We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeff Tarver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeff, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The reasoning behind starting my own business was because I wanted to leave a legacy for my children. I believe that our bloodlines deserve to inherit resources from the hard work that we put in while here on earth. I want my children to benefit from the fruits of my labor.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
From counting down the final seconds and taking the game winning shot in my backyard, to creating my own brand and affecting the lives of thousands of youth, I always knew that I was destined to achieve greatness on the grandest of stages! While I eventually came to grips that my potential had been reached on the basketball court, I noticed that a great amount of youth in my community had all of their eggs in one basket; NBA or bust. A natural problem solver, I took it upon myself to use my experience as a player and mentor to create a quality sports program that was both exciting and educational in my local community and abroad. The journey to get to where I am today as been a challenging one but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I personally believe that the toughest battles are assigned to the most thorough soldiers and I’m built for this. From using my credit cards to fund my programs, to being criticized for helping kids I didn’t know, this experience has been eye opening to say the least. Whether it was financial, time with family and friends, loss of sleep, and loss of sanity at times, sacrifices have definitely been made and will continue to be made in order to accomplish my ultimate goal of being a global youth sports brand. The level that I aspire to reach can’t be attained by everyone so I expect the adversity to come. While youth sports programs are nothing new, I wanted to create an experience where your average student-athlete could live out their dreams of making it to the big leagues. It’s called LIFE League. I started the brand eight years ago as a sports mentoring program that incorporated life-skill workshops. I felt there was a need to equip our kids with the necessary skill sets to be productive in society. One thing that I noticed was that the majority of the kids in my program had aspirations of playing sports in college and being drafted to the pro level. While statistics state the majority of these kids would never make it, I wanted to give them the opportunity to experience the process. The program simulates college recruitment, collegiate play and life as a professional athlete. Similar to creating a player on NBA 2K, player performance on and off of the court determine player outcomes. The difference is that instead of earning these results from playing the video game, the player’s performance in real life is used. This includes their on-court/field statistics as well as their grades.Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Of course this itinerary would be different if we weren’t in a pandemic lol. But, I would schedule places that afford the opportunity for safety and social distancing wherever possible. This would include the Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. For dining, I would suggest Fogo de Chão, Slutty Vegan (for the Vegetarians) and STK.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to shoutout all of the children and parents that have participated in our programs since its inception in 2011. Believe it or not, we have learned just as much from you as you have from us and we are blessed to have had the opportunity to work with you.