Legends Spotlight: Baron Davis

By:Hemda Mizrahi - Rebound Magazine
Editor: Excell Hardy Jr.

EXPANDING INTO CREATIVE BUSINESS VENTURES THAT CELEBRATE DIVERSITY AND THE VERSATILITY OF PRO ATHLETES

As a two-time NBA All-Star and player for over 13 years, Baron Davis had a vision that went well beyond his athletic career. Recognizing both his creative and business talents early on as a pro, he launched a marketing company at the age of 23. At 24, he ventured into film production. Laying the groundwork for these startups by using his free time to meet with entrepreneurs whose work interested him, Davis took copious notes, learning about their business models and inviting suggestions. Through this exploration, he began to view companies as investment opportunities rather than endorsement prospects.

Davis elaborates, “When I was in the NBA, I always believed that I could expand my brand. I started to look at myself as my own private entity as opposed to an endorsee. It was a bumpy road, because people were saying, ‘How can you be an athlete and do other things?’ Entertainment and marketing were areas in which others doubted my ability to succeed. I wanted to demonstrate that athletes are well versed in disciplines outside of sports. I learned a lot about who I was through the NBA and received mentorship from executives, coaches and former players who were smart about their choices.”

He adds, “Sometimes it’s about survival and being willing to learn. You can practice for a long time and take care of your body, but there is space to carve out for other things. My vision is to bring athletes to together to collaborate the same way as on the court, through a company that allows them to be managed and branded from both the creative and business sides.” This vision has materialized in his founding of businesses that seek to increase social and educational awareness globally, such as “No Label Productions,” and “The Black Santa Company.”

Davis has partnered with a host of Hollywood veterans to produce documentaries, movies, music, and videos. He is one of the producers of the Emmy and NAACP Image-nominated documentary “Crips and Bloods: Made in America,” an official selection of both the Sundance and Los Angeles film festivals.

Through The Black Santa Company, he has built a brand that “celebrates diversity, fun, and positivity in storytelling by way of engaging content and high quality products” that are relatable to a broader audience, and which fill a void for African Americans. His initial product line features Christmas-themed clothing and ornaments that depict his first “colorful character,” Black Santa, and includes a coloring book that tells “inspiring stories of unsung, black historical figures.” Davis collaborates with other socially conscious, innovative organizations on events such as toy drives and holiday gift giving.
An active mentor and coach for young, emerging basketball players whose training and development he also supports through his nonprofit, “Rising Stars of America,” Davis encourages pros to engage the services of the NBA and Players Association to grow their brands. He emphasizes, “A lot of it will come from research and finding people [who are doing things that appeal to you] before you spend money. Listen and take notes. Investing in research and development can save you from bigger problems later on and help you to scale your business.”

He reflects that a lot of pros are entrepreneurial, and good ideas come from the discussions they have during off-the-court moments with their peers. Such conversations created a springboard for his goal of maintaining community for athletes in the form of telling stories of past and present players. He shares, “It’s great to get to know someone you’ve never played with and have always wanted to know. In striving to be the best storyteller, I want to keep alive the spirits of those who pay so many dues to the game. There is important education in these stories. You don’t know where you are going if you don’t know your history.”

Davis continues to practice the strategies that enabled him to advance into the simultaneous roles of NBA player and entrepreneur. He describes his recent participation in NBRPA’s Entrepreneurial Summit at the 2017 Legends World Sports Conference, as “a good opportunity to get together and talk about business opportunities with other athletes who are receptive to building relationships and coalitions.”

Davis’s careers in basketball and business are intertwined through the values, role models and heroes he portrays. Whether real or fictional, they tell creative, fun and inspiring tales that honor community, diversity, history, and the joy of giving.

