Kobe Bryant (267020)

Kobe Bryant turned 40 yesterday. 

It’s a milestone for the 5-time NBA champion that will cause many of his fans to reminisce about the days of his dominance as a young, spry scoring machine with an aptitude for seizing big moments. 

In 2014, Bryant encountered a momentous opportunity to invest in a fledgling sports beverage company called Body Armour. He wisely pumped $6 million dollars into the operation – gaining a 10 percent share – and like a man possessed, he traveled the globe promoting his new investment as if it were his own creation. 

Well, it appears that his efforts and foresight are making him even richer these days. 

According to numerous sources, Coca-Cola recently purchased a minority stake in BodyArmour, dramatically increasing the company’s overall worth and trajectory among other popular sports drinks. 

With his minority ownership, Bryant will reportedly earn $200 million from the Coca-Cola deal, boosting his net worth to a staggering half-billion dollars. 

And to think – it all started with his “paltry” 6-million dollar investment. In the sports world, that’s called a slam dunk (or in Kobe’s case, it’s another jewel for his crown of mind-blowing achievements – including winning an Oscar for the short animated film, “Dear Basketball,” that he wrote and co-produced).  

In contrast to the many cases of former professional athletes going broke in retirement, today’s crop of African American athletes is increasingly business-savvy as both entrepreneurs and investors.

In 2016, Bryant launched a $100 million venture capital fund with entrepreneur and investor Jeff Stibel. The funding was reserved for technology, media, and data startups.

Establishing the VC fund was a real move into the financial world for Bryant. Stibel said the partnership was not about having Bryant act as a famous frontman or endorser for companies that are funded.

 “The most important thing I enjoy now is helping others be successful. I enjoy doing that much much more, that’s something that lasts forever, and hope they do that for the next generation,” said Bryant at the time.