Tarik Black returns to Memphis to start foundation

Tarik Black returned to Memphis a few days after his most successful NBA season Black and announced the Tarik Black Foundation and the inaugural Transformation50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp.

, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 3:07 p.m. CT April 17, 2017

Long before he became the first Memphis men’s basketball in recent memory to transfer to Kansas, Tarik Black had two experiences that ensured he would eventually come back to his hometown.

The first was in 2007, when Magic Johnson came to Memphis and accepted a Freedom Award at the National Civil Rights Museum. Black still remembers Johnson’s speech vividly because the NBA Hall of Famer insisted basketball never defined him, that “he used it as a platform to give back.”

Then a few years later, when Black and his mom were late for church one Sunday, she elected to instead drive the Ridgeway High School product around the city. They went to south Memphis and north Memphis and everywhere in between, and Judith Moore’s message that day stuck with Black.

“Look at what we’re seeing right now riding around,” Black recalled during an interview Saturday. “These people need help. This is what your city looks like.”

It served as the initial impetus for Black’s return to Memphis this week, only a few days removed from the end of his most successful NBA season to date with the Los Angeles Lakers. On Tuesday afternoon, Black will formally announce the formation of the Tarik Black Foundation and the inaugural Transformation50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp for underprivileged inner city youth in Memphis during a 3:30 p.m. news conference at Streets Ministries on Vance Ave.

The camp, which will be free for 50 children of varying ages and skill levels based on an application process, is the first step in Black’s dream to give back to Memphis. He graduated from University of Memphis in 2013 with an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership and an emphasis on the non-profit sector. He also interned one summer with Ken Bennett and Streets Ministries, and hopes to have a similar impact on the city.

Black’s perspective changed for good once he elected to seek a graduate transfer at Kansas following the 2012-13 season. Though the decision proved unpopular with Tigers’ fans at the time, Black feels the experience of leaving home was essential for his personal growth. After thriving with the Jayhawks for one season, he landed with the Houston Rockets as an undrafted free agent and eventually signed with the Lakers in the middle of the 2014-15 season.

This past year, Black appeared in a career-high 67 games and averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds. He has a non-guaranteed year remaining on his contract and the Lakers have until July 4th to pick up that option. In the meantime, he’ll be exploring how to best serve Memphis through this new foundation.

“The mission is to provide life skills to inner city youth so they can come back and better their own communities,” said Black, noting the lessons he hopes to instill could be as simple as proper etiquette and writing a resume or as complex as figuring out the tax code.

“In the bigger picture, we want to run programs where we can take kids out of Memphis so they can see a different city. It opened my eyes that in Memphis I didn’t get to quite learn these things because I wasn’t around these people. We have people here that are very affluent but how often do we see them in the city? How often do they show their faces? How often do they teach us things and give back and reach out? I feel obligated to reach out and to give back and to take everything I’ve learned to give back and teach that.”

Black’s relationship with Memphis was awkward for a time. He still remembers being booed during his first NBA appearance at FedExForum. He was, after all, a Memphian who chose to leave Memphis following an NCAA tournament appearance, “and that caused some controversy,” Black admitted.

His return to town also comes just more than a week after brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson followed in Black’s footsteps and announced their transfer from Memphis to Kansas. Black said he communicated with Dedric Lawson in recent weeks, particularly once the decision to join the Jayhawks had been made, in order to prepare Lawson for what lies ahead, both here in Memphis and in the plains of Lawrence, Kan.

Black thought about all those experiences since arriving in Memphis ahead of Easter weekend, just 24 hours after an exit interview with Lakers Coach Luke Walton, General Manager Rob Pelinka and Johnson, the basketball legend who initially inspired this latest endeavor. During that meeting, Black talked about how he had established a professional brand built on rebounding, defense and energy.

It’s a style of play that he first showed off in Memphis as a sought-after recruit, but Black knows he could not have delivered this sort of pitch a few years ago when he left the Tigers. Now, he hopes others in the community can learn from that maturation process.

“Maybe going to the university at that time wasn’t right for me, but at the same token, I wasn’t quite equipped to handle the pressures and things that came with the situation I walked into,” Black said. “My road has been kind of bumpy because there’s some things I didn’t understand. If I had somebody that came in, who had learned so much and could come back and teach me something, I would have really appreciated it.”

