Return On Investment

Without a doubt …


Bender helping hurricane victims recover, rebuild
He always knew he was different.

A long-limbed forward with a 39-inch vertical leap, Jonathan Bender stood 6-foot-7 by the time he was 13 years old. When the soft-spoken teen graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in rural Mississippi, those who saw him play called him the next Magic, the next Jordan.

But Bender, skilled enough to forego college for the NBA, had struggled with his arthritic knees, which soon became his Achilles’ heel. After only six professional seasons, he had to walk away from basketball.

He could have squandered his remaining millions or succumbed to depression over being labeled a “has-been” before his 25th birthday. But this player was also an entrepreneur who’d watched the business-savvy NBA team owners, thinking ‘I can be like them.’

So in New Orleans, with the Gulf Coast still struggling two years after Hurricane Katrina, he established the nonprofit Jonathan Bender Foundation and the for-profit Jonathan Bender Enterprises. With both, Bender’s idealism has manifested itself through initiatives like adopting elementary schools, building real estate ventures and offering free finance classes for some of New Orleans’ poorest residents.


the best, and most important, NBA-related story these eyes have read in the last 24 hours.

Kudos to a ‘can’t miss kid‘ who’s managed to hit the bulls-eye!

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