NBRPA HOSTS SUCCESSFUL 7Th ANNUAL YOUTH CIVIL RIGHTS HISTORY TOUR

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the official alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters players, partnered with the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy, Jones Walker Law Firm, First NBC Bank, and the National Park Service to take over 150 boys and girls from New Orleans on the 7th annual Civil Rights History tour on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The day-long tour brought the students to Alabama where they visited several historic landmarks and heard from a variety of Civil Rights historians and leaders.

Kids and their parents showed up at the MLB Urban Youth Academy at 6 a.m. eager and ready to embark on a long but exciting and educational day. They received t-shirts, wristbands, and gift bags provided by Jones Walker Law Firm before boarding the bus to Alabama.

Parent Elizabeth Bostick told local New Orleans NBC-TV station WDSU, “What a marvelous opportunity for them to get a chance to go and visit living history.”

During the bus ride, the middle-schoolers watched movies and documentaries on the Civil Rights movement and had the wonderful opportunity to hear from Keith Plessy, President of the Plessy and Ferguson Foundation and Alyssa Arnell, professor at Dillard University.

The buses arrived in Selma, Alabama at noon at the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge - where in 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led a symbolic march to the bridge demanding fair treatment and voting rights for African Americans. At the bridge, the students sang with the Civil Rights historians from Selma who voluntarily joined in to educate and empower the youth and share their stories.

NBRPA President & CEO Arnie Fielkow told The Montgomery Advertiser, “Kids learn better when there is more interactivity and engagement. Asking questions is another way for them to learn even more.”

During lunch at the McRae Learning Center, the kids had the chance to hear from Civil Rights activist Bernard LaFayette, who played a leading role in organizing the Selma Voting Rights Movement and was a member of the Nashville Student Movement.

c2In Montgomery, Alabama the kids toured the Biscuits Riverwalk Stadium, home to a minor league baseball team and the area’s first MLB-affiliated team since 1980. Scott Trible, General Manager of Montgomery Biscuits Professional Baseball, led the walk through of the stadium and shared his insight about the history of baseball and its segregation in the South. Before heading back on the bus, kids were able to run around the field and take pictures.

The final tour stop at Alabama State University, a historically black university, allowed Dr. William Smith, Director of Admissions, to lead the group to have dinner at the student dinning center and then toured the campus. Also, Dr. Smith invited a couple from the Civil Rights movement who were over ninety years of age and shared very insightful stories of all the hardships they had to go through. Towards the end, Alabama State University professors encouraged the kids to go to college and Dr. Smith happily informed the seniors on the trip of select scholarship opportunities.

The buses arrived back in New Orleans at 2 a.m., with children filled with enthusiasm and incredible insights, thanks to program sponsors and participants.

“Our law firm was proud to support the National Basketball Retired Players Association’s 7th Civil Rights trip because we believe that the event gives New Orleans youth a unique opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and an incomparable education by visiting these historic civil rights landmarks in Alabama,” said Richard F. Cortizas, partner with Jones Walker LLP.

Photos and media coverage of the NBRPA’s 7th Annual Civil Rights History Tour can be found HERE.
About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, Vice Chairman Dwight Davis, Treasurer Eldridge Recasner, Secretary Nancy Lieberman, Rick Barry, James Donaldson, Mike Glenn, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin Jr., David Naves, Johnny Newman and Casey Shaw.

2017 NBA ALL-STAR REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR NBRPA MEMBERS

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CHICAGO, ILL. – The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters alumni, has launched Member Registration for 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend. The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend (ASW) will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 17-19. All-Star registration for NBRPA Members is open now, please click HERE to register.

"I look forward to welcoming the NBRPA family to my former adopted hometown of New Orleans for All-Star Weekend 2017", said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. "The City of New Orleans has experienced tremendous revitalization since Hurricane Katrina more than a decade ago and the citizenry is again excited about welcoming the basketball world back to the Crescent City. The NBRPA has a number of enjoyable and fun events planned for our Members and we hope you will join us February 17-19. Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!"

In order to register for ASW you must be an active 2017 NBRPA Member. Click HERE to join or renew your membership today.

