local jazz concerts, and although it was clear he played the game and was serious about the position, the "who" of Darwin Cook was totally overlooked. Cook contented himself with the belief that "It just isn't the right time for me." Not to be dissuaded from his goal, when the position came up two years later, he applied again and had an interview a little more to his liking. During the interview, Darwin was surprised by the conversation that followed, “Man, I had no idea that you were into coaching like this. But we want to know your plans about staying with us. We get all these guys who look at a new program like ours and think they can stick around a year or so, add us to their resume, and move on.” “Well, first, I live here in Antelope Valley. This is my community. It'd be nothing but an honor for me to be here and help build this program. I can even assure you that if some of my college or NBA friends made me an offer a year from now that I will keep to my commitment to put this school on the map." Having thought long and hard about the position, Cook knew his focus was to build a legacy for himself in the city where he lived. Recognizing the part of his soul that wanted to be remembered, this opportunity to create a program and shape a legacy around it built hope for him. In Cook’s first year of coaching, the team won the first conference championship in the history of the school. Not only was this another first for him, but it meant to Darwin that he was able to start something significant, which included giving kids opportunities to play… to play when other people didn’t think they were good enough. Darwin has a heart for these athletes, he inspires them by saying, “You know what, I’ve been told the same thing, and look at me today.” A oach of his caliber daily exhibits what he loves most about working at the collegiate level with student-athletes. Mentoring young men to not only be good basketball players but thriving on the court and off. When Darwin arrived at the campus, the team GPA was 2.4. If he can teach them to be equally competitive in the classroom, that number is expected to be 3.5 this year. Experience about working hard for the right things is a gift delivered daily to his players… sometimes it calls for a little tough love, and sharing his beliefs, “There

is one important thing you need to know: it is not that I don’t care about you, I could just care less about your social life. All I worry about is that you put in the time on the court and do great in the classroom.” Life is a series of lessons, some of which we wished we had learned sooner rather than later. There are things learned as a pro that would be nice to know during a collegiate career. For Cook, those lessons were to work for a good education and to be the best he could be at all times. Sometimes those lessons are learned only because you have someone show they believe in you. Darwin's was working with who he remembers as the winningest coach in California history, giving the message, "You want something, you gotta work for it!" The words were just a motivator, a catalyst… to keep Cook hitting the gym, focusing on the game, working on grades, strengthening goals. It is this kind of coach he is now inspired to be—to develop pro-level skills in college players.

video games that distract athletic kids in high school and college… instead of being on the court working on basketball skills. As a coach, I can only hope to instill the idea that regardless the circumstances of the game, you go in there and play! Every game is how you plan it, and whether you want to be a “giant killer” like one of my teams was called, or you just want to be talked about and be remembered, you give it your all, you try your best to win.” It is human nature to emulate those who inspired and motivated us, such as Jack Ruby, who was Darwin's coach at the University of Portland. "He was the guy that put the "toughness" in me! He was always on me to be better. It was like he saw something "more" in me and pushed me a little harder, to be a little stronger. Today, I lead my teams with a similar kind of toughness, knowing how much more we can accomplish. I was lucky to have Coach Ruby; I was better able to appreciate the great coaches in the NBA who also "expected

more" of me. Because Coach Ruby had shown me the results of that mental toughness, I am better equipped to value and provide “good coaching.” Cook also recognized coaches who gave him the "opportunity" to show his talents, to be his best, and to make things happen. "Kevin Locke and Larry Brown come to mind; each telling me to go out there and play as hard as I can. When someone else believes you have the competence to be first, you listen, you learn a lot from them. The last two coaches I had in Italy let me come in, play my game, and get our team to "move." I guess I use a little bit from all these coaches as I work with my teams today. I learned about being positive, working hard, building a good work ethic and always being prepared. It is these traits I know will make a difference to athletes if I share all they meant to my career." Cook knows what it is like to have someone like Larry Brown who gives you the confidence to do

Some of Darwin’s lessons were learned from another person who believed in him: his mother. “She would tell me, hey, I'll get you to any practice you need to get to as long as you keep up your grades. Oh, and when you have chores at the house, you do your chores.” If any of those things didn't happen on any given day, the story is that his mom would come home from work and if the to-do list wasn’t complete, she was known to put on her pajamas and say, “You guys are not going anywhere!” It didn’t take long at all to learn her style of self-discipline, and because he loved the game, basketball was just a way to keep the Cook brothers on top of the things they had to do. Knowing who is in your court is essential, and Cook always knew his high school coach filled that role. The same discipline, along with mentoring, inspiration, and confidence followed the player from one phase of his sports career to another. Today, it is difficult to discern who is the fan. “I was blessed last year, my first game in Arizona coaching—my high school coach was at the game and saw my first win. After the game, he said, ‘man, you look like me out there.” And I was smiling from ear because I know he'd been behind me 100% through my career in high school Drwin agrees basketball has changed— significantly. It is still fun and very talented athletes are still claiming the court, but the rules and standards have changed, and discipline has become more difficult. “I’d say there’s a little different mentality stemming from things like WWW.REBOUNDMAGAZINE.COM | WWW.BEYONDTHEGAME.COM 43

anything; he also knows there will be coaches, like Doug Moe, who might get on you… but you come to know it is because he sees something in you. Opportunities to work with NBA coaches like this don’t happen every day; these experiences couldn’t be designed or planned—they are a fortunate blessing in your sports career. With all this in mind, what our pro-player turned coach would say to current professional players is, “Always improve your craft. Don't settle on just doing one thing. Try to do it all: scoring defense, rebound blocked shots, dive balls… just give me your all. Don’t try to live just on your reputation. Remember, in college how I scored a 35-point game, well, when I came into the NBA that wasn’t going to cut it—I was up against a higher level of talent; I was up against more aggressive players. Study the game, know the other players' tendencies, know what they do best, and how they achieve it. Always be prepared, work out more than the next player, practice, keep your body in shape to prevent injuries. And… get going out there, prove that you belong, show that YOU are memorable." As much as some players would choose never to retire, it is pretty much a part of the journey. Fortunately, today it is easier to withdraw from the NBA. The contracts being presented to players who come into the game as young as 18 can set them up for life. Cook's counsel for the reality of retirement? "The first thing you should probably do is buy the most expensive computer you can afford and take an online class to learn how to manage your money. Look at the years ahead of you and start planning your entrepreneurship now. You may play for 20 years; it may only be 3, but you will be set. Look at what Lebron James is doing, or Shaquille O'Neal. They are getting out, doing something, participating in their communities. Make your mark, build things, help the unfortunate." Cook tells a great story of giving away his sweatbands during each game. One young boy approached him before a game in New Jersey, and Darwin said he’d get it to him right after the game if the boy would meet him at a specific location. After the game a large group of boys gathered at "the spot" begging for the coveted sweatband, the young boy cowering in the corner, afraid of them. Cook made sure to give it to the boy who had been promised. The smile on the child’s face was unforgettable. The story did not end there! Sometime after Darwin had retired, he was playing pickup games, and a young player came up and said, "Hey, are you, Darwin Cook?” 44 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

