NBA Players’ Union to Launch Business Accelerator Program

You don’t have to be an NBA superstar like LeBron James, Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry to turn a basketball career into business ownership. Now, the National Basketball Players Association is doing its part to promote entrepreneurship among its membership.

This year, the players’ union will launch the NBPA Players Accelerator Program, a platform for past and present NBA players to build their own ventures and startups, in partnership with Patricof Co, a private investment company that specializes in working with professional athletes.

Companies chosen for the program will be given access to mentors, entrepreneurs in similar fields, and other resources and experts provided by the union, Patricof Co and associated sponsors. The course will include a three-day “training camp” in June, during which participating companies will hear from industry leaders, develop business plans and craft presentations to be shown to a panel of investors on the concluding “Investor Day.”

“Our members are more than basketball players—they are investors, businessmen, entrepreneurs and stewards of their personal brands,” Michele Roberts, the NBPA’s Executive Director, said in a statement. “This Program will provide additional resources to grow their businesses in a creative and competitive environment."

In order to be considered for the program, a business must have active involvement from a current or former NBPA member, be either Series A or below in its funding status, and submit its application by February 21. Former members must fall within a five-year inactive window in order for their companies to be accepted into the program.


Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.