Please note: Due to the late NBA All-Star City Relocation and limited number of hotel rooms, this year's NBRPA All-Star registration is on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS. Accordingly, due to restrictions beyond our control, we can only accommodate one room request per member.

Please fill out and return all the necessary forms no later than December 29, 2016. Requests made after registration is full and/or made after the deadline will be added to a waitlist; however, it is unlikely that we will be able to accommodate any who fails to register by the deadline.

The official NBA Hotel for NBRPA members is the Omni Royal Orleans, located in the heart of the French Quarter at 621 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA. The Omni Royal Orleans has received the Four Diamond luxury award for the past 31 years and has earned the Pinnacle Award for meeting services. The hotel is perfectly located near all of New Orleans’ top attractions and within striking distance of the city’s top restaurants, entertainment centers, famous landmarks, and shops and services.

Throughout the weekend, the NBRPA’s 25th Anniversary will be commemorated with a variety of special events and festivities. These events will celebrate the historical achievements our organization has accomplished in the past 25 years while also looking into the future. An exclusive Legends of Basketball Welcome Reception at the Harrahs Casino will officially open the Legends All-Star Weekend on February 17. The NBRPA’s signature All-Star Weekend event, the 18th Annual Legends Brunch, will take place on All-Star Sunday, February 19, at the New Orleans Convention Center and will be televised on NBA TV. Additional details for all NBRPA events will be announced in the near future.

The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge and State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the 66th NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Smoothie King Center, home of the New Orleans Pelicans. As part of NBA All-Star 2017, the NBA, NBRPA and its partners will host a variety of community, grassroots and fan events throughout the weekend.

For questions regarding your registration to NBA All-Star 2017, please call the NBRPA National Office at 312-913-9400 or email ehardy@legendsofbasketball.com. We will send additional communications highlighting specific NBRPA events – including receptions, community service and more – in the near future.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President and CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, Vice Chairman Dwight Davis, Treasurer Eldridge Recasner, Secretary Nancy Lieberman, Rick Barry, James Donaldson, Mike Glenn, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin Jr., David Naves, Johnny Newman and Casey Shaw.

NATIONAL BASKETBALL RETIRED PLAYERS ASSOCIATION HOSTS SECOND ANNUAL LEGENDS FANTASY WEEKEND TO VERY SUCCESSFUL RESULTS

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) celebrated its 2015 Legends Fantasy Weekend Nov. 20-22 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut to very successful results.

The special weekend started off on Friday, November 20 at the Hall of Fame Tip Off Banquet hosted by ESPN’s College Basketball Play-by-Play Announcer Bob Picozzi. NBRPA members and staff, Hall of Fame legends, and coaches and players from Purdue, Florida, St. Joseph’s, Old Dominion, Buffalo, Niagara, North Carolina A&T and Vermont all gathered for a great dinner. Rick Barry spoke to the teams and left them all inspired with his words of wisdom as he gave them guidance on bringing as much passion to their school obligations as they do on the basketball court. Coaches from the eight programs had a round table discussion talking about the importance of this weekend for their student athletes and at the end of the night, the NBRPA members and basketball legends were highlighted and given a standing ovation for their impact on and off the court.

The NBRPA Members Breakfast kicked off a busy Saturday where members from our association were able to catch up and socialize with one another and hear a special presentation from Tower Strategic Group, LLC. Following the breakfast, the annual men’s college tip-off tournament hosted by the Basketball Hall of Fame was underway with the stars of tomorrow. During the tournament, the Basketball Hall of Fame hosted a special halftime presentation spotlighting NBRPA members participating in the weekend’s events.

