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Jaylen Brown Was In An MIT Robotics Session When He Secured The Largest Contract In NBA History

NBA player Jaylen Brown was once labeled “too smart” to join the very league he would go on to earn a historic contract with. Athlon Sports reports Brown graduated Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA, at the top of his class. He accomplished this while excelling on the basketball court. He was a first team All-American and top-five national high school prospect, his NBA bio reads. Between 2015 and 2016, Brown continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), while playing for its basketball team. However, he was not satisfied with the freshman courses they offered him, which were not challenging enough, The New York Times reports. He swapped out some of his classes to take on African American Studies, an upper-division class from the Global Poverty and Practice minors program, and a graduate course titled “Theoretical Foundations for the Cultural Studies of Sport and Education,” which he had learned about through Hashim Ali, co-founder of the Oakland...

Jun 20, 2024

Naomi Osaka’s Media Company, Hana Kuma, Receives Investment From The Players Fund, An Athlete-Led Firm

Naomi Osaka has scored another investment. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the tennis athlete launched the media company Hana Kuma with Stuart Duguid in June 2022, in collaboration with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Co., which serves as its financing, operations, and producing partner. In April 2023, Hana Kuma closed a $5 million funding round that included participation from SpringHill and other investors to support its team and programming and create “a more robust business plan.” The move was part of a spin-off that would give the company more independence. “We really want to see her build her own version of SpringHill,” Carter said then, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve worked really hard to get SpringHill where it is, but now we want to help others to do the same, and to do it different than as we have done at SpringHill, and to do it in their own way and their own voice.” Just over a year since its last investment, Hana Kuma has attracted...

Jun 18, 2024

Stephen Jackson Received His Jordan Brand Contract In His Locker After Wearing Protege Shoes That Nearly Ended His Career

Michael Jordan had an unconventional way of signing Stephen Jackson. In 2009, Jackson joined the Charlotte Bobcats (now the Charlotte Hornets) and had a debut averaging 21.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals in 39.3 minutes across 72 games, the Basketball Network reports. That year, the team appeared in the NBA postseason for the first time. In 2010, Jackson received mentorship from Jordan, who had acquired majority team ownership the same year. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, the former owner, Bob Johnson, had sold his stake for a reported $275 million, ESPN noted, while The Charlotte Observer stated it was $180 million. “I come out of the game, I’m asking him, he’s telling me certain stuff that he sees that I should do…,” Jackson said, according to the Basketball Network. “ How many people can say that? How many people can say that they’re sitting on a sideline with MJ?” Beyond guidance, Jordan also helped save Jackson’s playing career. During an “All The Smoke”...

Jun 18, 2024

Saquon Barkley Is Running It Up On And Off The Field With An Estimated $32M Net Worth

When football fans think of top-tier running backs, names like Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, and Walter Payton come to mind. But one of the new faces garnering attention in football is Saquon Barkley. A former Pennsylvania State University student-athlete, Barkley was the New York Giants’ No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft. His collegiate career proved how much of an asset he would be in the NFL. Barkley earned the titles of Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Running Back of the Year twice in 2016 and 2017 at Penn State. He holds the university’s records for the most rushing touchdowns (43) and total touchdowns (53) as well. Barkley is also the only player from Penn State, and one of only four in the Big Ten, to accumulate 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards during his college career. After joining the Giants, he continued to be impactful on the field, running for 5,211 yards and scoring 35 touchdowns in his career as of 2023. Barkley recently signed a contract with...

Jun 14, 2024

Who Was The First Woman To Sign To The Jordan Brand?

The Jordan Brand has attracted some of the world’s greats to its brand. However, that should come as no surprise when considering who is at the helm, NBA legend Michael Jordan. It all began when his mother, Deloris, stepped in to ensure he took a chance on signing with Nike. “My mother said, ‘You’re gonna go listen. You may not like it, but you’re gonna go listen,” Jordan said in ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, according to NBC Sports. “She made me get on that plane and go listen.” Jordan was originally looking to sign with Adidas, but he would make his commitment to Nike known when he signed to the brand in 1984 under a five-year, $2.5 million deal, Sports Illustrated reports. Immediately, Jordan’s presence and the staple Air Jordan exceeded expectations with sales reaching $126 million within one year. By 1997, the Jordan Brand began operating independently and also added apparel and accessories. T oday its annual revenue exceeds $6.6 billion, per Sportico. What’s more the...

