From boston.com – former NBA star Ray Williams tells of his journey from top scorer to living out of the back of a car. This article is from 2010 and this is still happening to many athletes around the world.
Loss of financial gain stemming from little or no advice on how to manage their finances have led many pro-sports people down the path of poverty. Some mentoring at the right time could have saved this guy from a lifetime of hardship and suffering after he stopped playing basketball. Doing your sport to the best of your ability is actually the easy part of life because it is your comfort zone (albeit a difficult one). When you retire you step outside your comfort zone and some athletes are literally like a newly born calf – having had everything done for them their entire lives. This is the time they need the most support. They need a mentor – someone to rely on. Too often though – they are cut loose and left to drift.
A quote from the article that sums it all up is:
“When I played the game, they always talked about loyalty to the team,’’ Williams said. “Well, where’s the loyalty and compassion for ex-players who are hurting?”