Aside from all the drama, Cinderellas, and improbable buzzer-beaters, one thing that makes the NCAA tournament so special is that it’s the perfect stage for heroes to rise to the occasion and show the rest of us that dreams really can come true. For college basketball players who are fortunate enough to go dancing this time of year, this is a golden chance to leave a lasting mark on the game — one that will live on long after they’ve hung up their jerseys. However, sometimes players don’t need big performances to put them in a position to be remembered. They’ve already done that all by themselves.
Currently, the 2015-16 USC Trojans are 21-12 on the season, and predicted to earn a spot in the tournament as the No. 9 seed in the West Region, according to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. They are what many would call a team on the rise. Yet, we’re not here to focus on the Trojans’ chances of making a postseason run, we’re here to take a look at a player whose talents go well beyond the hardwood.
Enter USC forward Sam Dhillon, whose unbelievable dedication, drive, and intelligence, make him arguably the richest player in March Madness. We first learned about the 6-foot-8 junior walk-on thanks to a story by Sporting News. And we were immediately captivated. After all, how many student-athletes do you know who are the CEO of an investment firm that’s worth more than $3 million? We can’t think of any others. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In case you were curious, Dhillon’s company is called Quest Investment Firm. As Sporting News notes, this firm, comprised of three part-time employees, six solicitors, one lawyer, and a tax strategist, provides a multitude of services, including “asset allocation to portfolio review to wealth management and investment strategy and management, according to its website.” Now that’s impressive. But it’s certainly not everything.
When he’s not playing for the Trojans or overseeing his investment firm, the human biology major is in the lab, researching to hopefully find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Additionally, Dhillon, along with three other classmates, “started a mobile clinic on campus which provides free health exams for LA’s homeless population.” We know what you’re thinking, “There aren’t enough hours in a day to get all this stuff done.” Dhillon has a response for that as well.
“The whole, kind of, goal is to have each hour planned out to have something accomplished in that one hour,” said Dhillon during an interview with ESPN Radio. “So, each hour I have, I have it planned out for either organic chemistry, anatomy work or basketball practice or client meetings or trying to do my mobile clinic or trying to grow my business.”
With Selection Sunday just a few days away, we’ll know soon enough which teams are destined for the big dance and which are destined to watch it from the outside. Some teams will rise and some teams will fall. Some players will turn into heroes. And some players, as we’ve just seen, already are.
Statistics courtesy of SR/College Basketball.