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NBA and MassMutual Teach Financial Literacy in National Campaign

by FinancialCorps, 21 December 2015

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Professional athletes have sparked interest in financial literacy for school-aged children for many years, and NBA stars are showing how that excitement is continuing through the nationwide FutureSmart program administered through a partnership between MassMutual and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

In one of the latest examples of FutureSmart’s success, over 2,000 middle school students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania were taught financial literacy topics by members of the Philadelphia Sixers professional basketball team, along with actor and author Hill Harper.

Financial literacy professionals have been lauding the FutureSmart program for many reasons, including that middle school is a very formative time for students and one of the most critical life stages to begin learning more about important financial concepts that they will need as they move into high school, college and beyond. The MassMutual FutureSmart Challenge provides middle school students with educational opportunities to learn more about how to become increasingly financially empowered. The initiative includes interactive seminars that are conducted in NBA arenas throughout the United States.

As part of the Philadelphia event, Harper brought out legendary Philadelphia 76er World B. Free, who had a thirteen-year professional career and rose to become one of the top 50 scorers in NBA history. Free had only a third-grade education level.

World B. Free said, “When I first signed a contract with the Sixers, I couldn’t read and write. I could play basketball but I needed an agent to represent me and count my money for me. I eventually went back to school and got my GED and a college degree, but if I could have done anything differently, it would have been, and I would have gotten my education from the beginning.”

Hearing that from a world-famous all-time NBA great made a profound impression on the students participating in the program. The financial literacy community continues to see good results from programs for students that are taught by celebrities and professional athletes. If the past is any indication of the likely success of the program going forward, the FutureSmart program is poised to continue to achieve great results in the months and years ahead.

Additional information about FutureSmart can be found here.


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