Jun 13, 2024

Caleb Williams Scales His Presence In The Investment Space With 888 Midas Launch

Caleb Williams, rookie quarterback for the Chicago Bears, is scaling his interest in the investment space. While in college at the University of Southern California, Williams was among the first athletes to leverage name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. He became a part- owner of the male grooming company Faculty in 2022, as AFROTECH™ previously reported. He was also the No. 1 draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draf t and was picked by the Chicago Bears . Now, Williams is scaling his interest in the investment arena by launching his own investment firm. Williams has established 888 Midas, which will “capitalize on select alternative investments in private equity, venture capital, and real estate,” according to a press release. His partners and advisors will support the firm. They include: Sherif Guirgis, former managing director of Main Street Advisors Ross Walker, co-founder and managing partner of Hawkins Way Capital, a multi-billion-dollar real estate enterprise John Terzian, co-founder...

Jun 13, 2024

How Many Pro Sports Teams Does Serena Williams' Daughters Own?

Serena Williams has positioned herself for a lifetime of success. However, as a mother, her children’s well-being also defines true victory. Williams and her husband, Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian, have two daughters: Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., who is now 6 years old and was born on Sept. 1, 2017, and Adira River Ohanian, born in August 2023. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) Early on, Williams and Ohanian began making moves to establish wealth for their daughters. When Olympia was 2 years old, she made history as the youngest professional sports team owner. As AFROTECH™ previously reported, she became part-owner of the women’s soccer team Angel City FC (Los Angeles, CA), along with her parents. “As someone who spends hours kicking around a football with my two-year-old daughter, I want her to have a front-row seat to this revolution,” Ohanian said in a National Women’s Soccer League news release at the time. “I’m personally investing on...

Jun 10, 2024

NBA Player Kyrie Irving Signs His Father As The First Signature Athlete To His ANTA Shoe Line

Kyrie Irving is creating wealth for his father, who has a basketball background through his time at Boston University and in a professional league in Australia. Industry sources confirmed to Shams Charania, senior NBA Insider for The Athletic, that Irving will be signing his father, Drederick, to an endorsement deal with ANTA, a China-based sportswear brand. This also means his father will receive his own signature shoe, marking a first for a professional athlete to provide. Drederick Irving’s shoes are projected to debut as early as September 2024 across Foot Locker stores, a source mentions. Kyrie Irving’s connection to ANTA is the result of the company signing him to a deal in 2023 after he was dropped from his 11-year endorsement dea l with Nike. Per the outlet, he is ANTA’s chief creative officer as well and has the ability to sign collaborators and endorsers. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shams Charania (@shamsnba) This is not the first time that an NBA player...

Jun 5, 2024

Portland Trail Blazers Forward Jerami Grant Joins D.C. United Ownership Group As An Investor

Jerami Grant is now a team owner! The Portland Trail Blazers forward joined the D.C. United ownership group as an investor, a press release mentions. The move marks a full circle moment, given his upbringing in the DMV region in Maryland. Now, he will have a chance to not only sport a new hat but also discover new ways to reinvest in the region, he reveals. “I am honored to be joining the D.C. United ownership group. Having grown up in the DMV, Washington, D.C. holds a special place in my heart, and I am proud to invest in the community that has played a significant role in shaping who I am today,” Grant said in the news release. “D.C. United’s ownership group has shown impressive growth over the years, extending their influence beyond sports into the realms of music and arts, which is something I deeply respect. The club’s commitment to social responsibility is admirable, and I am eager to contribute in a meaningful way by giving back to the community. I strongly believe in the...

Jun 5, 2024

At Age 16, Serena Williams Learned To Manage 'Huge Checks' From A Puma Deal On Her Own, ‘Empowered’ By Her Father

Serena Williams learned money management early on in her teens. Thanks to her father, Richard, Serena has received a wealth of knowledge to apply to the business landscape. In fact, during an interview on Bloomberg Originals’ “The Deal” podcast, hosted by Alex Rodriguez and Jason Kelly, she recalls receiving substantial checks from companies including Puma. Per Andscape, Serena had reportedly received $13 million over a five-year period with the apparel brand. What’s more, the task of managing those earnings fell entirely on her. “Literally, my first checks from whether it was Puma, like I got these huge checks. [My dad], he’s like, you figure it out. We had to figure it out,” Serena said on the podcast. “I’m literally living at his house in the bedroom next to Venus. I was 16 and he’s like, you know, most parents, you know, they take your money. They take something. But you know, he’s like, ‘You figure it out.’ And so I remember having to figure that out and having to learn how to...

