Wife, kids and researching further investment opportunities.
That’s how Thad Young will spend his time away from basketball.
“I’m taking a deep dive with all my advisors to better understand what the state of the Thad Young family empire is,” The Bulls forward told Forbes in a recent phone conversation. “It’s about looking where we stand with the real estate and what’s coming in, going out and what are we looking at in terms of more development, more properties and adding to the portfolio.”
Like a majority of society, Young is hunkered down at home with his family. With the NBA instituting an indefinite ban on team practice and training facilities that went into effect last Friday, he, like his other peers have to find ways to work out at home to remain in some semblance of basketball shape while the league awaits public health officials to give the OK to resume play to salvage some portions of the season.
While most of the sports world on pause to limit the potential spreading of the coronavirus, Young is using the additional free time to put his energy into his private investment fund, Reform Ventures, which he started in 2017 after doing some individual investing.
“What I realized that if I’m going to be investing, I need to really understand it, get into it and take a deep dive,” Young said. “That made me form my own company and put together a team.
“One side is we look at a whole bunch of real estate tech and the other side is we look at tech in general. From IT (Information Technology), cybersecurity, B to C (Business to Consumer),” he continued. “Nothing is the same. We try to keep things very diverse across the board to where we can fund money in a lot of different sectors.”
The Bulls veteran has always loved numbers and had an interest in business. His first investment was in Claim it!, a social marketplace mobile app that allows users to buy, sell and give away items through video, pictures, and chats. Before investing, Young researched everything about the company, including founder Ali Gates, a programmer from Harlem who also shares an affinity for numbers. Young was amazed at how Gates was able to overcome some early obstacles to working with Google and creating the software that various sneaker apps and retailers utilize now.
Now Young’s portfolio includes DraftKings, Lyft, Pinterest and SpaceX, and he plans invest in up to 50 companies by 2021. Having a team around him makes things a lot easier but he still enjoys viewing all the data from a company before signing off on a decision to invest or moving on.
To further organize his operation, he created Reform Real Estate Ventures, Reform Business Ventures and a two-court basketball facility named Reform Sports Training in Memphis. His 17-and-under Team Thad AAU team won the 2019 UAA Finals last summer and also transitioned to a Nike program, which will boost the program’s profile by allowing them to compete at the top level of AAU competition.
While he would much rather be competing with his teammates, Young is relishing the opportunity this break will provide him to further build his business away from the game.
“I want to be able to build my own empire and run it when I’m done playing,” Young said. “When someone looks at me 10 years from now, I want them to see that I was laying the groundwork while I was playing basketball and that I’m doing it on a bigger and better scale.
“I want people to understand that I’m not just an athlete. I’m a businessman, a person who believes in handling business the right way and I’m a person who can walk into a building with people from any class and be comfortable.”