Former NBA Player Jay Williams Teaches Kids Fiscal Responsibility
From the time children are old enough to swing a bat, strap on ice skates or dribble, pass and catch a basketball or football, a common dream is to pretend to be their heroes that play professionally. However, most children don't know what other things professionals have to do in order to be successful.
Around 100 kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Western Broome, in Endicott, recently learned about one of the less glamorous aspects of being a pro athlete, fiscal responsibility, from former NBA player Jay Williams, who shares a common bond. "I spent time at the Boys & Girls Club in Plainford, New Jersey when I was (being) raised. I think the Boys & Girls Club is the first place I learned how to play real basketball," Williams said after the Aug. 12 talk. "Spending time with these kids is what's important." Williams was a two-time first-team All-American and won a National Championship with Duke in 2001, then was drafted second overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2002. His NBA career ended abruptly after one season due to injuries sustained in a 2003 motorcycle accident. Since his playing career ended, Williams became a motivational speaker and entrepreneur, as well as a television analyst, first for CBS, and now at ESPN. Earlier in the day, Williams was named Visions Federal Credit Union spokesperson in a ceremony at the branch office at McKinley Avenue in Endicott.
In the days before Williams' visit, the staff at the Boys & Girls Club had students look up some facts about him. Staff members then led cheers and got the kids pumped up for when Williams made his entrance, and he kept the audience engaged the entire time. Williams called up a student, Brandon Warren, of Vestal, and told him he would be the first pick in the NBA Draft. After quizzing the kids on how much the top player chosen makes ($3.4 million), Williams asked Warren questions about how to spend the money. "A Bugatti? Wow," Williams exclaimed after the 14-year-old said his first purchase would be the $1 million French-made car. From there, Warren spent $1 million on a house for his parents, $500,000 on a place for himself, $100,000 on a wardrobe and $30,000 on a watch. "I just watch a lot of basketball," Warren said. "I play a lot of NBA (video) games, so it's kind of realistic." With $2.63 million of the $3.4 million spent, Williams brought up a few things kids might not think of. For example, the NBA season (along with being paid) doesn't start until October. Also professional athletes need to pay their agents. Finally, there is that three-letter word most adults hate. "Who here has heard of a word called "tax"? Guess what, when you make over a certain amount of money, the government has you in the highest tax bracket, around 45 percent," Williams explained. "So pretty much take that $3 million and cut it in half. Brandon spent $2.63 million, so he's in debt."
Before Williams took on students in brief one-on-one (sometimes two-on-one) games, he asked students to think about taking an interest in math, since knowledge of the subject is the key to a better financial future. "Everybody wants to make a lot of money, but the fact of the matter is that it doesn't happen to everybody," he said. "The more you prepare for dreams, the higher the chance of your dreams coming true." On the court, it took a bit for Williams' jump shot to warm up, but when it did, he used it, along with a quick first step, to defeat every challenger. "I haven't played professional basketball since the year 2003, but I can still play in the NBA. If I had one game a week, I could hold my own," he said. "So to come out here and play against some of these kids that think they're like the guy, and then me telling them I haven't played in 12 years, it gives them a better understanding of how hard you need to work to achieve your goals." While they may not realize it now, hopefully one day, the children at the Boys & Girls Club will think back to this talk. It's not every day that a professional like Jay Williams takes time to teach them, not just about the sport he plays, but also about how to be successful, whether they become professional athletes or not. "I think this is exciting for them," said Visions FCU President and CEO Ty Muse. "I think back to my childhood and these are the things I remember in life, when someone came to my town and reminded me that I was important."
Kevin Rakas, firstname.lastname@example.org EDT August 15, 2015 4:26 p.m.
Original source: http://www.pressconnects.com/story/sports/2015/08/15/williams-teaches-children-fiscal-responsibility/31787303/