Lanny Smith admitted on Thursday: “From the age of 5, it has been a one-sided mind. “It’s the NBA for me. I don’t have a plan B or C.”
But he has to find one, and fast. Just 33 days after signing his first NBA contract, a knee injury ended Smith’s basketball career. After admitting to dealing with depression and shame, Smith quickly managed. When we featured on ABC13, he launched Active Faith clothing line in 2011. Faith-based sportswear has customers in 74 countries.
But one country actually made Smith’s latest business a success.
“She could easily get that sponsorship from Nike, Adidas any one of the other giant brands, but she came and asked me,” Smith explains.
At the end of 2020, Smith created Active Black, a brand that will actually reinvest back into the Black community. It’s a line Sports of former President Barack Obama. Just a few months after debuting, former University of Houston classmate Dr Seun Adigun, flag bearer for Team Nigeria, asked Smith to dress her country’s athletes during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. winter 2022.
“I stayed up until 4 a.m., or whatever, to make sure I could watch it live,” Smith recalls. “It gives me chills. To see a Black-owned brand, the only black-owned brand, on the global stage at the Winter Olympics is super powerful.”
Closer to home, we visited Smith at ABC13 on a rare stop in Houston. But he’s back for a good reason. There are actually two reasons. Thursday is his mother’s birthday, and he’s also in Houston because he’s creating jobs in his hometown.
“I decided it was time to stop outsourcing the brand’s finishing touches,” says Smith. “So I’m back in Houston looking for some locations for our new warehouse where I’ll be able to create jobs and hire some Houstonians. They’ll be able to work for Black Active and we’ll pay more than Amazon pays for sure.”
His NBA dreams have been derailed. However, Smith was able to use his talent to reach the highest level of all sports, the Olympic games and it took him home too.
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https://abc13.com/actively-black-2022-winter-games-lanny-smith-owned-business/11597059/ Former University of Houston basketball player Lanny Smith dresses for team Nigeria at the 2022 Winter Olympics with active black line