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Pro-Files: Athletes Who Have Swapped Sport For Business

Professional athletes are some of the most well paid people in the U.S. for the time they are employed, albeit a relatively short time. When age and injury necessitate retirement, these athletes proved to be even more successful in their second careers.


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    Once the smallest player in the Big East, 5'3" Pookey Wigington is now standing tall in the comedy world.

    Pro Files: Pookey Wigington

    After achieving his dream of playing major college basketball, Pookey Wigington began an entrepreneurial career that has taken him to the top of the comedy business.


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    A legend on the golf course, "The Golden Bear" is building on his nickname and celebrated career with a global empire spanning everything from water to wine.

    Pro Files: Jack Nicklaus

    Jack Nicklaus set the standard by which all other golfers are measured. Now he is turning his 'golden bear' nickname into a globally recognized brand in retail and course design.


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    Earning both a Super Bowl ring and a MBA in the same year, this Chicago Bears safety took his fast, aggressive style of play into the business world.

    Pro Files: Gary Fencik

    Earning both a Super Bowl ring and a MBA in the same year, this Chicago Bears safety took his fast, aggressive style of play into the business world.


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    After a brief and unlikely stint in the NFL, Alex Bernstein has turned himself into a major player in the tech world.

    Pro Files: Alex Bernstein

    After a brief and unlikely stint in the NFL, Alex Bernstein has turned himself into a major player in the tech world.


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    After a storied career with the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr. has found success in many different areas in the world of business.

    Pro Files: Cal Ripken Jr.

    The iron man of Major League Baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. has turned his 'Ripken Way' into a brand that extends into the minor leagues and across youth baseball.


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    Former first-round pick Jonathan Bender goes from NBA to inventor with a revolutionary way to train and rehabilitate from injuries.

    Pro Files: Jonathan Bender

    As injuries were derailing his NBA career, Jonathan Bender began developing a product to help athletes like him rehab more effectively. That product became a successful post-basketball business.


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    Junior Bridgeman has traded baskets for a large portfolio of restaurants after his playing career with the Milwaukee Bucks came to a close. 

    Pro Files: Junior Bridgeman

    When Junior Bridgeman finished his playing career in the NBA, he entered the business world by buying a few fast food franchise locations. Today his net worth is estimated at over $250 million.


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    Gary Player won the first of his nine majors, the 1959 British Open, at 23, and the last at the 1978 Masters. Since then, the former golf star has made his mark as a business tycoon.

    Pro Files: Gary Player

    South African golf legend Gary Player has combined his success on the course with his boundless energy and enthusiasm to build a global brand.


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