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NBA’s Tarik Black gets married at Memphis City Hall

Former University of Memphis basketball player Tarik Black, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, got married Tuesday morning in Memphis City Hall with an assist from Mayor Jim Strickland.

As office workers peeked through the doorway of Strickland’s office overlooking the Mississippi River, Black and Kennedy Raye Collins of California exchanged their vows as Strickland officiated. The couple was in town to announce the formation of the Tarik Black Foundation and the inaugural Transformation50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp for underprivileged inner city youth in Memphis.

Black, a Ridgeway High School product who played three years at the University of Memphis before transferring to Kansas, is coming off his most successful NBA season to date after averaging 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Lakers. Raye is a model and student in Los Angeles, and she is also known for being a good friend of music superstar Taylor Swift.

More:Tarik Black returns to Memphis to start foundation

Mayors occasionally perform (free) marriages in City Hall as their schedules allow.

And yes, Black scored a kiss to end a video uploaded by Strickland’s office.

Tarik Black returned to Memphis a few days after his most successful NBA season Black and announced the Tarik Black Foundation and the inaugural Transformation50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp. The Commercial Appeal

Reach Ryan Poe at poe@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter at @ryanpoe.

Original Article

NBA player helps the inner city youth in his hometown of Memphis

NBA player helps the inner city youth in his hometown of Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —

After hitting it big in the NBA, a Memphis man is giving back to the community.

Los Angeles Lakers player and former U of M Tiger Tarik Black announced Tuesday his new foundation committed to helping his city and inner city youth. First up: a new summer basketball camp for teens.

“God has put me in the position to give back, and I feel like it’s my obligation,” he said. “Crime has been an issue in Memphis, and it helps when you have programs and things going on they can get involved in.”

Black said he will teach more than basketball; he will also teach life skills just like he learned from those who steered his steps.

Black’s ball camp will host 50 kids at Ridgeway High, where he went to school.

“I’d love to participate and learn from him,” said Bellevue Middle student Jonathan Lawson. “Learn his moves and how he do things off and on the court.”

It’s a huge hit among the teens we talked to for different reasons.

“I think this can inspire a lot of kids to come back and do stuff for their community,” said Terrence Jacobs.

Black hopes to help break that cycle of crime and poverty and show kids you can succeed in this city. A place he believes in.

“That’s why it was so important for me to implement this because it means so much for me, and it’s home for me,” he said.

Hours before he announced his new foundation, Black got married to Kennedy Raye in Memphis Tuesday at city hall. Mayor Jim Strickland officiated.

Original Article

Tarik Black returns to Memphis to start foundation

Tarik Black returns to Memphis to start foundation

Tarik Black returned to Memphis a few days after his most successful NBA season Black and announced the Tarik Black Foundation and the inaugural Transformation50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp.

The Commercial Appeal

Long before he became the first Memphis men’s basketball in recent memory to transfer to Kansas, Tarik Black had two experiences that ensured he would eventually come back to his hometown.

The first was in 2007, when Magic Johnson came to Memphis and accepted a Freedom Award at the National Civil Rights Museum. Black still remembers Johnson’s speech vividly because the NBA Hall of Famer insisted basketball never defined him, that “he used it as a platform to give back.”

Then a few years later, when Black and his mom were late for church one Sunday, she elected to instead drive the Ridgeway High School product around the city. They went to south Memphis and north Memphis and everywhere in between, and Judith Moore’s message that day stuck with Black.

“Look at what we’re seeing right now riding around,” Black recalled during an interview Saturday. “These people need help. This is what your city looks like.”

It served as the initial impetus for Black’s return to Memphis this week, only a few days removed from the end of his most successful NBA season to date with the Los Angeles Lakers. On Tuesday afternoon, Black will formally announce the formation of the Tarik Black Foundation and the inaugural Transformation50 Basketball & Life Skills Camp for underprivileged inner city youth in Memphis during a 3:30 p.m. news conference at Streets Ministries on Vance Ave.

The camp, which will be free for 50 children of varying ages and skill levels based on an application process, is the first step in Black’s dream to give back to Memphis. He graduated from University of Memphis in 2013 with an undergraduate degree in organizational leadership and an emphasis on the non-profit sector. He also interned one summer with Ken Bennett and Streets Ministries, and hopes to have a similar impact on the city.

