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About Q/A

Q: What Motivates you?

My mother and father provide me with lots of motivation, but I can get motivation from almost everyone around me.

My past also motivates me. I know where I came from, which was public housing. To see how hard it was for my family to get to where we are today provides me with huge motivation. It makes my journey worth while when I see the youth going after the same goal I once went for. Respect is key, and the surrounding of my childhood taught me that losing was not an option.

I gained a lot of motivation when I took a year off from basketball. It was a huge risk at the time, but if I didn’t take that year I doubt I would have been able to go on to pick up deals with Nike, begin an acting and modelling career, start a clothing line, star in the We The North Campaign, and participate in the celebrity game. The advice I got from my peer and mentor Dave East was to take a step back to take a few steps forward. I’m grateful I had this advice because now the Dane Smith brand has reached new heights.

Q: What advice do you have for young athletes who may be interested in entrepreneurship ?

My advice to young athletes interested in entrepreneurship is simple but important. Never take out a loan to start a new business, make yourself useful not used, and always enjoy the journey.

Q: What has made you a successful basketball player? 

I think I’ve become a successful basketball player through my drive to become one of the greatest players before anyone believed that I was. I took a lot of risks, for every success in my career I have had at least 2-3 set-backs.

One of the main things that has helped me be successful is always setting new goals. Once you reach an existing goal, you need to set a new one. Success, especially in sports, depends on your ability to allow the uncomfortable to become your new comfortable.

To any young basketball players hoping to succeed in this sport, I would recommend following these 10 simple rules:

  1. Be on time

  2. Have strong work ethic

  3. Always give effort

  4. Be conscious of your body language

  5. Have a positive attitude

  6. Be passionate

  7. Allow yourself to take instruction and be coachable

  8. Always go the extra mile

  9. Be prepared

  10. Follow the motto: “why wait, just do it.”