Photos courtesy of University of Antelope Valley “Yeah, I am.” “Ah, man, you see, you gave me one of your sweatbands. My Dad used to have season tickets, and at one game you gave me one of your sweatbands.” Darwin looked at him and said, “Wow, okay, well if you bring that sweatband in while I’m here, I’ll sign it for you.” The young man came back the next day, and Cook’s question for him was, “Why? What made you keep this sweatband all these years?” The response brought the seasoned player to tears, “Well, I run my own business now. And the sweatband is a reminder to me to never look down on anyone and to always honor everything I say or do. You taught me two amazing things that night.” At that moment, Darwin felt humbled, grateful, and touched, "I mean that was just a calling from God, that I had done just the right thing—and it was nothing short of remarkable.” Physical injuries are a natural part of professional sports; some players are more fortunate than others. “I was blessed to have only one minor injury in my playing career, and my first surgery was in my seventh year of coaching college basketball. Now, I experience little arthritis and sciatica that make it painful just to walk. In some ways, even this is a good experience to share with my team, telling them it is not about me; I know what to do as a coach and I can prepare you to get out there and play. I can't move around on the court as I used to, but some days, I can outshoot you all!"

Darwin feels he is one of the fortunate ones, he has no mental problems and thinks that each step of his career has been orchestrated spiritually to ensure he is a mentor to so many young athletes. "You know, He could have easily had me as an all-pro guard coming out, but no, He had bigger plans for me—to mentor young men to achieve THEIR greatness! That's what kept me going, you know. My pro-career is over in the NBA, but what I do now is a blessing. And it was… I think it was planned for me from day one when I finally made it to the NBA.” During a period of suffering from the sciatica Cook happened to connect with a high school friend, Clarence Morgan, from the NuEnerchi company. Athletes learn to live with pain, to push through it, so it took some time for Cook to agree to try his friend’s medical unit. Experiencing the results, it wasn't long before he owned one, and through its use, began walking pain-free—and became an ardent advocator. “And we now have three students from our UAV school of massage working as interns with a technology that works many different areas; it gets your mind right and gets your body feeling good, so you can try to do other things to get better. This machine is going to alleviate some of the pains they (older players) have with arthritis, knee problems, back problems, shoulder problems, foot problems…it's going to be a game changer for people who just want to walk normally, pick up their grandkids. It will be instrumental in an overall healing process and will be something most older athletes can afford. I’m sold on it. I’m in much gratitude for those guys. I will be their spokesperson every day of the year, as long as I live.”

Although Cook has seen no direct results of the equipment on young athletes as a whole, he is hoping to see more of it through its use at the UAV Massage Therapy School, where students are currently being taught the protocols in use and applications of the NuEnerchi technology for the school’s students and athletes. Natural healing is probably the best form of healing any injury, and if students can learn new processes, UAV’s coach may well be right: “I think it’s going to be very big at our school. It helps to be able to have new technology that’s good for them and as they graduate, to start their own businesses.” Dreams, goals, lessons, mental, emotional and physical needs… Darwin Cook has experienced them all, yet what he leaves us with is a sense of gratitude for being blessed to be an NBA player and play during a time when he was able to compete against some of the top 50 players in the history of the game. His life has mattered, he has achieved a lot, he has been remembered by peers and fans alike. He feels he has been put in the right position to do, build, develop and mentor, and would do it all if he could make just one kid smile, or open the door to a career for another. ”Some people think if you do one good deed for another person, it might change that person's life. And that is the legacy of my NBA career, my mentoring career… my after, after playing career.

STREET TEAM “You can’t allow your inability to be perfect to affect your performance.” ~ Rick Barry, Basketball Hall of Fame, in #perfection #fearoffailure #basketballhalloffame

FINDING NET WORTH IN NETWORKING Networking and building professional relationships, while in the game, isn’t always easy for the athlete. However, doing so especially while an athlete is “publicly relevant”, will make each transition, whether it be from student to employee or pro—or pro to retiree, so much smoother. Networking and building relationships can lead to jobs, new business, valuable mentors, client prospects, donors for a charitable foundation and other wonderful opportunities. Excellent examples of using networking to focus on one’s net worth were uncovered during the many shoots of filming Beyond the Game—each different, interesting and impactful. Former Houston Rockets’ Al Heggs told us of an alum who introduced him to selling cars, how he sold cars off season, and the experience he gained which led Al to be one of the most successful Chrysler dealership owners in the country, after he retired from the basketball. Al’s stories will captivate our audiences, without a doubt. Former New York Knicks’ Mike Glenn, in his on-camera interview, talked about calling up CEO’s connected with Wall Street and inviting them to lunch—while he was playing for that city—and his name and team association opened doors. Former NBA player, Matt Fish and former WNBA player, Chastity Melvin, discussed their internships with the NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association), as a way to add to their professional business experience and contacts. You’ll find both of these former players truly gifted as both now assist other players in the art of networking. Former NFL player, Ken Hamlin, confessed that his former “M.O.” was to sleep on a plane and avoid discussions with fellow passengers. Now he anxiously looks forward to the contacts he makes each time. He’s passionate about networking and through personal development as a brand partner with Nerium International™ and shares these lessons daily with others. Numerous student athletes at universities, filmed for Beyond the Game, also revealed stories of success in finding employment after graduation based on the alum dinners they attended, the summer jobs pursued, the business cards they collected, and the personal connections made with former student athletes from their schools. Employers, nonprofit organizations and institutions want athletes on their “teams”. They recognize the highly desirable skill sets athletes bring. You will hear many stories of success in Beyond the Game, but all have a common thread-No one does it alone. Reach out while still playing, whether student or pro athlete. Challenge yourself to go out and make a connection today…even just one. ~Ben Kim

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4 MISTAKES NBA PLAYERS SHOULD AVOID BEFORE RETIRING Many elements in the film, Beyond the Game, address a common issue faced by young and old athletes alike: financial responsibility and the steps necessary to maximize the wealth it is possible to amass during a successful career. The following article speaks to the finances and retirement of NBA players in particular. In comparison with other sports leagues, NBA players earn considerable salaries, attract endorsement deals, and build a large fan base—each a result of hard work and dedication. But often, little is discussed about retirement or the next life phase. According to ESPN, the average NBA player will make $24.7 million in his career. This includes the average salary of $5.2 million and an average career length of 4.8 years. In 2018, the average salary is $6.7 million split among 536 players ranging from $37.4 million to as low as $20,000. As an NBA player, retirement can be full of financial traps, and it’s simple to make several “rookie” mistakes. The worst part is many are only discovering their financial mistakes only years after being away from their career at the cost of losing millions. Family issues, business disputes, and unqualified financial advisors typically result in potential scams or massive losses from high-risk investments… mistakes all too frequently made during peak income-earning years.

