How it started
Years and years ago when I was a freshman at the University Of Kansas, I reported to football camp my freshman year (1994). Once I got the first year under my belt I had an option as most players did of staying for the summer. It was always an “unwritten” rule that players stay during the summer so that we could continue to workout and get better. Everyone knew the summer months were the time to get better. In order to stay in the summer as a player, you also had to be enrolled in a summer class. It wasn’t a matter of doing bad the previous year (although that was the case for some of the guys) but it was a great opportunity to get better and bond with teammates.
After going to school every year and going to summer school I ended up graduated in 4 years, which wasn’t necessarily a big feat, it just created a unique opportunity my redshirt senior year.
I was officially done..I didn’t have to play my redshirt senior year. I could walk away from it all. However, I loved playing football..and love my team. As my senior year started, I needed to figure out my class schedule …being the scholar that I am (sarcasm), my thoughts were that I was going to start working on a MBA. The school was paying for it..why not? Well…as the football season started..and I started course work towards my MBA…those classes were kicking my butt! It was tougher than I anticipated. My undergrad major was communications..so dealing with business classes was more than I could handle.
So I started taking ..um….easier, classes that one thinks of when a football player takes easy classes…I took some “basket weaving 101” ..some “softball throwing 202”..etc..etc.
One of the classes that I took was an experimental class, that was just for student athletes. The class was called ” From College to the workplace”. It was a class taught by a gentlemen by the name of Wayne Walden, who was on Coach Williams staff who coached the University of Kansas men’s basketball team. The point of this class was to introduce student athletes to things such as investments, stocks, bonds, insurance..etc..etc. These things were way over my head. I didn’t understand it. I was embarrassed, really embarrassed. To clarify..I wasn’t embarrassed because I thought I was stupid..I was embarrassed because I was never exposed to any of this stuff. As I looked around at some of my teammates, or some of the other guys and girls in other sports..they understood. They knew what Wayne was talking about. I didn’t!
That one class changed the trajectory of everything for me. I now had this desire to teach financial literacy. My initial thought was to work with student athletes because that is what I was. I understood the plight of a student athlete. Once I left the University of Kansas, I went and tried out for the CFL, the Calgary Stampeders and promptly go cut after a couple of weeks. Once I came back to the States I started my career as a financial advisor. As I started my career as an advisor..I would contact anybody that I knew that was either on staff at the University of Kansas or anybody that I knew that still worked with the football program I never had much luck. Well fast forward.. it wasn’t until recently that I got a call out of the blue from Wayne Simien about talking to basketball team about financial literacy and empowerment. Before he could continue ..I talked his ear off about my story and my passion. Needless to say it was a natural fit for me. Now I have a platform and a podcast and ready to teach!