Jun 4, 2024

When Deion Sanders Was Drafted To The NFL In 1989, He Made Sure His Mother Never Had To Work Another Day

Deion Sanders made a pledge to himself that he would retire his mother. Sanders, born in Fort Myers, FL, was raised by his mother, Connie, who after a divorce from his dad would later marry Willie Knight when Sanders was 8 years old. Around that age, he began to play baseball and football, according to WCPO-9 News. Sanders’ greatness would be on display as a high school student attending North Fort Myers High School occupying his time in three sports as an all-state performer: football, baseball and basketball. During his collegiate years following high school, he attended Florida State University between 1985 and 1989 and became a two-time All-American in football as well as led the baseball team to the College World Series, the outlet notes. In 1989, Sanders made it to the pros, selected fifth by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round, ESPN reports. The moment was not only significant for elevating Sanders in the athletic world but it allowed him to fulfill a long-held promise to...

May 31, 2024

South Carolina Gamecocks Athlete Raven Johnson Secures NIL Deal With Hair Technology Company Parfait

Women-led hair startup Parfait continues to champion Black women. As AFROTECH™ previously mentioned, Parfait is reportedly the first to integrate facial recognition and artificial intelligence (AI) to provide buyers with customizable wig products. It previously raised $5 million in April 2022, backed by a funding round led by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures. “It’s widely understood that facial recognition systems perform less well for women and people of color,” said Parfait Co-Founder Isoken Igbinedion, a former Target and Amazon executive . “Training models used in facial recognition technology are largely unbalanced, often relying on training datasets that are similar in makeup, and do not represent the visual composition of faces worldwide. This often results in poor performance for users who do not fit into that dataset, often represented by white faces and male features.” She continued, “Parfait seeks to be the first to make major progress in improving product and service...

May 30, 2024

Jaden Rashada Files Lawsuit Over Failed $13.8M NIL Deal With The Florida Gators

A first-of-its-kind NIL lawsuit is brewing. Forbes reports that Jaden Rashada is suing Hugh Hathcock and his business, Velocity Automotive; University of Florida football coach Billy Napier; and Florida’s NIL director, Marcus Castro-Walker, for alleged “fraud, negligence, and interference.” As previously shared by AFROTECH™, Rashada was initially committed to the University of Miami in Florida for a reported $9.5 million deal. However, in 2023, he pivoted to signing with the Florida Gators for $13.85 million, but the Gator Collective ultimately terminated the binding agreement. After the failed deal, Rashada moved on to Arizona State University and most recently transferred to the University of Georgia as quarterback. Now, Forbes details that Rashada has sued Hathcock, Napier, and Castro-Walker for allegedly causing him to not only lose out on the Miami deal but also potential offers from other colleges and universities. Moreover, he is seeking punitive damages. In Rashada’s...

May 22, 2024

Dwyane Wade Shares How Long It Took Him To Learn How To Manage His NBA Earnings As Someone Who 'Never Really Handled More Than $500 At A Time'

Money management can be a learning curve for many athletes, and this was the case for Dwyane Wade. Wade was drafted to the league in 2003, which is viewed as “one of the greatest draft classes in NBA history,” the league mentions. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh were also drafted that year. Wade would make his debut with the Miami Heat as the No. 5 overall draft pick, Sports Illustrated reports. He then signed a three-year contract valued at $8.5 million, to The Palm Beach Post. For Wade, being drafted to the league allowed him to overcome the odds that were stacked against him living in the South Side of Chicago, where he would hear gun shots frequently. At one point, he was being raised by his mother who struggled with addiction and would leave him at home for periods of time, according to Business Insider. When he was 9 he eventually moved to a new neighborhood to be with his father, who had divorced his mother. “[My father] was militant,” Wade shared during an...

May 17, 2024

Chris Paul Was Offered $100K By His Agent When Going To The NBA, But Here's Why His Parents Insisted That He Should Accept $25K

When Chris Paul was drafted to the league he turned down a substantial amount of money. The NBA player had been drafted in 2005 as the No. 4 draft pick by the New Orleans Hornets, Fox News reports. He was just 19 years old at the time. During an interview with Forbes, Paul mentioned he had just $151 in his bank account as a college student at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, when he entered the league. One of his earliest actions was to bring on board a financial advisor, which ultimately resulted in him receiving an upfront offer of $100,000. However, his parents interceded, leading Paul to accept nearly a quarter of the initial offer. “My financial advisor who we hired, they said they would send me $100,000 and my parents said, ‘No that’s too much,'” he told Forbes. During an appearance on “The Shop,” he elaborated further stating, “Y ou know what happened? I was at Wake in Winston. I went to the bank right up the street just so I could see what the statement looked...

May 17, 2024