MISTAKE # 1 NOT HAVING ENOUGH SAVINGS Although the NBA offers a 401(k) plan with matching, non-deductible contributions, it is difficult to rely solely on these retirement funds, with an average career length of 4.8 years. Many NBA players rely on the rate of return on investments, when in fact they would do better to control spending and interest rates on debt. For example, a 12% rate of return earned on investments can’t outpace 19% interest on debt— such as credit cards or loans. In the end, that’s still a net 7% loss. The key is to maintain a budget and have a long-term savings plan.

MISTAKE # 2: NOT REEVALUATING FINANCIAL GOALS The principles of any financial plan start by establishing a budget and setting realistic goals. Budgets show where money is being spent and reveal potential areas of concern that need improvement. For NBA players, this is especially important as the sudden loss of income can impact overall financial goals if spending is out-of-control. After a budget overhaul, building an emergency fund of at least six to twelve months is best, as

it helps with career changes. Emergency funds assist with sudden expenses or unexpected changes. NBA players should avoid high-interest loans and cash advances at all cost if possible, as the lasting effects can take years to even out.

MISTAKE # 3: NOT AVOIDING SUSPICIOUS INVESTMENTS For NBA players, mistakes in retirement can be costly and have a lasting effect. Many don’t have the time or know-how to effectively manage their own finances so it’s crucial to not place blind trust and research the individuals who are handling financial affairs.

MISTAKE # 4: NOT HIRING THE RIGHT FINANCIAL ADVISOR Financial advisors should have complete transparency and always be on the lookout for their client’s best interests, but that doesn’t always happen. Several misrepresent their credentials and misstate facts in order to sell an NBA player a product or service. In many cases, these supposed financial advisors aren’t even licensed—or are barely qualified to give the right advice. It’s crucial to ask how a financial advisor is licensed to find out how they are compensated. Depending on the firm the financial advisor works for, almost all fit into one of the three categories: 1.) broker; 2.) investment adviser; and 3.) insurance agent. Remember, the standard to act in a client's best interest is called fiduciary duty. Brokers and insurance agents are held to a lesser measure, called suitability standard. Suitability standard is where investments sold are deemed to be “suitable” for their clients, not necessarily what's “best” for their clients. This difference alone can be costly as complaints and lawsuits are either dismissed—or at best—settled for a fraction of the original amount. When planning for retirement, NBA players should prevent mistakes rather than having to cure them.

During their career, most (if not all) NBA players will be pitched investments with promises of high interest rates, but these require the most caution. After retiring, these investments may seem more attractive because of the sudden loss of income. NBA players should be diligent, ask a host of questions, and obtain a second opinion before making this costly mistake. Sometimes, investment fraud abuse is never reported due to embarrassment or assumptions that there is no recourse against these scams. Any investment needs to be researched, whether it’s being offered through a broker, investment advisor, insurance agent, or anyone else.

Carlos Dias, Jr. President and Founder | MVP Wealth


Photos courtesy of University of Michigan

THE VICTORS VALIANT… BASKETBALL’S CHAMPIONSHIP CULTURE INSIDE FOOTBALL’S VALHALLA IT has never been easy being a University of Michigan basketball fan. While the program has had its share of storied moments— some fairy tale, some nightmare—the program lives in the shadows of MICHIGAN FOOTBALL. Michigan football is college football’s Olympus. The first program to win over 950 games, the most in the sport’s history. 42 Big Ten championships. 11 National Championships. The Wing Helmet. Hell, the basketball arena lies in the shadows of the famous Big House. So, it is easy to understand that Michigan basketball has, over the years, been viewed as the lonely stepchild of Michigan athletics. Michigan started its basketball program in 1908. While having occasional bright spots, the plan was at best mediocre. That is, until the arrival of coach Johnny Orr. In Orr’s 12 years, he ushered into the program a hard-nosed, blue-collar work ethic. In many ways, this personality was reflected in his gritty guards: Steve Grote and Rickey Green. The teams began to win consistently, and a culture of high expectation of both the program and the players was born. Finally, for die-hard fans like myself, we hit the promised land, when an assistant coach named Steve Fisher was thrown into the spotlight to lead the 1989 team into the NCAA tournament after Bill Frieder left the program at the end of the regular season to coach at Arizona State. Led by future NBA Stars like Glenn Rice and Terry Mills, they shocked the world and won our first NCAA championship. Then came the Fab 5. Webber, Rose, Howard, King, Jackson. Long pants. Black socks. Swag. It was Detroit baby. Rough, tough, fast, in your face. The blue-haired fans in the front rows hated it. The rest of us lavished in the high energy and crazy skills of these five freshmen! We were basketball's big-time baby! Then scandal—and back to the abyss. The program was DOA, wandering in college basketball’s wasteland. Until the arrival of a quiet, intellectual, confident, middle-aged, unheralded gentleman named John Beilein took hold of the reins in 2007. He brought in players whot reflected the best attributes required to win the right way, consistently. They weren’t McDonald’s all American five-star players. Heck, they were mostly threestar talent. But they were cut out of the same cloth as him. Fierce, focused, and a high IQ talent that held themselves accountable to their brothers on the team. Zack Novak, Stu Douglas, and Darius Morris started to lead the 48 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

program back. The recipe was proven. The right men with the proper ethics and the unquenchable desire to become their very best got us back to the top of college basketball. Today, Crisler Center is a sold out, a rough sea of maize. What was once an arena that resembled the quiet stillness of the graduate library, is now one of the toughest venues in the sport. For the maize and blue faithful, the transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. As a business executive, I see the secret sauce to Michigan’s success so very clearly. As in any organization, a culture has to be established. A culture of excellence, accountability, respect, and integrity. Surround your team with assistants who want to grow, develop and mentor your players to be their best, to improve their individual skill sets and fit them into a model that makes the more celebrated team so much stronger than the individuals that encompass it. This is why I now marvel at coach Beilein and his players. They understand that old Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler's mantra, "the team, the team, the team." These are the type of players that every manager would hire to grow and lead their organizations. People who go about their business the right way, every day. They expect the best out of themselves and their teammates. They are focused on goal achievement. They are durable, determined and tenacious. The same innate qualities that every Michigan man and woman has brought to this sport since 1908. I am thrilled that many of our current and former Michigan athletes will be showcased in the upcoming documentary, Beyond the Game. As a businessman, a Michigan alum and an avid fan, I look forward to learning from some of the sports most storied and upcoming athletes and coaches. Life lessons come from so many of these incredible individuals that every coach, entrepreneur, youngster, and manager should listen and learn from their journeys. Every athlete and successful business person understands that the game is played until the final zeros are on the clock. Even though they run off the court in victory or defeat, tomorrow starts the process of getting better. Better than yesterday, better than your competitor. As is said in every Michigan locker room "what the mind can conceive and believe, the body can achieve, and those who stay will be champions." Bill Hettling Partner, The Stone Cliff Group Investments, Consulting, and Training

