MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Bucks players are proving that not only are they valuable on the court, but they're just as valuable off the court, as they give back and invest their time and money in businesses across the country and right here in Milwaukee.
"The fact that he wanted to be an investor, where he could've worked with any company, I mean we were ecstatic," said Pat Cavanaugh.
The founder and CEO of Ready Nutrition, Cavanaugh says the day Giannis Antetokounmpo decided to invest in his Pennsylvania-based company was the day everything changed.
"It's almost like the good housekeeping seal of approval. Giannis believes in it? OK that's great," said Cavanaugh.
Cavanaugh says Giannis has been using their products for the past three years. And with the Bucks now in the finals, conversations surrounding Giannis' sports drink of choice have been buzzing.
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"It's definitely created a platform for us to talk about how we can use the momentum of Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin, to get our brand introduced," said Cavanaugh.
And it's not just Giannis who's taking the opportunity to invest in other companies.
"Khris Middleton has actually made three investments this year in various start-ups. Most notably he was one of many investors in Dapper Labs, which is a non-fungible token company behind the NBA top shop platform," said Teddy Nykiel, a reporter for the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Meanwhile, for Jrue Holiday and his wife Laure, they took this year to invest in seven Milwaukee-based Black-owned businesses in the form of grants through their JLH Fund.
"To know that they really sat down and thought about what it is that Black businesses need, and then put the dollars to make it happen, really means a lot to me," said Joanna Brooks, a JLH recipient and owner of Embody Yoga.
And the investments have inspired others to pay it forward.
"Life becomes more meaningful in that way, when we don't just think about ourselves, but we think about how we can improve the lives of others," said Brooks.