Former NFL Pro Bowler Nnamdi Asomugha, who retired in 2013 after 11 seasons in the league, agrees that young athletes should be thinking about life off the field. After seeing a close friend in the NFL get cut unexpectedly, "I learned early in my career that I had to be prepared for life after football because you never knew when it would end," he tells Davy Rothbart of Wealthsimple, an online investing service.
"Something clicked, and I was like, 'I gotta be prepared. This could end at any time.' That was my second year in the league. From that point on I started doing broadcasting and things like that in an attempt to find my passion — something I could do after football."
He found a passion in acting and producing, which he pursued immediately after leaving the NFL. "After 11 seasons, I retired from football," he tells Wealthsimple. "Four months later I was in Ghana shooting 'Beasts of No Nation' as an executive producer."
Last year, Asomugha found himself at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Three of his films were featured: Patty Cake$, Crown Heights and Waiting for Hassana.
Ultimately, a sports career can be over in a split second. "As a player, you're not really in control of your destiny and the way you make a living," says Asomugha. His and Bryant's advice to athletes is to take back that control by finding a passion off the field that can double as a career.
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