Idan Ravin has been dubbed the “Hoops Whisperer,” and he was the last to know about it. Finishing at the University of Maryland with a degree in finance and marketing, it was only later in his life that he realized he wanted to do something other than writing legal documents behind a desk. We got to talk to the basketball coach slash lawyer himself, and he tells us what’s on the other side of the basketball court.
Hi Idan. What have you been up to lately?
Keeping busy and juggling plates. The NBA playoffs begin in the next few days so I have been spending time with my clients to make sure they are sharp, focused and ready to go.
We understand that you’ve been training NBA professionals for more than a decade, and your clientele has grown. What have been the highs of your unique business?
I love what I do so every day is a blessing. One of the amazing aspects of my life is being able to share in my clients’ professional and personal growth. I live vicariously through them and am super excited to see them achieve goals they have worked toward. These can come in the form of team and individual goals. For instance it was a great feeling to see at least 7 of the players I have worked with playing in the NBA All Star Game. On a personal level, I have had the chance to forge great friendships and to see them grow as men, fathers and husbands.
What about the lows or challenges of training?
I love what I do so there aren’t many lows. Yet, it is always challenging to remain current and reinvent myself each year. The work I do requires a level of anonymity and selflessness.
Has there been any competition from other trainers? Lukewarm feedback from them, perhaps?
There is always competition in every business. I don’t pay attention to my competitors. Being the best is relative, I much rather strive to find my own greatness.
I take it you were always fan of basketball?
I have never been a “fan” of the game in the traditional sense. In other words, I don’t have a favorite team, I don’t cheer at games, I don’t belong to a fantasy league, I don’t bet on games, I don’t tailgate, I don’t sit on couch for hours at a time watching basketball. Instead, I have always loved the game as a participant, a student and now as a business owner.
Who are your top 3 player-clients and why them?
I have had the good fortune to work with some of the best players in the world: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Joe Johnson, Kevin Love, Rudy Gay, Stephen Curry, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, etc. Each has their own greatness, gifts and talents. Each has taught me something about life which extends far beyond the parameters of a basketball court.
Do you still get to practice law? Do you manage to give legal advice to your players?
My business partners and I own several online businesses, such as WorldSingles.com, NicheClick.com, and EventNow.com. I am an owner and General Counsel for these businesses. With respect to World Singles, it is one of the largest providers of online personals for niche and ethnic communities in the US and abroad. These sites are based on cultural compatibility. Some of these sites include: ArabLounge.com (Arab community), SalaamLove.com (Muslim community), IranianPersonals.com (Iranian community), HyeSingles.com (Armenian community), SoulSingles.com (African American, West Indian, African communities) and EligibleGreeks.com (Greek community).
With respect to EventNow.com, it is an online lead generation business for the event planning space. For instance, imagine you wanted to host a party with a catered dinner, 500 roses and a DJ. Well instead of calling every rose vendor, caterer and DJ in your area you can simply post your query on EventNow.com. Local caterer’s, rose vendors and DJ’s in your area will then bid for the project.
What’s in store for you this year and beyond?
I have always enjoyed writing so I have been working on a few writing projects. I write a few columns for magazines and online publications, as well as avid fan of Twitter (@IdanWan) and Facebook (Idan Ravin). I am currently writing a book and should be finished within the next few months.
Introduction by Cece
Interview by Ralph Mendoza
Portraits courtesy of Anna Thiessen
Photos of NBA players courtesy of mrtaing, picturepush, sbnation and radiojunkee
For the full story, grab a copy of STATUS June 2011 issue.