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Golden State Warrior Guard Andre Iguodala has long been praised as one of the NBA’s smartest athletes. But his praise is not the result of what he does on the court. It is instead what he does within the tech world that makes him a genius. In 2013, Iguodala began entertaining the idea of investing in tech companies. By 2015, he took his first steps and immersed himself in the investing game. Now, in 2018, he is sharing his knowledge with his fellow teammates, making investors out of basketball players.
When Iguodala first started investing, he diligently heeded the advice of his mentors, Andreessen Horowitz and Jeff Jordan. Horowitz and Jordan assisted Iguodala by introducing him to various people within Silicon Valley. They also helped him determine which companies would be best for him to invest in. Now with his abundance of knowledge in terms of investing, he is ready to share it with his teammates.
Players Technology Summit
As a result of sharing his knowledge with other Golden State Warriors who heeded his advice, Iguodala joined his business partner, Rudy Cline-Thomas, and fellow Warrior, Steph Curry on the front cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.
They were referred to as “The Silicon Valley Warriors.” Several other athletes eagerly attended the second-annual Players Technology Summit in the hopes that they too could benefit from Iguodala’s knowledge and connections.
The summit lasted for an entire day. The event consisted of panels comprised of CEOs, VCs, and fellow athletes who were ready to invest and learn. Iguodala was able to grant the attendees invaluable networking opportunities that may help them take control of their financial futures. Kevin Durant was also a keynote speaker at the summit. He provided his input on how to navigate the exhilarating world of tech investing.
Half-way through the summit, Iguodala took the stage, reminding everyone there that it’s important to invest in order to avoid a “riches-to-rags” story. He referenced Antoine Walker who filed for bankruptcy after making over $100 million from the NBA. He also referenced Gilbert Arenas who spent most, if not all, of his nearly $200 million from the NBA.
Iguodala also stated that while telling a young NBA star that he should start investing now, the other player stated that he was too young to worry about finances. Iguodala warned the other NBA star that if he did not set himself up for financial success sooner than later, he’d regret it.
With Iguodala’s program, he is not merely taking the athletes’ money and investing it for them. He is teaching the athletes the syndicate model: how to vet deals and speak directly to executives and CEOs. The syndicate model empowers Black athletes in particular who’ve most likely never navigated the investing atmosphere that is so prevalent in Silicon Valley. This ultimately makes the athletes more financially literate, which is the most important thing for Iguodala.
Iguodala has garnered a significant amount of respect in the past several years since he began investing. He has secured financial stability for his future and he has become a mentor to his teammates. Steph Curry told Fast Company
, “You can pretty much ask [Iguodala] any question [about the world of tech], and he’ll have a pretty educated answer.” Iguodala’s teammates admire him and look to him for guidance when investing in the tech industry.
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