WHAT IS A BRAND INVESTMENT℠? WHY NOT KNOWING IS COSTING YOU. A BRAND INVESTMENT℠ is the act of utilizing your brand’s value as an asset, instead of cash, to acquire an interest in a business. However, as a professional athlete, to truly understand how to make a Brand Investment and the importance thereof, you must embrace the truth about the occupation of a professional athlete: being a professional athlete is a job, not a career. Thus, the importance to strategically make Brand Investments is to not only correctly monetize your brand in an investment, but also to help transition the brand from that of an athlete to that of a business professional. The film, Beyond the Game, is an empowering look at professional athletes and how they grow not only in their sport, but in the future—as astute business people. This growth sometimes takes into consideration a personal/professional brand; sometimes there is the tragedy of no strategy in place to do so. Athletes would do well to rid themselves of the notion that being a professional athlete is the pinnacle of their career. It is not! It is merely a short-term job (albeit a great one) that, if leveraged correctly, can accelerate one’s career to its ultimate destination, whatever that may be. The most critical factor in the success of leveraging the job of a professional athlete to enhance the athletes’ ultimate career, is the strategic utilization of an athlete's brand. Many athletes generally understand they will be young when they retire from their sport. However, they mistakenly believe that merely managing their money while as an athlete will prepare them for life after retirement. An athlete needs to not only correctly manage their finances but also ensure they have adequate income streams after retirement.

The act is not done with malice, but rather… since this type of financial investment is not a traditional endorsement or publicity rights license: the athlete and business both make a mistake in not appropriately addressing the issue. Athletes must know that if a company does exploit the athlete’s brand, even without the direct intention to do so, the athlete is still entitled to compensation. The time to understand a brand value is before the deal is made. Think about the millions of dollars in lost revenue if a brand is not strategically positioned or recognized. Thus, when an athlete makes investments and does not utilize their brand as an asset in making them, it could be costing “the brand” millions of dollars. For example, if an athlete’s goal is to be a real estate investor after they retire from their sport, then the Brand made should help them towards an ultimate goal of being recognized as a knowledgeable and experienced real estate investor.

CONSIDER THE NONTRADITIONAL To implement a Brand Investment strategy requires an athlete to consider investment structures that may be regarded as “nontraditional” and extend beyond the traditional equity for a cash investment. Recently, some athletes have utilized the “equity endorsement” (a Brand Investment which is an endorsement by which the athlete receives equity in the business in addition to, or in place of, cash in exchange for the licensing of their publicity rights). However, there are many other creative ways to invest one’s brand. For example, in exchange for an athlete’s publicity rights—but excluding any obligation of the athlete

to actively market the company or its products— an athlete can receive equity and become a board member of a company. The athlete not only will be able to provide their brand and insights to the company but can gain expertise and a reputation in the company’s industry while adequately being compensated for the value of their brand.

CONSIDER THE ADVISORS Athletes should consult a qualified advisor who has enough experience with Brand Investments to assist them in developing and implementing a Brand Investment strategy. A professional athletes’ team of advisors should be expanded beyond the sports agent and financial advisor and include a professional who works along with such advisors to help ensure the athlete is not losing money and opportunities for lack of a proper Brand Investment strategy. George Scott, Jr., JD, MBA, Managing Attorney, BRAND INVESTMENT LAW FIRM PLLC Danielle Scott, MBA, Managing Director [1]

CONSIDER THE STRATEGIES One strategy often employed is making financial investments in businesses. However, many athletes fail to consider the value of their brand or the investments’ role to develop that brand into one, which remains relevant after retirement from their sport. Although some athletes today are more active in making financial investments, many do not adequately consider their brand when making them. Too often, the idea is to invest in a venture and hope it becomes profitable. Many times, the business takes the athlete's investments to exploit their brand without paying adequate consideration for such rights.


“One can determine the direction of his or her family’s legacy re: financial education by the lessons passed onto one’s children and community.” ~Sheryl Swoopes, Three Olympic gold medals, Naismith Hall of Fame, Former WNBA, in http:// #financialeducation #WNBA


ATHLETES’ STORIES MAKING A DIFFERENCE The film production on this project has been one of the most fascinating journeys I've experienced in my 18 years of filmmaking. The content-rich stories of the pro athletes highlighting their transitions have provided a connection that I've not seen in any other documentary I've directed and produced. These athletes have openly downloaded their thoughts with unabashed honesty, raw emotion and incredible insight, all with the shared purpose of making a difference. They have given us an intimate look into who they really are—off the field and beyond their "persona" as athletes. Their stories go beyond the awards, the games won, and what we know as fans and spectators. The numerous athletes interviewed in this film have come together, with us, to participate in Beyond the Game as a catalyst to expectantly engage the audiences to think, act and join in the movement to make sports better. Collectively and individually, they have altered the face of what we too often see both in the impressive and negative aspects of games in the media—and show instead of the successful entrepreneurs, the passionate philanthropists, the time-tested mentors and agents of change.

As a "footage intense and story-rich" project with hundreds of hours of footage, Beyond the Game will share a multitude of stories, in both the film and an accompanying book, that I'm confident will touch the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.

As an example of this is Vincent Jackson, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer, (seen in this photograph) who was a straight A student in college, finished his degree even after he signed with the NFL while playing, established several ongoing businesses and gives back, tirelessly, to military families through his foundation, Jackson in Action Foundation. http://www.

Susan Sember Executive Producer/Film Director Silverlight Films Malibu, CA

“The power of the 450 NBA playersallows these men to develop their brand, collectively, and individually. The current players are initiating business, tech, social activism and philanthropic programs independently and then bringing them to us. There are future NBA team owners in this mix, too, and it’s exciting to see.” ~Michele Roberts, Executive Director of the NBPA, interviewed in Beyond the Game film.

“My first intro to the AZ Cardinals was sitting with my brother, then the assistant GM, and him telling me it was his job to find my replacement every day. I realized then this was a business. Not the game I played in school.” ~ Reggie Newhouse, NFL in his film interview for Beyond the Game. Vincent is a role model and mentor in so many ways. He, like the others in the film, came forward with messages of hope and encouragement for his troubled "brothers" in the sport, provided sage advice for the student-athlete population and debunked every unsavory stereotype about athletes which are given too much credence by the uninformed.

