Greg Oden has a new job, and it’s one he’s uniquely positioned to do.
The former No. 1 NBA overall pick is now using his experience in the league to counsel young athletes on how to avoid the mistakes he made in his career, according to Adam Jardy of The Columbus Dispatch.
As an athlete adviser at Edyoucore Sports & Entertainment, a Baltimore-based financial education and consulting company, Oden is putting his experience to work. His responsibilities reportedly include explaining all the realities that come with receiving millions of dollars before you’re even old enough to legally drink.
For Oden, that signing a three-year, $12.5 million deal — of which he only received $3.9 million — at 19 years old.
From The Dispatch:
“I’m not saying I did terrible things with my money or lost it all, but if I was a little more knowledgeable about money then I probably would’ve made some better decisions and went a little bit differently in my life away from the court,” Oden told The Dispatch.
“Some of (the lessons learned) were definitely hard, especially from my standpoint, which is what I think I bring to the team: You’re making this money and you have these decisions and you’re not as knowledgeable as you should be, but I never thought I wouldn’t be playing the game or at this time that I wouldn’t be playing.
“It happened so quick you need to be prepared for when the big checks actually do stop coming.”
Oden would infamously go onto play only 105 games in an abbreviated NBA career, as an assortment of leg injuries constantly kept him off the floor. He has since graduated from Ohio State and worked as a student manager at his old program.
The 31-year-old has reportedly spoken to two NBA teams in his new job so far, and could talk to college and high school teams as well. He was initially interested in working as a coach after graduating, but was reportedly recommended to Edyoucore by the NBA and NBA Players Association. He’s also made it back to the court here and there.
“The coaching route right now wasn’t picking up steam,” Oden said. “This opportunity came about, and I knew being around basketball and players, just sports in general, and being able to help in some way with talking about things I’ve actually lived and went through was a no-brainer to me.”
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