The University Of Connecticut Division Of Athletics recently completed a three--day financial workshop for all student-athletes from representatives of the Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment Financial Education Program. Accompanied with the Morgan Stanley group was former NBA player Antoine Walker, who spoke to the student-athletes on the importance of being financially literate.
"I am very happy that we partnered with Morgan Stanley to conduct financial education workshops for all of our students who participate in athletics," said UConn Athletic Director Warde Manuel. "Regardless of the career choices that our students make, they, and their families, will benefit from the education that they received from a world-class investment firm in wealth management.
"The feedback from the students, our coaches and staff has been overwhelmingly positive"
Student-athletes, from all sports, might have assumed that this workshop was `just another lecture;' however, once the session began with Aaron Harding, Financial Educator, as well as Walker, their focus quickly changed and they became more engaged.
"Surprising, the event was fun," said UConn senior Erika Thomas, a member of the volleyball team. "The leaders made it interactive and eye-opening at the same time."
Throughout the financial workshop, the Morgan Stanley representatives discussed crucial topics such as savings and its benefits, use of funds gained from the new NCAA Cost of Attendance legislation and budgeting.
"The workshop gave me a lot of new information on things that I did not know before," said Emily Boyko of the women's swimming and diving team.
The workshop proved to be fun, informative and interactive. Walker, a former student-athlete at Kentucky, talked about his NBA career and earning over $110 million. He discussed the financial pitfalls that he fell into, which ultimately led to him filing for bankruptcy in 2010.
"It was invaluable to have professionals from the real world. The workshop gave us insight into a financial future that could be waiting for any of us," said Greg Baliko of the men's swimming and diving team.
"Having the Morgan Stanley Global Sports & Entertainment Financial representatives here was a huge success across the board," said Trish Hawthrone, Coordinator of Student-Athlete Development and Community Outreach. "The student-athletes learned the value of saving, budgeting and personal credit along with many other financial pieces. It was awesome to hear positive feedback and to see how engaged they were. It was well presented by the Morgan Stanley group and the students loved it." Throughout each session, student-athletes received opportunities to ask questions, to interact in activities that would educate them on paychecks, taxes, spending on necessities and making smarter decisions. Odrine Belot, women's track and field senior said the workshop "was a great experience."
"It was a great reminder that the real world and saving money in sooner than we think" said Michael O'Donnell of the men's track and field and cross country team.
Kyle Bockeloh, a senior on the football team, agreed the event was a success and that it was "an interesting insight into the lives of athletes, especially those successful at the professional level. I learned that without financial knowledge, all fortune can be lost just as fast as it was gained."
Walker closed out the session by encouraging students to take advantage of the current resources that are offered.
"I didn't have people like Morgan Stanley to educate me on finances, so take advantage and put into effect the topics that were discussed tonight." he said.
He also encouraged the student-athletes to learn from his mistakes and to think long-term. He left with an important note -- "educate yourself and be smart with your finances."
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