We can hardly wait to roll out our documentary for you. Join us, by providing your email address on our website at www.beyondthegamefilm. com for distribution news, the college tour schedule, consideration for pro athlete panelist/speaker positions for that tour and red-carpet premiere invitations.



STREET TEAM “There’s 450 people in the NBA and 1000’s of people surrounding them putting on the show. So, while you’re playing, pick up all the inherent knowledge while you’re in the game to learn the business.” ~ Cherokee Parks, former NBA player and NBA Basketball Operations Associate featured in beyondthegamefilm. com #nba #nbagleague #dukebasketball #beyondthegamefilm

Vincent Jackson - NFL Athlete to Community Leader Vincent Jackson (featured in Beyond The Game) is the founder of the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation. He serves as a community leader in his home town and across the nation. As the son of military parents, Vincent understands firsthand the challenges that military children and families face. The mission of the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation is to provide support to military families, focusing on the educational, emotional, and physical health of the children. The foundation operates several annual programs that aim to strengthen and support the military family unit. Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Adam Grant

Vincent Jackson and the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation salute the City of Tampa, The University of South Florida, and Producer & Director, Susan Sember on the premiere of Beyond The Game.

To learn more about the Jackson in Action 83 Foundation, visit


rofessional athletes learn so much about life through the years of dedication to a sport, as we look back, it is good to reflect on the things that mattered to us, and even ponder the wisdom we might want to pass down to a rookie we happen to be talking with. Even in my wealth management advisory practice, I look at these athletes and think about Tom Landry’s quote, “By the time you figure it out, you’ll be out of the game, or too old to play!” That resonates with a lot of people; it is true and not just a sports statement. Although it might sound cliché; think about it: if you only knew yesterday what you know today, how much better off would you be? The analogy in life I see frequently is just how many freshmen walk onto campus at age 18, thinking they already have it all figured out! Now, those freshmen know what the next four years are going to be like. The dreams to be all-

American, all-world or universe—all everything. They look back four years later and wonder why thing didn’t go exactly as planned. That is life; it rarely does. What does happen, however, is the change that occurs with the experiences. If that freshman—turned senior—were to connect with a new crop of freshmen, the capacity to help them would be rich and real. You might hear a conversation something like this, with the freshman saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you, but I’ve got it all figured out!” The senior can now respond with, “I'm telling you now you are a freshman. Been there, done that, seen it, lived it, worked it. I've done it all. So, I'm not here to tell you that what I see as the Gospel for you. I'm just letting you know that I've been there. And if you really want to try and not have to go over as many mountains and maybe have to go over just a few hills, then what I have to say is just invaluable to you.”

It is interesting when someone asks you to share your wisdom; they often don’t realize wisdom is not about what you know. Wisdom is knowing what you don't know. And in some respects, you have to live long enough to know what wisdom truly is. It's hard to be 21-22 years old and understand what wisdom is being spoken to you or what wisdom is. In speaking with an up-coming athlete, I would encourage them to just listen. My greatest gift might be to say, “I'm not saying it's going to register with you today. It might not register tomorrow, but at least someone told you something and they told you for a good reason. So just listen to them and put it in your register, put it in your file, just like a computer, put it in your cache file and maybe you'll go back and reference it and pull it out one day and be like, ‘ah, that's what they were trying to tell me. I'm glad they told me at 22 and I’m not just now hearing it at 28 and still trying to figure all this out. Ah, glad

BY THE TIME YOU FIGURE IT OUT, YOU’LL BE OUT OF THE GAME OR TOO OLD TO PLAY I know this now.’” The more I can tell someone sooner, the better off I think we all can be. It is rare to find an athlete who doesn’t come to the game all covered with vulnerability, the greatest of which is not knowing what you don’t know. Unfortunately, that susceptibility is increased by people coming out of the woodworks telling you how something should be, and because of a lack of basic knowledge, with eyes wide open you listen to just about anything you are being told— after all, they are an adult, they are experienced, or they ‘sound’ like they know what you don’t know. The travesty is that it usually takes the average athlete again, three years before they wake up and understand what's really going on. It is also somewhat a travesty there is no ‘playbook’ for rookie players because we learn through life experiences, we are hard-wired to learn in a certain way. We are ingrained to sit in a room where a coach draws the play on the board. We see it, we visualize it, yet it is not until we actually get on the field, can we understand how it really works. It is our nature; we’re all wired to have our own internal playbooks and we don't really necessarily take, or 52 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

put too much stock in someone else's. Let’s look at it this way: Most people probably don’t realize there is a different perspective to watching a sport on television versus being on the field. As an athlete and as a player, I’ve experienced how the best coaches have always said, “tell me what you saw because what you saw from a depth perception on the field and live action is different than what I saw from a side view angle up top in the press box.” Oh Wow. And that right there is why an athlete will say, “yes, I hear you, but my experience is completely different than yours from the sideline or from up top.” Some of these lessons are learned in interesting ways, such as the following, which I will never forget. A well-taught lesson by a wise coach. The quarterback dropped back and went through his progression, and he threw the ball, only to have the coach jump down his throat, yelling, “Gosh darn it. Why'd you make that play, why'd you throw that ball?” Shaken to the core, the player said, “Coach, what I saw was this person did this over here. That one came down this way and this one did that, so I threw it to him.”

Imagine his surprise when the coach said,” Good job. Oh Wow!” The coach wanted the player to be able to tell him what he saw. He did that on purpose and I'll never forget it. It goes along with another lesson learned early on, that of the perception of an athlete who also, by the way, an athlete in football or basketball or whatever you want to call it, every 40 seconds of football player gets to start over. If he fumbled, made the tackle, made a touchdown, dropped the pass, got sick, he gets 40 seconds and he starts over. And basketball—if he misses shot, he gets 24 seconds to go back down the court and do it all over again. In baseball, you know that missed play… 30 seconds later, 20 seconds later, there's another pitch coming at it. I share this because we are used to the world coming at US and failing. But—and this is big—we get another opportunity to redeem ourselves in just a matter of seconds. Well, when you transition and go beyond the game, those 24 seconds, 40 seconds, those turn into hours. Hours turn into days, turn into weeks and they turn into months, which makes it very hard for the average athlete to transition with a new reality of I just messed up and I can't redeem myself for another 24 months. That's tough.

I’ve been blessed to connect with athletes. Every year I speak at a college all-star game and I speak to over 200 aspiring NFL athletes. I get a few colleges, they will ask me to come in and speak to the up and coming… basketball, football, golf, tennis, doesn't matter. I do my best to drive home the simple, relatable message, “I've been there. I've done that. I know where you've been. I understand what you're thinking. “I find the more we can build a rapport, hopefully I can reach one woman, one man—who will remember what I said, and it can change their perspective and outlook going forward. Not every comment will be taken to heart, but if a few little nuggets stick, it helps to know there's someone who genuinely understands and cares to help move them to the next level. I learned a huge message when I was with the Baltimore Ravens. The coach, who had been my father's running back coach with the Dallas Cowboys, was sitting in a room with me, Ben Snow, Rob Robertson, Eric Rent, and maybe a couple other guys and the coach says, “Now, you know, all of you aren't going to be in this room. You know, y'all, not going to make it.” I looked at him, looked around the room and you know, inside my head, kind of looked at all the guys and think to myself, you're not

talking to me.

