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Former NFL player created a specialty gym for disabled veterans

Mr. Irrelevant is making all the difference in his post-NFL career


Former NFL linebacker, David Vobora, was in a dark place after his football career was cut too short due to a shoulder injury. Now, five years later he has found a new passion away from the gridiron.


Brian Aft had no idea how much his life would change when he first met former NFL player David Vobora.

“I was rolling back to my truck in a parking lot,” Aft said, “And all of a sudden I just hear ‘HEY! HEY!’ and I look over, and I see this giant Spartan dude running over at me and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God…you’re gonna get robbed, Brian. You’re gonna get robbed.’”

Instead of robbing him though, Vobora and Aft connected. Aft had his limbs blown off after stepping on a land mine in Afghanistan in 2011. After failing to find help at the VA, he became addicted to drugs, suicidal, and unemployed. Vobora was able to identify with those struggles, since a shoulder injury in the NFL the same year landed him a bad addiction to pain pills. After working with Vobora, Aft has strengthened his muscles as well as his mind. He can walk now with the aid of prosthetics, and has a job and a fiancée.

 

David Vobora was the man known as “Mr. Irrelevant” – the last player taken in the 2008 NFL Draft.  He played 5 seasons in the NFL and then his career was over.  A devastating injury led to off the field issues that would change his life in ways that would see him come out stronger for it.  What happened in 2014 is what legends are made of.

In January of 2014 David Vobora,  met US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills.  Since retiring from the NFL, David owns and is head trainer of Performance Vault Gym, providing personalized performance training for elite athletes.  David opened his gym, and offered up his training expertise to Travis, who despite being a quadruple amputee, never lost the inner desire to live “Army Strong.”  The pair started working out together, customizing and adapting to the unique challenges posed by Travis’ injuries.  Through working with Travis and engaging the veteran community, specifically those that were severely injured, David developed a hunger for helping those with life-altering injuries find a path to life-fulfilling activity and fitness through adaptive performance training.

The gym focuses on self-reliance and strength, and teaches people that they are more than their injuries.  On this Veteran’s Day, it is nice to see a former player helping those who served improve their life.   Looking back to 2008, David Vobora was the last player taken in the draft.  His post career included his own personal struggles with pain and prescription drugs.  Unlike other pro athletes in his similar situation,  “Mr. Irrelevant” made a positive change and  has become relevant to many of our true heroes.

 

Thank you to all who served – Happy Veterans Day!

NFL draft: Tyler Lockett undervalued, Bud Dupree overvalued

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Tyler Lockett’s a versatile threat, but he gets lost in a loaded receiver class. Meanwhile, Bud Dupree’s allure is more about potential than production. Daniel Jeremiah redistributes pre-draft hype.

Source: www.nfl.com

Former NFL player shares his money mistakes in new book

Former NFL Player Phillip Buchanon Pens ‘New Money: Staying Rich’

Former NFL player shares his money mistakes in new book

(Image: File)

 

BlackEnterprise.com recently had a one-on-one with NFL vet Phillip Buchanon. Buchanon was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and before retiring from the sport, the athlete played for the Houston Texans, Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions and the Washington Redskins. These days he’s exploring new terrains with his brand Octocanon, a name he chose to reflect his multiple professional endeavors.

[Related: Crawford Safe After NBA Record-breaking Trading Day]

The baller turned businessman is the author of a novel, New Money: Staying Rich,  and a children’s book series. In our exclusive talk,  Buchanon opens up about all of his endeavors and his passion for using his mistakes to educate others.

Phillip says it was his aunt who suggested he share the decisions he made as a professional athlete and what he should have done differently. With an injury freeing up his time, Buchanon was inspired to write a novel and complete his education at the University of Miami.

“While I was in school I just started writing,” he says. “I wrote a chapter based on family. I was going in pretty hard on the family, but it’s not to embarrass my family members. It’s to educate other people that are coming into new money.” One of the biggest mistakes Phillip says he thinks professional ballers make is “being uneducated on how to handle money and not understanding how to handle their family.”

Of his time on the field, Phillip says he also found many of his peers to solely trust their financial advisors with their money matters. In New Money: Staying Rich, he stresses that young adults coming into “new money” need to select mentors who have no financial gain by helping them. Financial advisors may or may not have a newly rich client’s best interest at heart, he warns. A trusted mentor can double check the counsel of financial advisors and advise the new professional accordingly.

Other chapters touch on friends, living the Hollywood life, and it wouldn’t be a pro-athlete read if there wasn’t some mention of the ladies.

We found the retired vet to be immensely passionate about using his own wrongs to potentially deter others from repeating similar financial mistakes. Even children, too. Buchanon is developing Little Phil’s Financial Educational Series, a collection of books to teach kids about money. “If I was younger and could have been educated on money, maybe it could have helped me as far as understanding the value of money,” he says.

Still in the works for Buchanon are comic books and board games. The baller has seemingly found his place in what he calls “edutainment” and is running full speed.

Source here

The Veteran Combine was a rude awakening

Several Veteran Combine participants have signed NFL contracts

mikekafkaAPThe Veteran Combine was a rude awakening for some players, who came to the painful realization that they just don’t have it anymore. But for others, the Veteran Combine was a big opportunity.

In fact, several of the participants in the Veteran Combine have already signed with NFL teams, well in advance of the start of offseason work and the filling of teams’ 90-player rosters.

The most recent signing was Brandon Copeland, a free agent linebacker who got a spot on the Lions thanks to his showing at the Veteran Combine.

The Vikings have signed two players from the Veteran Combine, Mike Kafka and Caesar Rayford. The Cardinals signed two as well, Nathan Slaughter and Ifeanyi Momah. The Bucs signed Emmanuel Ogbuehi and Ben Gottschalk.

The Colts signed Deveron Carr. The Chargers added Michael Huey.

Some of the best-known players who worked out at the Veteran Combine remain unsigned. Running backs Michael Bush, Felix Jones and Mikel Leshoure are all still looking for work. Adam Carriker, who is years past the time when he looked like one of the NFL’s most promising defensive linemen, hasn’t signed despite working out and talking openly about how eager he is to get another shot.

And, of course, Michael Sam still hasn’t found a team willing to give him a shot to become the first openly gay player to play in a regular-season NFL game. The Veteran Combine was no guarantee of a job for those who attended. But it was a good opportunity for some.

Source here