Antoine Walker – proof that pro athletes need financial education

antoine-walker-tonqueAntoine Walker was once a star in the NBA, averaging double figures in scoring on one of the most famous teams in the NBA – the Boston Celtics.

Walker also played for Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves during his NBA career, averaging 17.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 35.3 mpg.

Appearing in total of 893 NBA games (started 707), Walker was a 3-time NBA All-Star and won an NBA title with the Miami Heat.

Off the court, Walker was destined to become a very vivid example of a wealthy ex-athlete, whose wrong financial decisions soon made him lose his earned $108 million.

Two years after leaving the NBA, Walker filed for bankruptcy.

Walker reportedly gambled a lot of his money, as well as gave money to his relatives and friends. He also heavily invested in real estate, and it never paid off.

“We got caught in the recession. We had a ton of undeveloped real estate,” Walker told CNN. “It went bad. The banks wanted their money back.”

Compounding those failures was that Walker borrowed money against his own personal collateral. When his investments failed, he had to pay $20 million of his own money to the banks.

Luckily for him, Walker managed to bounce back from his failures and now works for Morgan Stanley as a financial adviser to help athletes avoid making his same mistakes.

His story has become a cautionary tale that the NBA teaches to incoming rookies at an annual rookie camp designed to instill better spending habits and to help those players make better decisions as professional athletes.

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