Oh, guess what? He was talking to me because I was cut, but when you come into pro-sports in your early twenties, the world is your oyster. Nothing's ever going to happen to you. You're invincible. Everyone knows you're great—and you are, and you're going to make it—until you realize

everyone else is great too. The important point is that you will experience similar things when you are 30 or 60, with each transition you have, you will only in retrospect, understand all you didn’t know. The mindset seems warped and it's hard to tell someone to focus on life when they haven't even got to life yet. I dealt with finding my soul place, following my father’s history in pro-sports. You ask most anyone back then and they would immediately recognize the name: Robert Fulton Newhouse. A fullback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys for twelve seasons, he also played college football at the University of Houston Following in his limelight was challenging, and although I respected and honored my father, there was a part of me who wanted others to know who I was! As I got older, I found the compliments about my father more valuable; I saw the memories he gave other players, which then gave me a new level of appreciation and respect for him, and I loved being able to be Rodd Newhouse. Today, I want to hold his name and likeness and everything he did in high esteem. I could say the same for my brother; we both do our best each day to make sure we uphold the Newhouse name, particularly when representing the sports industry: I was Assistant GM for the AZ Cardinals and Reggie played with the AZ Cardinals and NY Jets. I look at the traits I learned from my esteemed father that have carried me through my years as a professional athlete, and through a transition to a career offering wealth management for athletes. It has taken me time to figure these out, fortunately

I’m still at least in the “game of life” where I can rely on three traits: measured; disciplined; and determined. By the way he lived, my father was very measured, very strategic, very, very measured in his response and his tone and articulation and discipline. I hold myself accountable to that I too. do my best; we all fall short, but I definitely hold that as a pillar. Determined, he was always determined to get better, always determined to learn, always determined to be the best person he could be in any given situation. I will never forget when my dad said to me one day in college, “You're too smart to play football.” I was confused by that comment at the time because I was thinking,

well, what is he saying? Am I not good? I can't play? We'll do something else? Like, wow, thanks for the support, Dad.

Now that I’ve figured it out, that's not what he was saying. It was just really saying that I didn’t’ have to go beat my body up out there on the football field like I did as a player for 12 years— when there's other ways to do it. My dad had a Master's Degree. He came from East Texas where we grew up in a home that had an outhouse, so to him, to make it, to get that math degree and a masters from college… he really inspired me from that aspect that education is important. I don’t recall that our parents pushed education on us, maybe leading by example was his way, but I do remember a conversation with my dad one time after all of us got out of college. My brother went to Baylor on a football scholarship; my sisters went


to Abilene Christian on track scholarships; and I went to Rice on a football scholarship and he said, “Do you know why, um, you know, why you guys, you know, whatever you wanted, you got it?” I didn’t know where he was headed so I said, “No. Why?” “Why?” He said, “because I had four kids that went to college. Private colleges or private universities on scholarships. You guys saved me a lot of money!” I guess that was his way of saying to go get as many degrees as you can, as much as you can. And while I am still trying to figure it out, I know something I'm looking for is another post doctorate degree at something I'd like to pursue in the near future. This constantly moving forward is another thing you figure out as you go through life, and being in an inspired and guided environment makes the difference? Being honest with yourself and knowing what you must do to improve. I used to tell players, and I still tell players to this day, “Don't ever ask the coach how you're doing!” This is a lesson learned and it is not the best question because the coaches are, “yeah, you're doing good, you're doing good.” I’ve heard guys ask, “Yo coach, how am I doing? “and think you’re right in there, so you don’t pay attention to another player staying after practice. You don’t know that player is catching a hundred footballs because you are lulled into a false security of thinking you're doing good. You’re feeling really good—and then it comes time for roster cuts, and you are cut, which poses a big question, “I thought I was doing good!” “Well yeah, you needed to work on your run blocking. Yes. That's why you didn't make it” Shocked you say, “Whoa, wait a minute. I was, if you'd have told me that I would've worked on that.” “Well, you asked the wrong question! The better question is, what can I do to be the best player I can be?” So, don't ask how you're doing. Ask what you can do to improve or be the best player you can be. Now you get told do what to do, now you're getting somewhere. This is where you pick up those back pocket plays and a good

STREET TEAM Joe Rogowski, Director of Sports Medicine and Research, NBPA-Great info in his film interview re: how careers and life during and after basketball are impacted by the sport and what’s being done on various fronts with current and retired players. #longevity #beyondthegamefilm #innovationinsports #nbpa #sportsmedicine 54 REBOUND MAGAZINE | BEYOND THE GAME

work ethic. You figure out how important it is to start on your next plan— today. And if you go into professional sports, every professional athlete who's retired will tell you this, “if you are not working on your next move after professional sports, the day you get in, it's too late.” I’m still figuring it out! When I speak with athletes and share my experience and career path, they are like, “Huh, well, no, no one's a real estate broker. Law degree. Three majors from college, a dad who played brother played, played yourself, worked in the front office. No one has all that in one wrapper!” This might make it hard for my message to really come out because I'm not scalable, nor is my message. If an athlete asks why they need me, it comes full circle to where I started this message, by the time you figure it out, you’ll be out of the game. “The reason you need me is because I played it. I worked it. I can tell you what the front office thinks. I can tell you how a player thinks. I can tell you what your agent is going to do. I can tell you what your agents aren't going to do. I'll tell you what the team's going to do, are not going to do. I can get what I'm going to do and not going to do. I grew up in it. My dad got five Superbowl rings, my brother played. What do I not know?” Human nature being what it is, they’ll begin to figure it out and we will have a different conversation three to four years later. When seasoned film Director, Susan Sember, invited me to be a part of her documentary film, Beyond the Game, I was truly honored. I can only imagine how far-reaching it’s stories will be. “I’m looking forward to the release of Beyond the Game and sharing the passionate athletes and sponsors associated with this film. It’s more than a film…it’s a movement”. When she followed up that invitation with another to be a part of a special edition of REBOUND Magazine, I felt the same. I really felt her excitement, but I wondered about it being in a basketball magazine, until I realized she had it figured out! My journey is universal, and transcends any specific sport. Rodd Newhouse, Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA®) 44 management

a possibility. They think, much like I did, that their careers would span over a decade and during that time they’d make more money than they could ever spend. Fortunately, while I had goals of a much longer professional athletics career, I planned my financial life for one much shorter. That meant that I needed to skimp and save as much NFL money as humanly possible while the getting was good. I encourage other athletes to do the same. Especially in the NFL where contracts aren’t guaranteed.