Black’s perspective changed for good once he elected to seek a graduate transfer at Kansas following the 2012-13 season. Though the decision proved unpopular with Tigers’ fans at the time, Black feels the experience of leaving home was essential for his personal growth. After thriving with the Jayhawks for one season, he landed with the Houston Rockets as an undrafted free agent and eventually signed with the Lakers in the middle of the 2014-15 season.

This past year, Black appeared in a career-high 67 games and averaged 5.7 points and 5.1 rebounds. He has a non-guaranteed year remaining on his contract and the Lakers have until July 4th to pick up that option. In the meantime, he’ll be exploring how to best serve Memphis through this new foundation.

“The mission is to provide life skills to inner city youth so they can come back and better their own communities,” said Black, noting the lessons he hopes to instill could be as simple as proper etiquette and writing a resume or as complex as figuring out the tax code.

“In the bigger picture, we want to run programs where we can take kids out of Memphis so they can see a different city. It opened my eyes that in Memphis I didn’t get to quite learn these things because I wasn’t around these people. We have people here that are very affluent but how often do we see them in the city? How often do they show their faces? How often do they teach us things and give back and reach out? I feel obligated to reach out and to give back and to take everything I’ve learned to give back and teach that.”

Black’s relationship with Memphis was awkward for a time. He still remembers being booed during his first NBA appearance at FedExForum. He was, after all, a Memphian who chose to leave Memphis following an NCAA tournament appearance, “and that caused some controversy,” Black admitted.

His return to town also comes just more than a week after brothers Dedric and K.J. Lawson followed in Black’s footsteps and announced their transfer from Memphis to Kansas. Black said he communicated with Dedric Lawson in recent weeks, particularly once the decision to join the Jayhawks had been made, in order to prepare Lawson for what lies ahead, both here in Memphis and in the plains of Lawrence, Kan.

Black thought about all those experiences since arriving in Memphis ahead of Easter weekend, just 24 hours after an exit interview with Lakers Coach Luke Walton, General Manager Rob Pelinka and Johnson, the basketball legend who initially inspired this latest endeavor. During that meeting, Black talked about how he had established a professional brand built on rebounding, defense and energy.

It’s a style of play that he first showed off in Memphis as a sought-after recruit, but Black knows he could not have delivered this sort of pitch a few years ago when he left the Tigers. Now, he hopes others in the community can learn from that maturation process.

“Maybe going to the university at that time wasn’t right for me, but at the same token, I wasn’t quite equipped to handle the pressures and things that came with the situation I walked into,” Black said. “My road has been kind of bumpy because there’s some things I didn’t understand. If I had somebody that came in, who had learned so much and could come back and teach me something, I would have really appreciated it.”

Master’s Degree Candidate Tarik Black Follows in Father’s Real Estate Footsteps

Master’s Degree Candidate Tarik Black Follows in Father’s Real Estate Footsteps

by  | 

At just five years old, Lakers forward Tarik Black started spending his weekends putting in a day’s worth of work. But it wasn’t on the basketball court or any athletic surface.

Tarik Black’s family L to R: Brother Bilal, father Lawrence, cousin Noah, brother Amal and Black. (Photo courtesy of Tarik Black)

Black was in houses painting walls, sweeping floors and ripping up carpets.

Along with his two older brothers, Amal and Bilal, and locals in the Memphis neighborhood, Black would assist his father, Lawrence, with his residential real estate business. He owned around 15 properties through the years. Black also spent time working at his father’s thrift store and subway shop.

During his childhood, Black would wake up at 8 a.m., and Lawrence would prepare breakfast for family and friends in the area. Then they’d all hop on the back of his truck and arrive at a house at 9:30 a.m. There, they’d work through the day until 7 p.m. Sometimes, they’d go until midnight or visit two homes in one day.

At the end of the grueling outings, Lawrence would give his youngest son and the others $5 each for their efforts.

“We would go to the corner store and get us some chips or something,” Black said. “But it just taught us a whole lot about working hard. It was more of the principles that we learned through it—the work ethic—from time just spent with our dad.”

By the time Black was 10, the demands of the labor went to another level—and it even helped him gain strength and athleticism in basketball, as he was touching the rim as a fourth grader.

