CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As more than 150,000 people gather in Charlotte for the NBA All-Star Game, organizers of a different but related event want young people to see economic value in careers outside the game.
Desert Storm veteran Marvin Wilson now works in the finance and entertainment industry. He typically plans celebrity entertainment events, but has dedicated this weekend to teaching kids about success, on and off the basketball court.
Wilson says he started the Wisdom Foundation to share a message of economic mobility, particularly for millennials and children.
“Whether it be sports or whatever their future endeavors are, it comes with a certain integrity and approach, and a discipline,” says Wilson. “I’m really getting people to understand that the approach to anything, you have to have a business mindset and think outside the box, and know your value.”
The Saturday evening event is called “Business and Basketball; More Than Just a Sport.” Wilson says it will focus on kids becoming well-rounded community leaders, introducing them to business principles and boosting their own self-awareness.
Information and registration is online at wisdom-foundation.com.
The event features current and former athletes and pro scouts, business leaders, media and representatives from the WNBA and the Charlotte Hornets.
Leford Green, an alumnus of Johnson C. Smith University, is one of the speakers. The Olympic gold medalist in track and field says it’s important for kids to see themselves as more than athletes.
“I pretty much have gone through a different journey, not through basketball but through track and field, so I know that there’s life after competing, when I’m done competing,” says Green. “You can focus and do your sports, but don’t neglect your education; and know that you can think further and there’s a bigger picture out there.”
The event will also feature Trevor Ruffin, a former NBA player for the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers, and Daniel Sanford, a 14-year-old varsity starting forward at Vance High School.