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING YOUR FINANCIAL RUNWAY I can remember writing down my goals during my senior season at East Carolina University. I was fresh off of a good junior year and was on some of the preseason “Players to Watch” lists for my position. It was the first time I thought I may actually get the chance to play in the NFL. So that chance became the first goal I wrote down. As fate would have it, it came true. I was drafted by the New York Giants. I quickly started another set of goals on my trusty notepad: play in the league for ten plus years; hold all of the records at my position; and on a long shot wind up in the Hall of Fame. I quickly found myself in a position financially that I, nor any of my immediate family, had been before. I went from a broke college kid to one of the highest salaried people in the country. Heck, I paid more in taxes my first year in the league than most married couples earned in a year. Life as a pro athlete was almost everything I could have imagined. It was glamourous, exciting, and very fruitful financially. It was also very brief. NFL went from meaning the National Football League to ‘Not For Long’ as I was cut from the team during my second training camp. I thought no sweat, I’ll make it onto another squad somewhere. Regardless of what I wrote down in my notepad, I never made it back on a team. And at age twenty‐four or five, I was officially retired. Even now that’s hard to say. I thought retirement was for people like my parents and their friends. I remember reading Retire Young, Retire Rich! by Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad) and thinking that would be me someday. Well, I had taken care of the retiring young part, but I wasn’t nearly as rich as I thought I’d be.

THE FIRST RETIREMENT—LIFE AFTER SPORTS The majority of professional athletes are tasked with planning for two retirements. One from their respective sport and then retiring altogether down the road. The problem is that most haven’t considered it to even be

I didn’t know that initially. I didn’t really know anything. I had a goal of being a millionaire by age thirty, and in my early twenties I signed a contract worth more than double that. I missed the * in the contract that stated only my signing bonus was guaranteed. After reading the fine print, and having some unforeseen struggles on my new team, I got busy saving. I built a cash runway. The longer a runway means the better chance a plane has of landing or taking off successfully. Your financial life needs such a runway. Others call it an emergency fund, a rainy‐day account, etc. But the fact remains, unless you’re in the select minority of professional athletes who will only retire once in their entire lives, you need to do everything in your power to build your runway long and wide.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LIQUIDITY Liquidity refers to how quickly I can get my hands on my money. A checking account at the bank is liquid. Money invested in a would‐be entrepreneur/ relative’s hot dog chain idea is not. The earlier you are in your career; the more important liquidity is. Because sooner or later, you’re going to experience your first retirement. For common people, it’s recommended to set aside enough money to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses. That way, if they were to lose their job, they’d have bought themselves some time to figure out their next move. For professional athletes, this transition is often much longer and much more traumatic. And as such, you’ll need to know you have built a big enough runway to help you make the change. If you don’t, you’ll likely find yourselves paying steep surrender charges, taking losses on investments, or a host of other things to access your money. Your financial runway is just a peace to a professional athlete’s overall financial picture. And when done correctly, it may just be the most important piece. SET BIG GOALS. DREAM LIKE YOU’LL PLAY FOREVER, BUT PLAN LIKE YOU’LL BE CUT TOMORROW. Matt Dodge is a registered representative of, and securities are offered through, USA Financial Securities Corp. (Member FINRA/SIPC). USA Financial Securities is located at 6020 E Fulton St., Ada, MI 49301. Investment Advisor Representative of Market Street Wealth Management. A Registered Investment Advisor. Market Street Wealth Management is not affiliated with USA Financial Securities.


well enough at Rio Hondo that Long Beach State gave him a scholarship the next year to play with them. It was at Long Beach that Longoria went from Shortstop to Third base… this change was due to Troy Tulowitzki (Tulo) playing short, and he was kind of a stud. Evan played well that first year at Long Beach State and got the opportunity to go play in the Cape Cod League, which is the most prestigious summer collegiate baseball league. This is where Longo started to separate himself from everyone else in the country. He became a Cape Cod League AllStar and went on to be the MVP that year (2005) as well. Evan was able to accomplish all of this against some of the most talented baseball players in the country. He went back to Long Beach State with more confidence than I am sure he had in the past, knowing he could compete at the next level. Longo finished up his 2006 season by being drafted as the third overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. Not too bad for a kid just three years earlier no one wanted at the D1 level.



hat an extraordinary experience… to be part of the documentary film, Beyond the Game, with so many other amazing current and former athletes. The film really captured the reality of what sports are like along with what transition looks like for many of us athletes. I would encourage people to watch the film to help them understand the transition process and how to do it successfully. One of the athletes in the film Beyond the Game, to whom I can relate is Evan Longoria—being we were both first picks and played in the big leagues—him clearly longer than me. I have had the chance to play against Evan multiple times while in the big leagues and we have several mutual friends in the Tampa area. I have come to understand that Evan has a great perspective on the game and life in general. The other thing that we have common outside of baseball is that we both like classic cars; I believe Evan had a 68 Camaro, and I had a 69 Camaro around the same time. It is an honor to share the perspective of one of the best baseball players in the game and to have had the pleasure to know and watch Evan Longoria (Longo) play ball for a long time at a high level. As some of you may know, the life of an athlete is ever-changing, and nothing is final until the day you retire and sometimes even in those instances that are reversed. Ha-Ha.

Longo started out strong in the Minors and only spent one year in the farm system with the Rays before getting the call up in 2008. Which was very similar to his old college teammate (Tulo) we talked about earlier. In 2008 Evan made his major league debut and had never looked back since. That year the Rays signed Evan to a six-year deal before he had hardly any bigleague time. The deal was worth in total $44 million but for Evan to receive that amount he needed to perform well. If he didn't show well or got hurt, he would have ended up with roughly $17 million. Pretty keen to receive such a contract before playing a full season. A lot of people criticized Evan for taking such a team-friendly deal and thought he was crazy because if he continued to do what he had been doing in the minors, Evan could have been making 10 million dollars a year in Arbitration typically covering three years. Some would have said all his agent wanted was the quick commission from the deal because the average MLB career is only 3 ½ years, and this was a way to get a fast payday. Let me tell you, Evan was no average player on or off the field; he made one of the wisest decisions, economically and personally, he could have made. The reason I say that is because I was on the other side of the coin. I was the 7th overall pick for the Brewers in 2007 and made it to the big leagues in 2009 with the Indians via trade for CC Sabathia in 2008. I had very similar minor league numbers to Evan and the advancement to the big leagues. But by the end of my 2009 season, I had to have my first hip surgery to repair my torn labrum and then again in 2012, which ultimately, as I like to say, ushered me out of the game and my once-promising baseball career. More recently, I had my hip replaced in 2017, due to my pelvis being bone on bone causing excruciating pain and I finally said I couldn’t take it no more.

