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Former NBA star working to help athletes prevent bankruptcy

Nearly all of us face financial struggles at one time or another. Though sometimes it is based on excessive spending, other times it is caused by unexpected medical expenses or a lost job. Either way, overwhelming debt can leave an individual fearful for his or her future. Though many struggle for years to try to get caught up on their debt for fear of filing bankruptcy, others take the steps necessary to eliminate their personal debt and obtain the fresh financial start they need.

For example, former NBA star Antoine Walker, who made more than $108 million during his extremely successful career, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2010. So how did this multi-millionaire end up filing for bankruptcy? There were several reasons. First, Walker said he constantly helped family and friends with their tough financial situations by giving them money. He never asked for them to pay the money back. Also, Walker's real estate company was hit hard during the Great Recession and, since he fronted his own finances for the projects, he was left losing millions.

Now the former basketball star is working to try to educate young athletes about the financial difficulties associated with coming into large sums of money. He encourages these young players to think about the future of their finances and teaches them to say "no" to those who ask for money. It is his hope that he will be able to deter them from winding up where he is.

Though the amount of money at hand in Antoine Walker's case is relatively unusual, similar situations can befall everyday New Yorkers. They may find that they are overspending, that they are being too generous to those they feel are in need, or they may wind up a victim of the economy. Either way, New Yorkers sound take comfort in the fact that Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be an option for them to shed their debt. As Walker's story shows, bankruptcy can be a painful experience, but it can also represent a new beginning.

Source: CNN Money, "Ex-NBA star went from $108 million to bankruptcy," Matt Egan, July 24, 2015

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