Former NBA Pro Now Plays Ball in Home Care

With the incoming silver tsunami of aging Americans, a former NBA player is hoping his venture into home care will be a slam dunk.

Professional basketball player Mustafa Shakur recently opened up his own home care franchise location in the Philadelphia area with Executive Care, a non-medical home care franchise company based in New Jersey. Shakur, who has played professional basketball for a decade and is currently a player with a German professional club, opened his location on May 1, with a grand opening ceremony on May 16.

Getting into the franchise business is nothing new for professional athletes, and one of the most prominent athletes in the U.S., Peyton Manning, has taken on somewhat of a personae as a franchise owner with Papa John’s pizza. As a former NBA player himself, Shakur found inspiration in other players turned successful franchise owners.

“Some of the former and current professional players that I look up to [are franchise owners],” Shakur told Home Health Care News. “Jamal Mashburn has a ton of franchises, and he came and spoke the summer I attended a conference for former NBA players. He owns 100 franchises and is maybe worth $500 million. That inspired me to look into other, bigger franchises.”

However, for Shakur, it was all about finding a niche, rather than following in the footsteps of other athletes getting into food franchises. And he’s starting with one location to find his footing in the market.

“I decided this was a better fit, to start small by getting an understanding of franchising and health care,” he said. “I thought home care could be my niche.”

Shakur was allured to the home care space by the attractive demographics, with 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, and saw an opportunity to break into the industry through franchising.

“You don’t necessarily want to do exactly what another person is doing,” Shakur said. “You’d don’t want to follow. I needed to find my niche and follow my core values. That’s what excites me.”

Shakur also had a personal connection to the home care space.

“Ironically, my mother worked for a few home care companies in Philadelphia,” he said. “She always told me a story of when she was working at a home care company, and one day the owners came in and she remembers the couple being very young who owned it. She was really surprised by that, and that always stuck with her. She jokes that it’s us now. It’s a full circle kind of thing.”

Moving from the basketball court to the business world, Shakur has been able to bring his sports mentality along.

“[There are] definitely overlaps in facets of business,” he said. “There’s building a team, finding the right people who mesh with each other, finding the right personalities to build something cohesive that works. Getting tasks done collectively—that’s a big part of sports as in business. You’re putting it all together for a common goal and cause.”

For help with the business, Shakur has been able to enlist his own family members as co-owners of the location, including his brother, Mujahid Shakur who runs the day-to-day operations of the franchise. His sister-in-law, Angela Shakur, is also part of the business; after working in human resources with Aldi for 12 years, she is now doing the hiring for the home care location.

Looking ahead, Shakur hopes to continue playing basketball for the next few years, at least, and has his eyes on expanding his home care business down the road.

“We definitely want to set huge goals, audacious goals,” he said. “We definitely would love to expand and continue to grow with Executive Care and see where things take us.”

Written by Amy Baxter

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