Saturday night ended with the NBRPA’s premier event, the Legends Philanthropy Awards Gala, featuring a star-studded line-up of remarkable players. The gala helped to raise funds for the NBRPA’s Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund and other charitable partners. At the gala, basketball legends and other non-basketball luminaries were honored for the philanthropic contributions they have given in their respective fields:

• John Starks was awarded with the Moses Malone NBRPA Service Award for his foundation’s work that provides community programs focused on furthering the educational, recreational, and career development of children and families.
• Katrina Adams was awarded with the Earl Lloyd Trailblazer Award for her contributions and significant achievements to the sport of tennis.
• Jalen Rose was awarded with the Dave DeBusschere Education Award for his academy’s work which gives life-changing opportunities for underprivileged youth through the development of Detroit programs and the distribution of grants to qualified nonprofit organizations.
• Mannie Jackson was awarded with the Marques Haynes Humanitarian Award for his exceptional charitable and philanthropic actions through his program and as former chairman and owner of the Harlem Globetrotters.
• Lenny Wilkens was awarded with the Naismith Legend of Philanthropy Award for his foundation’s work on supporting healthcare and education for all children regardless of their financial means.
• Leah Chase was awarded with the Darryl Dawkins Big Heart Award for her significant contributions to education, creative and culinary arts and social justice for over four decades.

The night was a huge success and raised notable funds for the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship. Members of the NBRPA had a great time and remarked how much they look forward to continuing this rising annual tradition.

The weekend concluded on Sunday, November 22 with the final round of the Hall of Fame tip-off tournament where Purdue defeated the University of Florida 85-70.

“The NBRPA’s second annual Legends Fantasy Weekend was an amazing success and wonderful showcase of the great athletes and leaders who continue to contribute both on and off the court. We are very thankful to Mohegan Sun for being a great host and we look forward to continuing to partner with them for this special weekend”- said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, WNBA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President & CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey, Vice Chairman Dwight Davis, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Nancy Lieberman, Past Chairman Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Rick Barry, James Donaldson, Mike Glenn, Spencer Haywood, LaRue Martin Jr., Johnny Newman and Eldridge Recasner.

About Mohegan Sun
Owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Mohegan Sun is one of the largest, most distinctive and spectacular entertainment, gaming, shopping and dining destinations in the United States. Situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country. More information is available by calling 1.888.226.7711 or visiting mohegansun.com Connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, like on Pinterest and view us on YouTube.

NBA RETIRED PLAYERS MENTOR YOUTH AT RUCKER PARK

"Rucker Park is hallowed ground for every basketball historian." Full Court Press combined on-court development with off-court workshops in life and career readiness, all delivered by former pros. Much was special about this iteration at Rucker Park, including the presence of NBA Hall of Famer and Bronx representer Nate “Tiny” Archibald.

Read more

 

Full Court Press:Prep for Success Program in Minneapolis

On Saturday, the National Basketball Retired Players Association held the  “Full Court Press: Prep for Success Program” first time ever in Minneapolis. Urban Ventures welcomed the clinic for at-risk youth to introduce positive role models through the game of basketball at their facility. Kids got a chance to work with one of the greatest former NBA players such as Sam Perkins, Ben Coleman, Willie Burton, Richard Coffey. The clinic was a great success not only on hard court but also in classrooms with Mike Peterson of Urban Ventures, Sam Perkins and Leadership Foundations.

Former NBA Players Serve As Positive Role Models At Youth Basketball Clinic

All participating youth were pre-registered by the NBRPA, PAL and Leadership Foundations and the event was not open to the general public.

NBRPA Chicago Chapter Golf & Gala

The NBRPA Chicago Chapter will be hosting a Gala & Golf Weekend beginning the evening of September 28 and ending September 29. The Celebrity Gala will take place at 6:00pm at the Oak Brook Hills Resort followed by a dinner at 7:00pm. The night will include a casino night, raffle, silent auction and live auction. Celebrities attending are Bob Love, Oscar Robertson, Spencer Haywood and more.

The following morning, participants in the golf outing will begin at shot gun start at 8:00am. The format will be best ball play and will include many contests throughout the 18-hole course: longest drive, beat the pro, etc.

If you want to join the Chicago Chapter and participating celebrities you can call the chapter office at 708-375-3060 or email info@nbrapchicagochapter.org.