“I lifted washing machines, refrigerators, dryers and other household appliances that might not weigh as much but are hard to carry, like microwaves and couches,” Black told the NBPA recently in New York City. “Numerous times, me and my brothers were picking up couches and taking them into the house, or removing the couches from the house, cutting the yards, picking out weeds in the yard. It was just very strenuous work. The work was top to bottom of the house and the yard—everything.”

Now, 14 years later, Black has began to map out how he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, who’s going on 63 years old and still has a couple of houses in Memphis, while working on a new grocery store. “He’s still very fit and in shape,” Black said.

In July—the same month he re-signed with the Lakers for two years, $12.85 million after going undrafted in 2014—Black attended the NBPA’s second annual Real Estate Symposium. And this month, he participated in the NBPA’s second annual Business, Entrepreneurship and Franchising Symposium.

Black, 24, was the youngest player by far in both programs. He discussed why he’s already preparing for life after basketball.

“I took a [recruiting] visit to Georgetown and I met with John Thompson, and he had a philosophy,” he said. “He had a flat basketball on his desk, and he used to always tell his players, ‘This is representative of the basketball’s not going to bounce forever. It’s going to stop bouncing.’ What’s for certain is these programs are here, these opportunities are here. My thing is, I’m not really worried about making the money right now. I’d rather learn things now. Knowledge and wisdom, as the Bible says, is more valuable than diamonds and gold.”

Black is also in the process of completing his master’s degree in African-American studies at Kansas, where he transferred in 2013 after spending his first three college seasons at Memphis. This week, Black returned to campus and he plans to finish classes at the end of the month.

He’ll officially receive his degree with the fall graduating class. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Memphis, focusing on the non-profit sector, African-American studies intrigued him because his hometown is predominantly black and he wanted to learn about its history.

Black’s vision is to utilize both degrees back home.

“My passion is to go back to Memphis and do nonprofit and philanthropic work in the inner city,” he said. “I want to go back and heighten the education these kids are getting. They don’t have an even playing field as better-off kids because they aren’t learning the same things, or at the same rate.

“Also, I want to introduce them to new things that will change how they perceive the world, like take them on trips to LA, New York, etc. I want to show them the world is vast and full of opportunity that they don’t see growing up in Memphis.”

Black’s Unique Business Education

Black’s entry into extensive real estate started in July at the NBPA’s program, which included other current and former NBA players Steve Blake, Norris Cole, Rip Hamilton, Kevin Martin, Luc Mbah a Moute, and brothers Paul and Elijah Millsap.

With a concentration on commercial real estate, the players learned how to pinpoint trends and scams; compare key terms like market vs. competition, costs vs. revenues, tenants vs. landlords; and examine case studies with exact floor plans and Excel spreadsheets breaking down actual investment deals. They also heard from leaders in the industry, including ex-players Devean George and Danny Granger, who both have their own successful real estate companies.

Coming into the program, Black knew how lucrative real estate can be, noting “it’s a necessity for mankind; people are always looking for a place to stay.” He talked about walking around New York City and not only realizing how many buildings there were, but also how many opportunities there were to own.

“Somebody has to run them. Why not yourself? They’re going to be there. They’re not going to tear down a thousand buildings and reconstruct the world,” he said during the program at the Lotte New York Palace hotel in midtown Manhattan. “[The business] might go from a Starbucks to a Kinko’s or a Kinko’s to a living arrangement permitting the permits and zoning of it. But regardless, that building is going to be there. I think about that all across the country.”

After three days in the Real Estate Symposium, Black’s biggest takeaways were learning the different ways of entering the business and making money; for example, as a developer, general contractor, or active vs. passive investor. He also paid close attention to the difficulties of owning homes, dealing with tenants, and deciphering credit loans and their interest rates.

“They are things that I realize now that I didn’t realize when I was younger,” he said. “Now, I can learn from what my dad did and what he went through because I was there.”

While the program was focused on commercial real estate, he’s leaving all of the doors open for future ventures. In the meantime, he’s working on his first project: looking to secure his family’s old house and his stepmother’s next door, both in downtown Memphis. They’re located right behind a renovated mall and entertainment center, which is in the prime real estate area of the developing part of downtown.

“If I can get both of those houses, I can do anything. The sky’s the limit,” he said. “I can tear it down, build four houses, rebuild the houses and sell them.”

The low cost of the opportunity appeals to him.

