Veteran NBA player, business owner hits the books
These days it is not uncommon for adults to go back to school, to retrain for a career change or prepare for a promotion.
Although an exceptional athlete, veteran NBA basketball star Ricky Pierce is no exception when it comes to taking advantage of new opportunities as, at 52, he is back at Rice University to complete a degree he left unfinished.
Leaving school for an illustrious pro basketball career that spanned 16 years and included two Sixth-Man awards, Pierce said that now that he has retired from playing the sport, he would like to coach it at the college level. To play, he needed skill. To coach, he will need a degree.
"Why'd I retire?" said Pierce, "That's funny, I retired because I got old. Basketball, it was time to go. You can play only so long — 16 years. I've been thinkin' about college coaching. I just have an itch, I was training a lot of players when I retired. I didn't graduate the first time, that's why I'm back in school now."
Returning to school seems to Pierce in some ways like turning back the clock. "It's pretty cool," he said. "It's an adjustment, seems like just reliving the days. I'm going to track meets and baseball meets and football and tennis, I went to a swim meet this year."
"I enjoy it a lot more," he continued. "Hanging out the student body is kind of weird. They're pretty cool. A lot of 'em don't know who I am. Some of them are curious, some of them think it's pretty cool. Some say, 'Hey, my dad remembers you.'"
Upon graduating, Pierce will hold a degree in physical education. But, when it comes to educating youth in sports as well as in health and fitness, Pierce is not waiting. He reinvented the basketball, and formed accushot22rickeypierce.com to sell it.
Pierce's company designed a basketball fitted with finger holds that trains your hands to hold the ball in a manner that will improve your shooting ability, especially beneficial for young and aspiring athletes.
To catch the attention of younger children, Pierce conceived of the Bouncing Billy Active Play Kit and wrote an accompanying book. In the book, Bouncing Billy is a basketball with a personality, who is a little different from his friends.
The book outlines the importance of being true to oneself, understanding and respecting differences among individuals, and promotes a healthy and active lifestyle. The kit has activities for kids as well as suggestions for things parents can do with their children.
The book and kit are available at Bouncingbilly.com.
Name: Ricky Pierce
Occupation: Entrepreneur, inventor, sports trainer and retired NBA pro basketball player.
Fast Fact: Rickey Pierce played pro basketball in the NBA for 16 years.
- West University Place Zoning Board of Adjustment to meet May 16
- Texas Medical Center announces energy-generating shoe
- Lord of Life Lutheran Church to hold grand opening for trade store
- Houston Police Department collision call log for March 31
- Houston Police Department collision call log for April 23
Local Advertising by PaperG