Invest: Miami speaks with Udonis Haslem, Team Captain, Miami Heat

Invest: Miami speaks with Udonis Haslem, Team Captain, Miami Heat

2020-10-08T14:53:45+00:00February 21st, 2017|Miami, SPORTS|

I come from Miami, so I want to make a difference in this area. I have friends and family who have fallen on hard times, either through bad luck or poor decisions, and they deserve support. When I first became successful, I tried to help by just giving out money. However, after a while, I realized this only helped so far and did not help people fully reach their potential. I wanted to find a way that I could have a positive impact on people’s lives without simply handing out money, which is why I started buying franchises. Licensing is a way of bringing more job opportunities to the city. Once people have real employment opportunities, you can see how invested they become in trying to improve their own situations. I refuse to invest money or time into something just to make money. I have to be passionate about it because I want to be involved. My career trajectory has been interesting. I had a great career in college basketball, but I started my professional career in Europe. While I was there, I dedicated myself to self-improvement, learning what it takes to become a real professional. Instead of blaming the NBA for making a mistake and not drafting me straight away, I asked myself “What can I do? How can I better myself? How can I put myself in a good situation to be successful?” Now I want to use what I have learned to help the Miami community. You can’t think about Miami without thinking about the Miami HEAT. There are the different cultures, great foods and excitement in this city, and the HEAT embraces all of that. However, there is also Overtown and the inner city life, which also need consideration. Since I have been a part of the HEAT organization, we have done a tremendous job of impacting the entire city. The HEAT has always been great in the community, and they have supported my children’s foundation as well as the City of Miami. We were a football town when I was growing up, and to be part of this team’s evolution, to contribute to our first, second and third championships, to have the opportunity to be coached by the great Pat Riley and have the Arison family be my bosses has been a dream come true.