“It’s just a way for me to slo-mo into it and not do million projects, where you’re risking a lot of money,” he said. “I know the things I’m going to overlook, things that I still have to learn a lot about it. So it’s something that’s very economical and cost effective. I might not make that much money because it’s not what it’s about right now. It’s about learning what I’m doing.”

With his eagerness to take control of his first real estate project, Black also signed up for the NBPA’s three-day Business, Entrepreneurship and Franchising Symposium.

Black huddles up with former NBA players Maurice Savage (left) and Milt Palacio during the Business, Entrepreneurship and Franchising Symposium at the NBPA’s new headquarters in New York City. (Photo by Gregory Calvaire)

“I feel like I have a future in real estate and entrepreneurship,” he said during the program at the NBPA’s new headquarters in midtown Manhattan. “You might own your own business that’s a real estate firm, so you need to learn how to start it up—cash flows, business models, things like that in order to even do real estate.”

During the first day of the program—which included current and former NBA players Maurice Ager, Trevor Booker, Brandon Hunter, Milt Palacio, John Salmons, Maurice Savage, Mustafa Shakur, Awvee Storey and Anthony Tolliver—Black learned the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, process of innovation and financial plan for a startup.

They also broke up into teams of three to build a business model canvas for a startup idea. The canvas covered key partners, key activities, key resources, value propositions, customer relationships, customer channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue streams.

“The biggest takeaway for me is definitely learning more in-depth about the business model,” Black said. “And what that means and how that functions in creating your business and also running your business, and vetting out future investment opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures through using the business model.”

Day 2 focused on the franchising business, headlined by a two-hour discussion with ex-player Junior Bridgeman, who’s one of the country’s largest restaurant franchise operators. His Bridgeman Foods company runs 121 Chili’s and 161 Wendy’s locations nationwide, according to a story this year in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

This year, Bridgeman signed on to become Coca-Cola’s third and final bottler and distributor nationwide for Dasani water and soft, sports and fruit drinks. With the deal becoming official next year, he’s currently in the process of transferring ownership of his restaurants to his three children.

Bridgeman opened up about his humble business beginnings with the players, noting that he lost $30,000 in the first month and $300,000 in the first 10 months. He said the lesson learned was that he only bought five stores at the start, and his earnings fell way short of his expectations.

“Today I would tell you guys, ‘Instead of being a franchisee, why don’t you own the whole franchise? What don’t you become a franchisor?’” Bridgeman told the group. “You’re not going to make enough money on five stores where you’re going to really build something that’s going to be wealth-making building and something that you can pass along to your kids. But to get to that point though, you’ve got to understand the business. I can’t stress that enough.”

Black was inspired by Bridgeman’s fortitude through his early financial hurdles.

“He actually accomplished with less than that we have because we make more money now,” Black said. “He didn’t have as much and he took that big of a chance and a risk. And it just shows his perseverance. So in the future, if we want to get involved in entrepreneurship, if we want to get involved with franchising, and just business in general, we’re going to have to push through things. It’s easy to give up, but he gives that example to keep pushing and persevering.”

On the final day of the program, stemming from the business model canvas, Black, Palacio and Savage presented their startup idea to a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs, in a Shark Tank-esque investor presentation setting. The players’ concept was the Shelves mobile app, connecting actual store inventory, based on someone’s locale, with the ability to purchase before the product is sold out.

Black shared his comparisons of performing the exercise to playing in the NBA.

“It’s very similar in that we have a crowd audience that we have to perform in front of. I’ve played in front of 16,000 people who put a lot of pressure on me, especially from the organization that I play for,” he said. “So that once we go show the business model to someone, that’s like the game, that’s the finished product, and it’s well-functioning because we did all this groundwork to lay the foundation for it.”

Looking ahead, Black is thinking generations beyond his own legacy. The upcoming college graduate not only wants to build upon the success his father has had, but, like Bridgeman, he also envisions his children one day continuing the family tradition.

“My thing is, just take it to the next level,” he said. “My dad played basketball, went to college for a year. That was his career; he never went pro. I played basketball; I went pro. I’m in a better position than what he was. I’m very fortunate to have an opportunity to come to these programs and meet these people. My dad never had the opportunity to learn. And I hope my son takes it to the next level. Whatever you want to do, be great at it.”

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