What do you get when you mix a Duke University education with a 15-year NBA career? One of the league’s least-known real estate moguls. The No. 7 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Luol Deng has created ventures outside of the league that will give him long-term financial stability.
So, how did he grow this vast real-estate portfolio? Today we learn about Deng’s investments and determine how he got here.
After being drafted by the Bulls, Deng quickly made an impact on the young Chicago team. The versatile forward averaged 11 points and five rebounds per game. He made back to back All-Star games (2012 and 2013) and was named to the 2012 All-NBA Defensive team.
How did it start?
Deng got into real estate almost immediately after entering the NBA. Born in Sudan, the athlete invested in properties in London and Africa before finding opportunities in the U.S. He also bought hotels in Las Vegas, multi-family units in Baltimore, and a resort in the Bahamas. Seeking mentorship, Deng’s connections from Duke and Chicago helped build his business from the ground up.
Learning from the best
While attending Duke, Deng became friends with the daughter of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Showing him the investment ropes, Dimon sought out Deng when the NBA player moved to Chicago.
Former Wall Street banker and investment advisor David Gross is another major influence on Deng. The pair began working together in 2014. They helped develop a certificate program at Columbia University for athletes and entertainers who want to invest in the real estate market.
Helping other athletes invest?
In 2015, Deng created a real estate symposium for NBA rookies — typically a time when young players make poor investment choices like buying cars. Having the help of someone with real estate knowledge could be vital to long-term financial security. Understandably, Deng’s initiative quickly became one of the most influential aspects of the certificate program.
Next step Silicon Valley?
Could we see Deng buy into a Silicon Valley startup? With some smart investments under his belt, Kevin Durant is leading the NBA tech investment movement. His former Golden State teammate Andre Iguodala has also invested in the tech industry and created a lucrative portfolio.
It would be wise for Deng to invest in a company that’s laying a foundation early on. Picking up a huge return on investment for a small startup is something every investor strives for. Deng could continue to grow his business portfolio using this method.