Beasts of the East fantasy camp will feature NBRPA Members

Retro College Cuts, a retail brand focused on vintage college basketball apparel, today announced a first-of-its-kind college basketball fantasy camp in Las Vegas focused on the past great Players of the Big East Conference. Named Beasts of the East, the camp will feature four of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood during their playing days in the Big East Conference: NBRPA Members Derrick Coleman (Syracuse), Terry DeHere (Seton Hall),Bill Wennington (St. John’s) and Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams (Georgetown).

“We’re incredibly excited to launch a camp like this in conjunction with these true Beasts of the East,” said the founders of Retro College Cuts. “This really is the first of its kind. Never has a fantasy camp taken the time to pay homage to the greatness of a college basketball conference in its entirety like this camp has. Having the NBA Retired Players association lend their brand and support to the project demonstrates how committed we are to making this a world class experience for all of our attendees.”

The camp will take place from August 1-3, 2013 at the 3000 seat Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLV, and camp participants will stay at the five diamond award winning Bellagio Hotel. This premium fantasy camp experience is designed to delight and impress both hardcore college hoops fan as well as weekend warriors that till love to play the game. Only 30 slots are available for the camp and will be sold on a first come first serve basis. Please visit: VegasFantasyCamp.com

“As a coach for one of the top high school powers in the country (Las Vegas Findlay Prep) and a frequent participant in top-level exhibition games around the globe, this camp is a perfect fit,” said Williams. “My colleagues and I are excited to step on the court this summer for the Beasts of the East fantasy camp.”

The camp coaches all had tremendous success in the Big East before moving on to long NBA careers. Wennington was a member of the 1985 Final Four St. John’s Redmen, Williams was a two-time All-Big East selection at Georgetown, DeHere was Big East Tournament MVP & Big East Player of the Year in 1993 at Seton Hall and Derrick Coleman of Syracuse was Big East Rookie of the Year in 1987 and Big East Player of the Year in 1990.

NBRPA MEMBERS ONLY: Register for NBA All-Star 2013

NBRPA MEMBERS: We are pleased to announce details for our activities during NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston, February 14-17. CLICK HERE to register now and view our full schedule of activities.

“The NBRPA and its members are proud and honored to be an integral part of NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston February 14-17,” said Arnie D. Fielkow, President & Chief Executive Officer for the NBRPA. “Working in conjunction with the NBA and our local Houston NBRPA Chapter, we have planned a number of star-studded, fun and philanthropic events for our members and the public alike. On behalf of the NBRPA’s Board of Directors, I would like to thank our members, sponsors and supporters for making such an impactful and enjoyable agenda possible.”

Members may purchase two tickets apiece to each NBA basketball event (including the 62nd NBA All-Star Game). In addition, each member is allotted two complimentary tickets to the 14th Annual Legends Brunch. Ticket availability is based on NBRPA membership type (with platinum members receiving priority) and the order in which ticket requests are received. Please make your ticket selections on the aforementioned registration page.

The official NBA Hotel for NBRPA Members is Hotel Derek, located at 2525 West Loop South in Houston. Hotel Derek sits adjacent to the Houston Galleria, the Uptown entertainment district, Texas Medical Center, and near to the city’s commercial and cultural districts. Hotel Derek will be a stop on the NBA’s transportation loop, so all members will have easy access to all events throughout the weekend.

For those arriving by air, Hobby (17 miles away) and Bush Intercontinental (25 miles away) airports are both close to Hotel Derek. Our preferred travel partner is Gil Travel and members may call Cindy Lamberg at 800-223 3855 x232 or email cindylamberg@giltravel.com for assistance in booking airfare.

For questions regarding your registration to NBA All-Star 2013, please call the NBRPA National Office at 312-913-9400 or EMAIL US. We will send additional communications highlighting specific NBRPA events – including golf tournament, receptions, community service and more – in the near future.