Evan started out like most young baseball players eager to be the best that he could be—with the hopes of getting to the Major Leagues one day. The journey to make it to the MLB is never an easy one. It comes with a lot of sacrifices early in life… not just for the athlete but for the family as well. In writing this, I reflect back to so many times my family would drag my sweet sister all over to follow and watch me play baseball.

Speaking about my experience is intended to shed light on how much wisdom Longo had at an early age in making a substantial financial decision not knowing how long his baseball career would last. Had the same scenario of my job happened to Longo, he would have been financially secure because he signed his "team friendly" deal before any injury ever occurred. So, at the very least, he would have had $17 million dollars in his pocket—and a new hip!

When it came time for Longo to get the chance to play college baseball not one NCAA Division 1 team was willing to give the Cali kid (who was 6’ 1” and weighed a 170lbs) a shot. Longo was able to and fortunate enough to play one year at Rio Hondo Community College in Rose Hills California. He played

As you can see Evan is not just a one-dimensional player or person for that matter. He is mindful about the effects of the decisions he makes in life. Longoria tries to understand the ramifications that occur with any choices that come about. He also knows that this game will not last forever—no


matter how good he is. Evan has been able to align himself with the right people in what is now his hometown Tampa—St. Pete Florida. Evan has thriving restaurant bars called Ducky's in South Tampa as well as the Tampa International Airport. He is also involved with a multitude of real-estate holdings, and beyond that, he studies the market trying to find companies that have the most significant value at the time with the most upside for the future. Always focused and directed, Longo chooses to put his attention on these few things —when he is not all consumed with baseball—because this is where his future will be after the game, and it is wise to prepare for that while you are still dominating in your career. Evan has done an excellent job in the area making sure that he maintains a high level of social responsibility, not just for him to feel good but to make a more significant impact in the community, along with giving back versus taking. He has done an excellent job to create a brand that can now carry him beyond his playing days and outlast his career. It is a wise athlete who builds a brand early on in a collegiate and professional career. You never know when your job will end, or you’ll get traded to a different team like Evan did to the San Francisco Giants. The team may change, but your reputation and character will never leave you; that will stay forever, and so will the impact you make on each community of which you are a part. You have the opportunity now more than ever to grow and expand your network so that you can have just as much success off the field as you did on the ground. Speaking from my perspective—now being done with my career—how imperative it is to build a well-liked brand while playing because it will pay dividends once your job is over. I have no doubt Longo will continue to find success off the field and maybe even more as he explores more business opportunities when he is done playing. I will leave you with this quote from one of the games best baseball players. “You are going to be a former player longer, much longer than you will be a current player” ~Evan Longoria. Matt LaPorta 2007 7th overall draft pick 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist 2009-2012 MLB Cleveland Indians Mortgage Banking Embrace Home Loans

TAX-FREE LONG-TERM CARE The documentary, Beyond the Game, addresses numerous financial issues professional athletes need to consider, ranging from understanding the dynamics of an almost unfathomable earning capacity, to retirement planning and taxation. However, the most common question I get as a CPA is “Can I deduct this?” Notice it is not a request for permission, i.e., May I? It’s a question of allowable deductions More about that later; let’s look first at the cost of getting old. Our conversations all too often turn to getting a little older. My parents both lived into their 90’s and from personal experience, the last few years were very costly. Thankfully my father had excellent long-term care insurance (LTC), which allowed him to enjoy his final few years in Beverly Hills. It is the living longer that has become the issue. We all will need some type of care in our elder years… making long term care insurance inevitable and possibly more valuable than life insurance. Based on Genworth Insurance Company’s research, the cost of care in Phoenix, Arizona ranges from $2,100—$9,000 per month The inflation on these services is astronomical. Home Care Help has gone up on a National Basis since 2017 by .24%—the median rate is $22/hour. Assisted living went up since 2017 by 6.67%. In summary, all services cost are growing by an average of 2-5% over 5 years. This continued increase will quickly decrease the assets of a retired person or someone planning to retire soon. Many products new to the market are designed to help you pay for your long-term care (LTC). Those include Life Insurance with an LTC Rider and a return of premium LTC. One of the newest LTC Insurance is an Asset-Based LTC. The premiums are guaranteed and can be paid with a single premium, lifetime premium, 10 years or 20 years, after which no further incentives are needed. If the client doesn't need the policy, it can be cashed in for a return of a portion of premiums or all of them after a certain period. If the client dies, there will be a death benefit left to their loved ones. Another coverage is delivered through Annuity Care, which allows you to take a non- qualified (outside of a retirement plan) IRA and roll it into a specific LTC annuity. The benefit is that if you use the distributions for your LTC, there is no tax on the gains on the annuity. Back to my first question, “Can I deduct this?” The answer is always, “it depends.” And it does. One example: If you have your own company, you can pay for LTC insurance for you, and new tax laws have opened the opportunity to become a C Corporation to further pave this path. The C-Corporation status provides fully deductible premium payments as a reasonable and necessary business expense; similar to traditional health insurance premiums. This can apply to the owners, their spouses and dependents, and all employees. Employer-paid long-term care insurance is excluded from the employee's gross income and the benefits received are tax-free. As a professional athlete, you can take any of your outside income: appearance; endorsements; fees; and other income outside your contract and make them not just tax-free, but also at a 40% discount. As long as we are talking about taxes, many times I am approached by potential clients too late… long after they’ve already set up a business or started a new company. Unfortunately, that delay causes a loss of tax benefits for certain deductions by not planning ahead. The lesson: no matter what, before you take any action, set up a meeting with your CPA and figure out how to create a tax strategy that will allow you to save money today while planning for tomorrow. Bruce J Weinstein, Managing Member Premier Southwest Planning Group, LLC Jonathan Miller CPA, President and Shareholder Starcross Management, LLC.

Congratulations, Susan Sember ...on your fantastic hard work and support! BRUCE J WEINSTEIN, CFBS 30 Years of Insurance Planning Premier Southwest Planning Group, LLC 480-621-3646 Scottsdale Arizona

Your Tax and Insurance team of Premier Southwest Planning Group and StarCross Management, LLC bring together years of experience to the Professional Athlete. JONATHAN MILLER CPA 30 years of Business Management StarCross Management, LLC 602-535-1197 Scottsdale Arizona

Profile for Matt Fish

Rebound Magazine | Beyond the Game Special Edition  

Rebound Magazine: By a player, about the players, for the players, and fans. This special edition takes a behind the scenes look at the Bey...

Rebound Magazine | Beyond the Game Special Edition  

Rebound Magazine: By a player, about the players, for the players, and fans. This special edition takes a behind the scenes look at the Bey...