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Tar Heel legend returns to talk sports business

J.R. Reid, a former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball player, talks about his post-athletic career at a meeting of the Carolina Sports Business Club in the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
J.R. Reid, a former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball player, talks about his post-athletic career at a meeting of the Carolina Sports Business Club in the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

For UNC basketball alumnus J.R. Reid, the question of whether student-athletes should be paid isn't a question at all.

"Hell yeah," Reid said during a speech Wednesday night.

The Carolina Sport Business Club hosted the basketball legend Wednesday night to discuss his experiences as both an athlete and sports entrepreneur. Reid was a professional basketball player in the NBA for 11 seasons.

The sports business club is a student organization dedicated to helping students of all majors assimilate into the sports industry.

Deborah Stroman, faculty advisor to sports business club and director of Sport Entrepreneurship at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, said she saw Reid as a valuable speaker for current students. 

“He knows the value of a Carolina education, and his words really resonate to the students,” Stroman said.

Taylor Sharp, Carolina Sports Business Club co-president and junior Interdisciplinary Studies major, said he admires how Reid expanded his career in the sports industry beyond playing basketball.

“He has a very rich perspective on both sides of the spectrum, and while not everyone is an athlete, we can all be a part of the sports world,” Sharp said.

Reid also answered the questions posed to him by curious attendees. From inquiries about which coaching styles he preferred to questions about his 14-year ownership of Players Nightclub, Reid addressed every question with enthusiasm and gusto.

Reid made it clear after the event he saw great value in returning to UNC to share his experiences with the students of his alma mater. 

“All students make mistakes in college, and if they have questions that need answering, I’m going to do my damnedest (sic) to help them any way that I can,” Reid said.

Aside from his career as a broadcaster, Reid is working on a personal project in conjunction with a select group of UNC students called the UNC Cookbook. The UNC Cookbook is an idea Reid had more than 20 years ago, and he is finally getting to realize this goal.

“The cookbook is going to be an assortment of stories and family recipes from former players, coaches, and those who have supported Carolina through the years,” said Reid. 

With this new project, an exciting ACC season approaching, and speaking engagements like the one with the Carolina Sports Business Club, Reid has kept himself busy. 

“Basketball, especially in my time with Coach Smith, has afforded me opportunities that many others don’t have," Reid said. "Coming back to talk is the least I could do."

university@dailytarheel.com

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