As part of The Players’ Impact blog, we periodically pose entrepreneurial related questions with current and former athletes. Thanks to Maurice Evans for sitting down with us and sharing his background, his business, his thoughts on playing me 1 on 1, and what he likes about TPI.
1) What’s up Mo ? Tell us a little about yourself — your background, where you grew up, family, etc.
I was born in raised in Wichita, KS. I attended Wichita State University for two years, before eventually transferring and graduating from the University of Texas. I come from strong sports family. Most everyone in my family competed at a high level in their respective sports. I come from a very close-knit family and I have two children, my daughter, Reese (7) and son, Roman (4).
2) Very cool. Hey, what was your first job?
My first job was when I was 16 working for a moving company. We were paid $10 an hour and told there was only one rule, “always be working!” Needless to say, I didn’t last very long! I learned quickly, you can move a lot of furniture in a hour.
3) What was your experience playing professional basketball and were there any business lessons you learned during your time in the NBA that you have taken with you?
I enjoyed my 11 years playing professional basketball. It was a testament to the many years of sacrifice and hard work, not only from myself, but all of the many people who supported me a long the way.
I learned many lessons from playing professional sports, none more so than those I learned while participating in the 2011 labor negotiations. Sports business is very lucrative, however it’s largely predicated upon brand preservation and globalization. This is what has lead to major growth in revenues for the major sports leagues.
4) How have you been able to leverage your sports relationships post playing days in business?
I have done well to stay relevant and connected with respect to the sports world. I am still very passionate about sports business. I am currently playing in the Big3, the new 3-on-3 basketball league for recently retired NBA players. The Big3 platform has increased exposure for everyone involved.
5) That’s great. I know I have enjoyed watching the first season. What has life been like in The Big3?
The Big3 has been a blessed experience. It’s been great to reconnect with former teammates, players, and most of all it’s great to reconnect with the fans. The Big3 is certainly here to stay and it will only grow and expand in the coming years.
6) Tell me a bit more about your latest business venture, ELOS:
ELOS is a business I founded in 2016. Our business model is one that leverages technology to assist athletes with brand management, transition, and support services. Many athletes struggle to effectively transition beyond the game. As a result, 60 percent of NBA players and 78 percent of NFL players file for bankruptcy with in 5 years of retiring.
7) Why do you think athletes are getting more involved as entrepreneurs or startup investors?
Athletes are more cognitive of their personal brand value. Social media is stronger than it has ever been and for that reason alone, it has allowed players to have more visibility which leads to more opportunities, many of them entrepreneurial.
8) What financial tips would you offer younger players reading this?
If players can grasp the simple concept of remaining debt free while remaining gainfully employed, this will serve them well as they transition in and out of sports.
9) Not to side track us, but if I played you 1 on 1 to 21, what do you think the final score would be? :)
If we played, I have to be honest and say I think it wouldn’t be pretty lol. I grew up playing lots of 1 on 1. I think I could probably get 21–0 or 21–1 lol.
10) Wow, thanks Mo! Moving right along…What types of startups or markets interest you the most?
I am most interested in sports tech. However, I am more diverse when I am investing alongside others such as in our TPI model.
11) Very cool. OK, you have been part of The Players’ Impact (TPI) since we first started the group…what was appealing about TPI?
What is most appealing to me about TPI is the ability for players to come together to collectively leverage their brands, resources, and relationships to advances companies in the entrepreneurial realm. This has never been done on a large scale and I believe TPI can be the first.
Love it. Great stuff. Thanks for chatting with us Mo and looking forward to building this out with you my friend!
The Players’ Impact is an investment and funding collective for professional athletes who value a business network of entrepreneurial-minded athlete investors. For more information, feel free to shoot a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @playersimpact